1968 Vs.2018

On April 4th, 2018 we reached the 50th anniversary of the asassination of Martin Luther King. Two months later, on June 6th, 1968 Robert F Kennedy was asassinated.

CNN has been running segments about 1968–the chaos, violence, masssive anti-war protests, America losing two great leaders by violent acts. The U.S.A had a pretty tough year in 1968. The war was raging on and our children were coming homes in body bags.

There was still  great racial tension accross the country.  Riots, demonstrations, police brutality. It was a time of great social upheavel. You should watch some documentaries about it. It’s amazing how there are so many paralells from 1968 to 2018.

Today, America is experiencing social and political upheavel like we have not seen in 50 years. Donald Trump being elected, the massive Resistance that sprung up immediately afterward, the police brutality against mostly Black men,the extreme polarization between the Left and Right.Donald Trump and the rampant,outrageous corruption playing out on national TV each day, the attacks on our Democracy, the Russian meddling in our elections, the Mueller investigation. The chief of the FBI, James Comey being fired. Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un possibly holding a summit.

Then there was Charlotesville.

The mostly unseen war the Trump administration is waging against people of color.Separating mothers and their children at the Mexican border and then 1,500 children unaccounted for. Trying to stop practically all legal and illegal immigration because  Trump and many of his backers are racist.

Countless massive marches acrross the country –Women’s marches, marches for gun control because or children are being gunned down in schools accross the country. That would have been inconcievable when I was in school. Millions of Americans marching, demanding that Donald Trump is unfit for office and needs to be removed.

Why? Who are the people in the Resistance? The Resistance sprung up almost spontaneously as soon as Trump was elected. Indeed, the day after his inauguartion Washington DC was filled with approximately 500,000 to 750,000 Americans. Women, men, children, young adults, Seniors in wheelchairs, dogs, entire families marching down Independence Ave with signs. And there sister marches, some just as large, all acrosss the country and even the world. Many people from many countries saw our plight and stood in solidarity with us.

Marching on Indepedence Ave with about a million other Americans I realized that where we were marching at that moment were the same streets that Martin Luther King and his followers marched for Civil Rights. Where the massive anti-war protests against the Vietnam war took place. We were literally walking in their footsteps.

I grew up in America in a broken home. Our family was far from the normal seeming nuclear families that didn’t move every year and were so poor at times that we had got free lunches at school. We never went to church. But my mother was a post WW II baby and she grew up in the culture that despite our many faults as a nation, people cared about their country and communities.

As a child growing up in America, I learned from my family, schools, community that part of being a good American was being honest, charitable, loyal to their country. We were not taught to resent foriegners. They were generally treated with the same respect that any other American was treated with. We all knew the American story of how immigrants came here and worked hard to make a better life for themselves and their families, and made great contributions to our society and culture. Indeed, I am an immigrant. My mother is American and married my Latino father in Central America and had three children. I was born in Central America. We moved to the U.S. when I was 5 years old. I look like my American mother–white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes. So no one ever knew that I was an immigrant unless I told them. My siblings and I became naturalized citizens at a very young age.

We were taught to be respectful, to value integrity and hard work. To value being good citizens. Obviously, not every American followed the basic American values we were all taught. But those that did not were looked upon with disdain. For example, corrupt politicians. Con artists. No one wanted anything to do with a con man. They were easy to spot. Fast talking, making outrageous promises..you could just tell that they weren’t genuine.

So life went on in America since the 1960’s relatively peacefully. Yes, September 11 happened, which was a devastating. It was a very sad time in America. It set off a chain of events that we are still dealing with to this very day.

But then Donald Trump came into the picture. America has never had a President like him. We were naive enough to believe that anybody that was worthy of becoming President of the United States was an intelligent and honorable and more or less honest person. Donald Trump is none of those things. He is a liar, a con man, he enjoys being brutal and hateful. His intelligence seems to be below average. He has no impulse control. He is a racist. He cheats.

But now we know that the conditions that led to Trump being elected were hiding in plain sight …the racists, and I think a LOT of us have been caught off guard by just how many racists there stil in this country. The rampant racism was an ugly secret that was festering in our country going back to at least the Civil War.

This incredible situation that we find ourselves in today, is still unfolding. No one knows how it wil play out. It could end with half of the Trump administration being indicted for several serious crimes against their country. It could end with Trump’s 4 year term ending and someone else being elected. He thinks he will be president for 8 years. I don’t think so. It could end with all of us living in a police state and being thrown in prisons for speaking up against the Trump regime.

Thanks to the Resistance,which is made up of everyday Americans who saw that very bad and seriously destructive things have been happpening at the hands of the Trump administration. Americans have risen up to defend their country. The first wave of Resisters were mostly baby boomers who KNEW that there was something drastically wrong when Trump became President. We have had very little support from politicians on either side of the aisle. So we basically took it into our own hands. The second wave has been the young people from the schools that are experiencing mass shootings. Those kids quickly realized they were going to have to deal with politics in order to get what they are asking for. And they’re very savvy and articulate. I believe that David Hogg is going to be a high ranking politician or activist someday, along with many of his peers. They say they are going to change the world–and they will.

The press that Trump loves to lambast helped him get elected with their non stop coverage of him.And I honestly believe that many media outlets are trying to right their original wrong and hold the monster they created accountable. But again, they continue to give him non stop coverage because his ridiculous behavior and antics never end.

I, as an American living in Trump’s America now for about a year and a half, am sick of it. The majority of us are sick of it. Millions of us will continue to rise up for our country until we extricate this cancer from our great nation. In the end, if Trump is able to pull off being a dictator, which he’s working hard on now, many of us could be imprisoned or killed for our dissent. But I believe that most of us are willing to fight to the death to save our beloved country from a hate filled, vengeful, corrupt, power hungry racist and his followers.

We want decency and integrity back. We will never be the same country without those.

 

 

 

 

 

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