When the starting gate for minorities and goal posts for women are relics of second class citizenship, the question isn’t who’s on first, but are we still defining Exceptionalism with the 1790 Naturalization Act, excluding American Indians, indentured servants, slaves, free blacks and Asians from American citizenship – or just electing chair covers who prefer the 1870 Naturalization Act, which allowed BlackLivesMatter, but still not other alien immigrants, and no legal status given non-white women?
It’s all about that.
It’s about the race not always going to the swift, but the slick. Is it about candidates unable to give us the simplicity of black and white solutions — or that conflicts of interests are born when corporate wealth culls the Middle Class?
Is it just about being first, when first is about job titles, income, neighborhood, family structure or spouse? No, it’s about testing where poverty starts and mass incarceration ends.
Is Congress about declaring the United States wants only citizens who can care for themselves without the assistance of others — denying American citizenship to the uneducated, mentally ill and poor – or is it about Race and Nationality discrimination being ensconced in American law in 1898, thriving in 2016 Conservative politics?
Are we still about Immigration and Naturalization Service officials using the 1911 Dictionary of Races or Peoples to determine a person’s qualifications to immigrate to The Land of the Free? If so, it’s about non-white women need not apply.
Is it about the dots connecting our 1920s Supreme Court upholding a national racist immigration policy and 2010 Citizens United Supremes selling out our electoral process?
Isn’t it about time Congress and the laws of the land reject the neglect of equal citizenship for the female half of our population, instead of holding fast to laws set in 1700’s stone restricting gender equality for women of every hue and a descent minimum wage for all Americans?
Is it about fearing equal economic opportunity, equal pay for equal work, equal credit opportunities, equal healthcare services and maternity leave – or about honoring all the First Women to Chair, by ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment?
It’s about American Revolutionary War Veteran Mary Ludwig Hays, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, English Channel flyer Harriet Quimby, and Orchestral Conductor Mary Davenport-Engberg.
It’s about peace loving Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, whose Vietnam War protests, had they been heeded, could have spared Phan Thị Kim Phúc, life changing napalm burns. It’s about that.
It’s not only about Susan Brownell Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone, but Alice Paul who introduced the first Equal Rights Amendment in Congress.
It wasn’t just Amelia Earhart, but Pacific Ocean Betty Miller, Eileen Collins, and first cabinet chair, Frances Perkins. It’s about Seventh Veil Oscar winner Muriel Box, first Arizona Senate Majority Leader Sandra Day O’Connor and Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller.
It’s about all the Rosie the Riveter(s)!
Poet Laureate Mona Jane Van Duyn, Janet Reno, Madeleine Albright, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and potential First Chair of the Land, Hillary Clinton prove it’s about diplomacy, The Artistic Edge and Justice for All.
It’s about excellence over Exceptionalism: What’s My Line’s Arlene Francis, Barbra Streisand, Kathryn Bigelow, the lionesses of Broadway Julie Taymor, Lisa Kron & Jeanine Tesori and Cuba to Florida swimmer, Diana Nyad.
It’s not about Brandi Chastain’s shirt, but the U. S. Women’s Soccer Team at the White House, because equal achievement should equal, equal citizenship.
It’s about my childhood crushes, Maureen O’Hara & Annette Funicello; my friendship with Mercedes McCambridge; Patrick Hayes introducing me to Zelda Fichandler back when divorced women lost credit cards and credit standing they shared when married.
Finally, it’s about all those we’ve called The Help: Hattie McDaniel, Aretha Franklin, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Oprah Winfrey, the uncaged Inaugural Poet Maya Angelou, the incomparable Viola Davis and the Resource Officer assaulted Spring Valley High School girl. Yes, it’s about that.