Most Americans, have always worked hard to get ahead, but if you weren’t as pale as Andrew Jackson, you had to run faster and slave longer to be acknowledged: hero.
Not so for Groper-in-Chief proponent of foxy sexual harassment, walled in by conflicts of interest, threatening affordable healthcare and scientific discovery shutdown.
Whether shouting from baseball stands, religious altars, white hoods or Bully Pulpit, mocking or demeaning others is the act of cowards with horrific potential and tragic probability.
Yet, we still walk among heroes — in classrooms, hospitals and neighborhoods; in the aftermath of tornadoes, hurricanes and floods — good Samaritans clothed as strangers, saving us from the reality of erratic humans and weather extremes.
Though a nation too steeped in denial and consumed by belly-up fear, spun by spin: hot-air, broken promises and past glories, blowing in our face like ice cycles in Spring, no divider-in-chief can wall in American heroism, if women, children, scientists, educators, activists, surgeons general, attorneys general and peaceful protesters advocate for reason, equal justice for all, renewable energy, clean air & water, free public education and a financially secure EPA – knowing true heroes rally to save — not incite to riot.
Heroes are rarely loud or torturous or self-aggrandizing; rarely thinking themselves superior or even worthy. They are teachers & nurses, doctors & lawyers, the insightful friend — and stranger just in the nick of time.
Yet, heroes aren’t only those saving families in trapped cars, breathing life anew into infants, but are the daily bread care propelling us forward, in melodic ensemble: there’s a better world a-coming.
Now we petition, march and campaign to renew elections with an informed electorate. We must be risk-taking heroes for our children because their children are depending on it.
We are the descendants of depression, inheritors of progressive winds and stewards of the immigration legacies of legends. Heroes and immigrants, come in all sizes, shapes, shades and sexes — but where there are dreamers, there are detractors; where the best & the brightest, also fear of change; where innovative ideas, old habits; where God Bless America, assassinations in the streets; where just say no, fatted calf feasts for drug lords; where genius, envy; outreach, duck & cover — for every protagonist, an antagonist and every hero, a villain – where heroes seek balance, cowards create chaos.
Despite a James Comey two-step or POTUS MIA side-stepping, Not the White House Correspondences Dinner, broadcast chambers maintain empty barrels, oblivious to America’s greatness is in the kindness of strangers, mentors and Nature.
- White Congressional males or Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Hetty Green, Hellen Keller & her teacher Anne Sullivan, Frances Perkins, Georgia O’Keeffe, Amelia Earhart, Marion Anderson, Rosa Parks, Martha Raye, Katherine Graham, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Reagan, Shirley Chisholm, Maya Angelou, Audrey Hepburn, Coretta Scott King, Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Simone Manuel, Simone Biles and Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
- Newborn William Billy Kimmel’s doctors, nurses and scientists who develop ways to save the lives of babies and the elderly or Climate deniers
May 1884, Moses Fleetwood Walker squatted to catch baseball fans off guard. Seven years before Tax Day was knocked out of the Ides of March, Jackie Robinson stole bases in 1947 almost as fast as a 1936 Buckeye Bullet winning four Olympic gold medals.
Yet we still need Sam Cooke and Woody Guthrie lyrics to apologize to Adam Jones – but I know, a change is gonna come, oh yes, it is.
Since, Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country, the GOP has diminished equality for non-whites, non-males, non-straights and non-documented American dreams.
Caveat Emptor: Halliburton gulf oil deaths, Pharmaceutical price hikes and Healthcare that denies covering pre-existing conditions.
We choose who we honor as heroes:
- Mike Flynn or Desmond Doss who earned his Medal of Honor by saving 75 wounded at Hacksaw Ridge?
- Donald Trump or Jimmy Kimmel?
MOBs don’t fire honor and too often, America’s forgotten heroes are women.
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.