The recent fatal shootings of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., and the fatal shooting by Jake England and Alvin Watts of three north Tulsa citizens and the near-fatal shooting of two others who are hospitalized and expected to survive have rocked the nation. Both incidents will be tried in court where the question of "murder" or not will be legally determined. The incidents have nflamed passions on all side of these events, their corresponding neighborhoods and the country as a whole. These events have a racial appearance, which may prove to have been important motivational factors which will be determined through investigations and the possibility that hate crime charges will be included in the charges filed with the courts. These horrendous events serve as an ominous start to the possibly very contentious political campaign year we are about to enter now that both parties’ Presidential candidates appear to have been determined.
We have heard the start of rumblings of a reawakening Occupy Movement with a call for a May 1st kickoff of events to be held in many major cities. Some have called for the Occupy aim to be a re-creation of the events of the 1968 elections only bigger, louder, and making a louder statement with greater effects than the events of the past. Others have warned that there may be a resurgence of the Tea Party with more candidates being chosen for their support to challenge the status-quo and instill the call for fiscal restraint and responsibility in government primarily through reduced spending. Add the rest of the special interest groups and other organizations all vying to influence those elections they feel are sufficiently contested that their efforts could very possibly be swayed by their efforts. Add the apparent existence of what some have called the most polarized political landscape of modern history or even of all times and you have a tinderbox awaiting a spark. The possibilities for conflicts either emotional, demonstrative, or even violent to play out between now and Election Day in November and the final results of the election is likely to only grow as the time passes and the rhetoric begins to fly. So, what can we do in order to mitigate the potentially explosive reactions and toxic atmosphere which are likely to confront us as we go forward?
We might suggest everybody take up the practice of counting to 10, but some people count faster than their emotional levels simmer back to manageable levels. Instead, we want to have everybody to start from the same point and remember that when all is said and done, we are all Americans and as such we are able to mitigate differences until we find that small essence held dear by both sides and unite around that sparkling jewel. We live in the same country that was founded not so much as a governance than as an experiment to challenge the historically held truism held by the rest of the world to this day. We challenged that people must be ruled by their betters and claimed that mankind is able to rule themselves. We placed our faith that no matter the differences between the different segments of our society, no matter how diverse and the number of our societal segments, we can act as one people and resolve our differences peaceably without violence or malice. We are Americans, a unique people made up from pieces of other peoples who came here under the most diverse conditions and manners of reasons. We are Americans who are part of the greatest experiment under the words of the Declaration of Independence and within the guiding limits of a Constitution which is our guide to conflict resolution. We are Americans and as such have the most blessed of similarity rooted in freedom and liberty. We are American before, during and after the contentions of the election and will find a way to mend our hurts and reach the necessitated consensus in order to move forward. We are Americans who live in a land defined by laws and not by the men and women who hold positions of power. We are Americans which makes us members of a people defined by a different measure than has ever been used throughout all of history. Last and most important, we are Americans above all else and as Americans there can be no difference which will tear us asunder simply because we are Americans.