America is truly exceptional and is among the greatest forces for good in the history of humanity. America is not only a set of principles and ideals, but the application of those principles and ideals overcoming the flaws of human nature and self-interest. Few other sets of ideas or nation has so positively effected humanity as the application of our founding principles and ideals and Juneteenth is a perfect way to celebrate our struggle to turn these principles into reality.
Below is a slightly modified letter I sent to my employer's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team. As an agency we recently have been invited to attend sensing sessions regarding an Equity survey that the newly created state Equity Office sent out. I believe it is an open survey that all can look at. If you are not a state employee I ask that you do not submit your final response, but I recommend you go through the survey so you can see what has generated all the Equity and Critical Race Theory discussion that I address below.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I am by nature a thinker and a dialoguer. I like talking to people and I like debate. I like hearing different perspectives and I like those who challenge mine. Those challenges make me think more deeply. I learn through dialogue. Additionally, I believe we should all regularly search our souls and constantly seek self-improvement. As humans, we either spiritually and intellectually grow or we just wait to die. So, keep this in mind when you read this advice I am about to give.
With the country beginning to open up in response to COVID there is a lot of heated dialogue between those who want to open and those who want to delay the opening. These fault lines are breaking down very much along the political lines of Democrats and Republicans. There are many reasons why this is the case and one of the main ones is how people of these two parties approach fear and dealing with threats to the community. My purpose in this article is to help us maintain a civil and meaningful dialogue as we move forward as a nation.