Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Call to Sensibility

People in America need to realize that minority/majority discrimination extends to much more than white, black, and all the shades in between. I’m talking about ethnic conflict.

We’re diverse enough here that it’s quite obvious when there’s racial tension going on, and it goes on a lot. But look at the rest of the world: our accusations of racism towards each other seem quite petty when compared to the genocide that goes on elsewhere for more subtle ethnic reasons. All of even the most violent hate crimes in America do not compare in magnitude and body count to the unimaginable atrocities committed under the orders of men such as Adolf Hitler, Jozeph Stalin, Slobodan Milosevic, and Saddam Hussein, among others.

Here in the United States we live lives that are typically free of the fear of tanks rolling down out streets and death patrols coming to take us away for being slightly different than the ruling party’s definition of “the norm”. Here we have freedoms. We have time to pursue lives in which the daily routine does not consist of eking out a meager survival in a bombed-out neighborhood while dodging rockets launched by either side.

And what do so many of us Americans do with these blessings? We squander them on juvenile squabbling and finger-pointing.

Living here in this great nation, many of us become so insulated from the outside world that we pay no heed to the suffering of our brethren abroad. Yes, I know sometimes the prejudices get out of hand, but it has never been as bad in the States as it has been in myriad war-torn places around the world. When I look at Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America, and certain parts of Europe, I feel like I have *nothing* in my life to complain about compared to what those people have to go through on a daily basis.

My fellow Americans, please, put aside your differences peacefully. You can be the one on whose end the heated disagreement ends. Don’t always feel that you need to “prove yourself right” on a personal scale. There’s so much good that we can do in our country and in the world if we stop turning out backs on each other and stand together. As a unified front, we can show the world that there is a spark of goodness left in humanity. We can bring the world back from the brink of annihilation and restore sanity and compassion to the human race. The world needs a role model to show it how to heal. What nation but the United States of America, the “Great Melting Pot” is better suited to this role?

As a nation that has experienced much strife but even more triumph, the duty falls to us to use the blessings that we have been given to not only better our own lot, but to show the world what humanity can one day become. So let us now come together, not as racial groups, political parties, or economic classes, but as Americans, and together change the world for the better.

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