The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
I am beginning this rant with the definition of the First Amendment to be clear on WHAT is protected by the law. Many are confused and cite law without regard to its true meaning; thus erroneously invoking invisible rights. The first amendment does NOT protect obscenity, child pornography, true threats, fighting words, incitement to imminent lawless action, criminal solicitation or defamation. So now that we have this cleared up; let me begin with my total and utter disdain for the actions, words and posts of many Americans across the country this past week.
It is no surprise that many were angry at the results of the Presidential election. For the past four years, our country has been in one of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Many lost jobs, homes, and savings thus becoming homeless; including myself. Some blamed the President for not doing enough; others accepted it as an inheritance from the Bush administration and trudged forward. I was on the fence. Personally, I felt the President was not doing enough to create jobs; while congress presented many obstacles for passing bills to create jobs, I still had very strong convictions against the President. I was discouraged, angry and downright terrified about my future.
As the election grew closer, I became interested in the views of BOTH sides. I knew the country was torn on the health care issue, but we also had 24 million unemployed Americans that were not lazy welfare recipients, but hardworking people caught in a downward spiral of a crashing economy. I decided to watch ALL of the debates with an open mind searching for a candidate I could identify with and had a REAL plan of action. Majority of my black friends had already made their mind up about Obama. The “My President IS black” slogan was getting old; I mean…He is mixed like me… I am only black when it is convenient; (insert sarcasm). I was NOT going to vote for someone because his or her skin is brown… period!
I listened to the President speak on numerous occasions; citing that he is aware we are STILL out of work, but he also outlined a specific plan to create more jobs. By the third debate I felt a serious disconnect with Romney; this man constantly proposed one thing and then said another. I combed the internet searching for his “plan”… I NEVER found it. I then researched his background; it was interesting that he was responsible for outsourcing several thousand jobs overseas to cut costs for his company; ironically one of the companies I used to work for years ago. That did not sit well with me. Then there were his ever-changing policies on women’s rights. While I have heard those argue against the fact that once he got into office he would NOT abolish programs like Planned Parenthood; in one debate he was quoted as saying we need to preach abstinence not sex education; I am assuming he has never seen 16 and pregnant (again insert sarcasm). I had one big disconnect with this Millionaire running for President; and then there was President Obama.
I was an undecided voter to say the least, but by the time Election Day had come I had made my decision and it was NOT Roseanne Bar. I felt compelled to give our President another chance to make it right in this country. Four years was hardly enough time to settle into the white house and fix the tragedies to which he inherited from the previous EIGHT years. A few short hours passed and the results yielded a winner; A second term for our President, Barack Obama. I was not jumping for joy, but I was satisfied this country made the right decision… my intuition begged me not to vote for Romney and I listened.
Social media soared with posts on both sides; those FOR and AGAINST Obama, friends were divided… families were fighting… all in the spotlight of the WORLD. Instagram was filled with hilarious, antidotal pictures of a conceding Romney; and then came the REAL anger. I began seeing people I went to junior high and high school with posting racial insinuations about the Presidents landside (electoral vote) win… BUT it got deeper…racist posts did not stop there… people began making assassination threats against the President and his children… evil rants beneath pictures of the first daughters calling them the N word and Monkeys (these ARE children)… and the infamous N-word was being thrown around like a football in a field. Our country was divided… once again… by color.
What is interesting was NOT one of these racist posts included a rant about the so-called policies of our President they despised… only their racial hatred for the color of his skin; a scapegoat nevertheless. Today a woman was fired from her job after going on a racial rant citing the hopes of someone assassinating our President. Yet she does not see the err in her ways. (As she was exercising her right to FREE speech) and now SHE is being threatened (oh the irony)… Has America even progressed in the last 300 years? Are WE NOT as divided as we were some 200 years ago when the civil war raged on to end slavery? Are we not as divided as we were when MLK Jr. marched the hate-filled streets of Selma and as divided, as we were the day Rodney King was nearly beaten to death; how can America, friends, family, and citizens recover from this blatant disdain for one another… because of the color of our skin?