Civil Rights are the foundation of our freedom: the necessary building blocks for democracy and equality. Bigotry, although pushed back by years of civil rights movements and anti-discriminatory legislation, is still rampant in American society. In fact, since Trump announced his candidacy and his eventual election to the presidency, bigotry has only increased. These sad facts are truisms. No matter how liberal or modern we think we are, almost all of us judge everyone others on appearance, wealth, and ideology. In fact, this is exactly what they want us to do. If we fight each other and focus hate on each other, we ignore what they are doing.
So who are they you ask?
They are the multi-national corporations, banks and investors who direct legislation and public opinion via lobby firms, political payoffs, and think tanks that spew dis-informational studies and reports. The Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation are just two of the many groups funded by big businesses (like ExxonMobil) to create reports that attempt to obliterate the facts about such issues as Global Warming and pollution, homosexual parents, the causes of terrorism, the effects of marketing and so on.
What do these think tanks and corporate raiders have to do with civil liberty? First of all, they divide us as a nation. Any solidarity that we should have as working-class and poor citizens is driven right out of our heads. Marketing and advertising firms seek to manufacture wants and needs. There is also a hidden cost; the way we perceive is also manipulated. We are judged by how much we earn, what status symbols we own, and so on. Likewise, we have been driven further apart socially. Our information comes at us a million megabytes/megahertz a minute and we rely on these politicians, media centers, and think tanks to assess the issues for us. You can now add to that, the cavalcade of disinformation from Trump's Twitter account. We are fat, lazy, and sickly as a nation. Consequently, civil liberties are being chipped away. The response is lukewarm disdain and malaise at best.
We should be taking to the streets to fight for the rights of homosexuals, as they are people too. We should take to the streets to stop the rendition and torture of Muslim “enemy combatants” who are only suspected because of coerced testimony provided by other torture victims. Remember that the Inquisition got us nothing but lies from its victims who only sought to end the torture at any cost. We should be tearing up the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, presidential signing statements, and the renditions program. We should be indicting the entire Bush and Trump cabinet members from all terms for both presidencies.
Unprecedented right? Well, set the precedent. There are no professional politicians who represent us. It is time to fire (impeach) them and if necessary, charge them with crimes. I am passionate about my civil rights. If we are to support our troops and they are supposed to defend our freedom, then giving up our rights (like the 4th Amendment) means they are dying and being mutilated for nothing. In fact, if our troops were to truly defend our rights, they would attack Congress and Pentagon.
Regardless of your views on my rhetoric, we must all exercise our rights or they will be gone. Vote, speak out, contact your representatives, write an op-ed, form civil groups, join a union, read all sides of an issue and most importantly...fight the power; but do so with knowledge. The extremism manifest in the various Tea Party groups, Sovereign Citizens, and Trump Supporters, has lowered the bar. We are better than this. We can rise above the ignorance and under-educated ravings of people like Glenn Beck, Ken Ham, Sarah Palin, Michael Pence, and Donald Trump. It is not chic to be dumb, nor is it a sign of patriotism to exhibit intolerance and belligerence.
My poems matured as I experienced more of life. Less emphasis was placed on the rhyme and meter. My focus was strictly on conveying emotion. Going through a divorce at 20 years of age would have been impossible had I not expressed my anguish through poetry.