America, Something is Wrong.

Tearing down statues of the Confederacy, abolishing the rebel flag, changing the names of schools will not change our history (we must own that) but it will lay waste to the symbols of horror that has been hanging over our country for hundreds of years. Germany doesn’t have Nazi Swat-skiers on their buildings or Hilter statues in their country for a reason, they represent horror. It doesn’t erase their history or the Holocaust, you can read and remember the horror in books and in museums.

I recently painted a picture for a friend who didn’t understand the tearing down of statues.

Image you are a black man who is serving in the military. You have taken an oath to defend this country with your life and you have to walk past a statue everyday while on post. It’s a Confederate General who fought against emancipation, he wanted to keep your black ancestors as his property. His flag was the rebel confederate flag you see at Trump rallies. He was willing to die to keep slaves in the south.

That general died a traitor to his country to which you are now serving. His symbol of oppression and slavery lives on in a statue. Why? Timothy Berry, a West Point graduate wrote about the Confederate statues back in 2017.

Symbols, statues, ideal all have to be re-evaluated as we grow together as a country with shared values that we pledge to live by. That is why there were 27 amendments ratified to the constitution, so we could re-evaluate. America, something is wrong with remembering our values.

America has been brought face to face, time and time again with circumstances where we needed to re-evaluate, re-discover and remind ourselves of the values we stand for.

The statues are of cement and steel, not flesh and bone. When you care more about a statue than you care for health of this country, America something is wrong.

When your symbol of freedom is owning an automatic weapon like the one that kills babies at Sandy Hook, buy yet you say “every life matters” (it really doesn’t), America something is wrong.

When the President of the United States is colluding, extorting, giving favors or hosting foreign countries at his private resort in order to aid in his reelection and increase his profits, American something is wrong.

When the symbol for a national crisis is a graph that spikes above all other countries in the world, with 127,368 dead Americans, a fact some want to ignore in order to attend a rally, go to a restaurant or office with no national plan in place to address the pandemic, America something is wrong.

When your symbol of greatness is MAGA, you must own racist remarks like “Kung-Flu”. A giant American flag on your truck doesn’t make you more of a patriot than the Black, Asian, Hispanic Muslin solider, police officer or essential worker that is pumping air into your mother’s lungs or cleaning the floor under her ICU bed, America something is wrong.

When your symbol for immigration reform is a wall and detention centers with children separated from their parents sleeping and dying on the floor, America something is wrong.

When your symbol for justice is a corrupt Attorney General Barr who tried to remove a U.S. New York prosecutor with a false resignation letters because the office is currently prosecuting people in Trump’s camp, America something is wrong.

America, it’s time to channel our energy, talents and speak the truth. It’s time to get to work. We will tear down symbols of horror and we will erect new symbols that stand for our values and renewed understanding. We will vote in new people who stand for truth, honor and justice on both sides of the isle that have proven themselves with actions that support the office to which they serve – at our pleasure – with our values.

We will be better because we know better.


Instead of pushing against Trump, I am trying, really trying to like him… but love him as myself? Boy, that is hard. At the very least, I am looking for reasons why this man, with such lack of moral character, was given so much power. I took to researching philosophies as a way to educating myself. A Google search for “isms” has shed a new light on things – one ism you may not have heard of gradualism – belief that things proceed by degrees. I kind of liked the idea of degrees of progress, baby steps more love, less hate. Which lead me to an idea; things will turn around once I accept this president for what disturbing ideas he has caused to bring to the surface and accept them as my reality. In that vain, I can choose to think differently about the Trump presidency.

There were times in American history when we fought among ourselves in order to elevate to a more perfect Union. When the norms and accepted practices were challenged based on morals and individual basic rights, equalitarianism – belief that humans ought to be equal in rights and privileges. This makes our country so unique in the world from which it was created in 1776. In creating America, our founding fathers were staking their lives on creating a healthy republic, they were practicing republicism – belief that a republic is the best form of government. This was long before there were party affiliations which started in 1787.

The American revolution, the civil war , the suffragist movement the civil rights movement, were all horrible societal disturbances that occurred in order for change to take place on a national scale, that is what is called liberalism – doctrine of social change and tolerance. Millions of Americans fought and died in order to make lasting changes to our democracy, others fought against these changes, as our country continued to develop. There comes a time when we need a course correction. There is no easy way to go about this change. Some people fight against change with anger and violence because they see their way of life being up-ended, they see change as the death of their identity. We have all recently witnessed all the bad isms; absolutism, absurdism, academicism, egoism, ignorantism and nihilism – denial of reality or extreme skepticism take place. A strict adherence to conservatism – belief in maintaining political and social traditions. Which isn’t the first time these things have happened, hence the ism that was created to describe those philosophies.

I have come to see the current political unrest and attachment to staunch positions of either side of the isle as a necessary course correction of our democracy. Through this difficulty time, we hold a candle to the leaders of our country and evaluate their moral compass, the laws they pass and ultimately, how we want to live as a people. We the people, have the power to makes changes where we see the need as our democracy demands of us at the voting booth. In this current climate, we are given the opportunity to experience the gross underbelly of sexism – a belief in systematic inequalities between the sexes, racism – belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacities. We witness hate and ignorance through Twitter on a daily basis. Something that has always been there, felt by many, but not by the majority of people. Now as the majority of people are able to witness, we as a nation are challenged to transform our republic once again this November. Bonism – the doctrine that the world is good but not perfect, to give each American the time to grow past old ideologies that no longer serve us. Because I truly believe that a majority of Americans believe in nomism – view of moral conduct consists in observance of laws and optimism – belief that we live in the best of all possible worlds.

What a better way to grow then to identify the philosophical emotions in ourselves first before projecting onto someone else the frustration and disappointment we see in our society. I cannot strike out with violence (either physically or emotionally) towards a group of people without having felt that same violence within myself first. I don’t need to change someone else, I only need to change myself. That is not to say, that we shouldn’t have discussions or rally for a particular political candidate, pass laws or compromise. Do those things for the love of the country. If you have a hard time loving Trump, love the country more than the presidency. If you love Trump, love the country more. That is called patriotism – the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.

Have faith my friends, don’t let fear tell you our republic is done; finalism – belief that the end has or can be reached. Instead believe in millenarianism – belief that an ideal society will be produced in the near future. All things change and transform, a transformation of American is happening and you are the witness. If Trump was the one who brought some nasty things to the surface, I can believe he came to this place of power for a reason, and I am grateful for that (still struggling with the love). If we learn our lesson, we can make it a one term lesson. You have until November, 2020 to transform yourself.

Praying for tutiorism this November – belief that one should take the safer moral course.

You are going to be O.K.