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.
Amidst the crescendo of election nomination campaigning accelerating like earth’s temperature, with un-statesman like personal attacks and hoarse rants surmounted only by passionate desperation — I long for the poetry of justice and the prose of unbiased civility, waiting teary eyed for the past due recognition of all of America’s Harper Lees – the half who were denied the vote, land ownership and, in divorce, a credit card in their own name.
So hello young lovers whoever you are: Maybe we should give former Secretary of State Madeline Albright a break for her hellish reference, as her journey through unjust gender imbalance, exceeds your years of student loan debt.
Despite the lives of Molly Pitcher & Margaret Corbin, Los Angeles’s property owner and philanthropist Biddy Bridget Mason, Congresswomen Jeannette Rankin & Tammy Duckworth, Suffragettes Alice Paul, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett — and of course, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Harper Lee – women still occupy too few pages in American history books – however many have writ large, casting a giant shadow of protective courage, sacrifice and patriotism to shade the Millennial path to prosperous equity.
Women like Abigail Adams, Air Force Lt Col Margaret K. Hamberger, Army SPC Jessica Y. Sarandrea, Master Chief Petty Officer Jackey Smith, Admiral Michelle Howard, Army Sergeant Latianna Wilson, first female Silver Star for combat heroism recipient, Leigh Ann Hester, Army CPL Jessica Ann Ellis, Rachel Maddow, Senator Elizabeth Warren, most decorated Army Col Ruby Grace Bradley and Anita Hill have paved our path to the ballot box with, blood, sweat and tears.
America’s female half has always contributed tremendously to the development, independence, security and survival of our American nation — standing their ground beside, or instead of, men – living the American experience of gut wrenching gender, as well as economic, disparity.
I’ve seen the movie and listened to the audio book of To Kill a Mockingbird, many times – but now, it’s too soon, too sad, too tragic to bear so much honesty crying out from the wilderness of our political, geographical, racial, and historical charades.
Without Google, or Apple, aiding and abetting, how many of us can identify a photograph of current female members of Congress or mayors policing the police, or challenging lead water supplying Governors? Do we know how many women serve on the now eight-member Supreme Court? Can we spell their names? Pick them out of a lineup?
Can we even yet discern female points of light nationally, globally, even galactically, with pen, sword and vision; serving in home kitchens, as House Reps, committed to country on and off the battlefield — in the Senate, municipalities, State Houses, Courts, carpools, PTAs and Family rooms?
Gay or straight, Liberal or Conservative, rich or poor, of every belief, faith and tradition, from every tribe, community and skin color, the lives of women have taught us the truth of duty, honor and family — yet still they are denied Constitutional equality.
In this presidential election year of extremes, I dare to hope all will discover within them, the courage of women, and protect the privilege of voting from reactionary anger, fearful frustration, national fog of war, and the male tendency toward oversimplified Open Carry solutions to our global challenges.
Even before religion was resurrected as a tool of Conservative politicians to rewrite history and compromise science, women of all faiths, social-economic levels and political, racial and sexual persuasions were ignored, cast as second class citizens, even abused.
In honor of our HERos who have honored us, let’s now live, act and vote to honor our better half.