Opinion: Embarrassing moments in U.S history

It’s sufficient to say that we are living in one of the most embarrassing moments in American history. Without explaining much, people will probably know what I’m referring to. They know the moment when the embarrassment began, when it was legitimized and made to feel like the new “normal.” And yet I can point to other embarrassing moments in American history, which are far worse in retrospect, including the enslavement of African Americans and the deaths of Native Americans during the Trail of Tears, to name a few. This new embarrassment comes at the heels of our “progressive ideals,” our upward movement toward “equality.”

The sad truth is that our embarrassment is splattered on T.V. screens for all to witness. It takes the form of an orange man sitting in the highest office in the country to reminds us that we are farther away from our ideals then ever before. We cannot simply wash it away, as it’s displayed in the media in countless reiteration.

Let’s be honest for a second, America has always had a large gap between its idealistic notions about itself and the reality on the ground. We have been at constant war in the Middle East since George W. Bush’s presidency. We have dropped bombs on civilians in these countries and left young “democracies” on a silver platter for ISIS, and yet we continue to insist on a Muslim ban.

The other day, while discussing with a friend, the most embarrassing moments in American history, we proved that our lists ran long, from the most obvious to the less documented atrocities this country has committed, and many with the approval of the government. From the Japanese interment camps, to Vietnam, to Jim Crow laws, to modern day America where ICE agents continue to arrest immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for years, deporting them and separating them from their families. ICE agents use the excuse that they are going after criminals, when in fact they are arresting mothers, fathers, and young people who are here to study and work.

It’s possible history works in cycles. There are moments of great progress and understanding among individuals of diverse backgrounds. We may be at a time where moderate ideals and facts are colliding with forces that mean to take us back to a time before the social movements of the sixties. Even with the spiteful policy directions from this fake white house, I keep telling myself it’s impossible to turn back. This pendulum will keep swinging as long as people make their voices heard, and do not shy away from making demands that will benefit everyone down the road. This moment in history will show how well our democratic institutions can uphold the law and counteract these fascist tendencies. I don’t doubt that there will always be people who try to bridge the gap between our idealistic notions and reality.

I bet many are wondering why he hasn’t been impeached yet. With these leaks clearly showing obstruction of justice and collusion we should already be at the point of criminal prosecution. I fear that with all these scandals people will eventually stop paying attention, and disregard the leaks as false assumptions simply because, they’re from anonymous sources. The real question is at what point does the FBI accumulate all the info they need to present a credible case against the fake president? At what point does the FBI catch up to the countless reports that have been released? It must be frustrating that the media is releasing more information then the FBI. I fear at the critical time that awaits us, public demand for impeachment will have lessened by the time FBI starts the impeachment process. You can’t have an impeachment without public demand, seeing as how most republicans are willing to turn verifiable facts into nothing more than democratic partisanship.

Swallow the pill

Strange days on the American, circus bus. 

I would have preferred to be on this bus.
I would have preferred to be on this bus, heading to the beach.

The power went out, and it’s for the best. I had the Democratic Convention playing in the background, and I had about enough of this circus parade of an election year. I can’t believe we’re at this juncture. People are about to give away this country to a wild-mouthed psycho. I also don’t appreciate how everyone is telling Bernie supporters to get over their candidate and jump on the Hillary wagon. Let people vent their frustrations, let them question the process. I’m a Bernie supporter and I’m disappointed with the voting process— the DNC favored Hill since the beginning of the election, there was voting fraud in many states, and now this grassroots movement and their candidate have to embrace Hill.

I know that not voting for anyone or voting for an Independent candidate (which I’ve done for local elections) as revenge, is a vote for the orange man. I can’t be part of a country who believes this man is fit for president. Everything he stands for is an antithesis to America. (At least I would like to believe so, but maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m not wrong.) He’s an antithesis to who I am as an individual, (an immigrant, a Latin-American, a lover of words), and everyone else I know who values integrity, brotherhood, kindness and humbleness. I also don’t want to vote for Hill. I don’t believe she’ll do anything about climate change or criminal justice reform—and especially not now after hearing about the DNC email leaks, but it’s a pill I have to swallow.

Image: blotted by me.
Image: blotted by me.

It’s unfair that we should be in this position when Bernie had the votes of the people and was robbed by the DNC and the media. His poll numbers are higher than the orange man’s by double digits. He’s the progressive candidate; the only one speaking passionately about climate change, criminal justice reform, and income inequality since the early years of his political career. Under the abrupt lights of the DNC, Bernie was telling us to unite. It didn’t feel genuine. I know Bernie was cringing inside.

The Democrats need  a better way of uniting the party and acknowledging the reservations of Bernie supporters and delegates. I know Hill’s party has adopted some of Bernie’s platforms, but it’s a mere sprinkle on top of the mountain, and I don’t think it will hold past the election if she wins. I was watching the “Bernie or bust” people on CNN, and one of the anchors said, “She will be the nominee,” with an overly emphatic tone.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech didn’t speak to me, as much as I had hoped. She kept repeating how Bernie has fought against the “rigged system” with the irony of the DNC email leaks hovering over her. “For the Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous,” said Sarah Silverman after her speech to the Democratic Convention. I don’t think fighting for the issues is ridiculous. “Let them be frustrated,” said Joe Biden. A democratic process is about having small factions that don’t always agree with one another, but are willing to borrow ideas and unite. The DNC needs to recognize what they did and reform the voting process to better represent its constituents. Our anger is legitimate when faced with an obviously rigged politcal system. Is this a surprise for anyone?

Democrats want to break barriers, but it shouldn’t just represent a label. “Hey, I’m a woman—vote for me.” I’m happy that a woman has a chance to be president, and is almost on her way, but this is no way to push it on us, by committing fraud and telling people to get over it. If orange man was not the other candidate, I wouldn’t vote for Hill. It’s disheartening to think that the DNC thinks its voters are sheep. One of the Bernie supporters said it best: “We’re passionate about the issues.” “It’s because of Bernie that the democratic platform is stronger.” For Bernie supporters, it’s not over. We shouldn’t give up. The Revolution continues.

But Alas, I prefer the blue pill. I say yes to humanity and debating with Hill supporters. At least she’ll make decisions within a rational spectrum, and not from a room filled with false mirrors.