You know, it should not take the deaths of 2,977 Americans for us to stop acting like assholes.
“Oh, Nashville is gonna burn! Oh bye, Nashville! Enjoy turning into Detroit!”
Just over and over. And over.
And that’s understandable. That rhetoric didn’t originate with them. And anyone willing to hate a new Mayor because some local Sean Hannity told you to or simply because she’s a friend to people who are gay, aren’t exactly the authors of independent thought.
But on and on, and on it raged from everybody who was mad as hell that a woman was gonna run Nashville. Too intellectually inbred to even understand that her Madam Mayor is not taking over Nashville and turning it into “Baltimore” (as accused) with her left leaning ways. She’s simply continuing the progressive path Nashville has been on for decades.
What the hell do you think Karl Dean is? A DEMOCRAT, DAWG!
Nashville is blue. Bluuuuuue!
And as I read the ranting of those who didn’t give a damn about the political course of this country until we elected a black man (and they know they didn’t — because they don’t even seem to be in possession of the knowledge that we were lied into a war, that reports were embellished and fabricated and presented to Congress, and that Dick Cheney should be in prison until his latest borrowed heart gives out ) want to hurl the “liberal” slur, just like every other day. And on and on it goes about how the Megan Barrys of the world — which is Karl Dean, which is Phil Bredeson — are ruining this nation.
But today, the Bill O’Reilly hate speech is disturbing. I listen to that man, sporadically. Just to be reminded of how much he truly scares me. It’s cultish. A sickness. This sudden — as in, since a black man got elected, because only a book nerd like me has spent Saturday nights with a political text for as long as I’ve been old enough to participate in the process — obsession with government seems to be more a soul-eating addiction to following “politics” so you can get your little bump of hate heroin. Inhale a big bong hit of your “liberal” bashing. Repeat everything that’s been told to you in an attempt to convince us all how dumb Odumba/Obozo is, when the only thing you’re really convincing us of is that you ain’t read a book in twenty damn years.
But on that day, on this day, when people jumped from the burning hell of a nightmare that was their reality, when pregnant women randown seventy flights of stairs just trying to get their unborn child out alive, when heroes didn’t run away from, but ran towards, the ugliest, most paralyzing sight I’ve ever seen in my life — tell me, were they “libtards” and “leftists” then? After all, it was New York. Because I sure as hell didn’t see any Republicans. Just Americans.
Just my homeland.
Just my neighbors.
Just my fellow countrymen. All experiencing the same hell of our collective lives and the world that housed them being turned upside down.
It doesn’t matter if you’re here and you’re queer or if you’re Kim DAMN Davis, we’re all neighbors. We all hurt that day. And we all healed together as one in its aftermath. It shouldn’t take towers the size of the Trade Centers and almost 3,000 dead for us to, once again, act like we’re on the same damn side.
This country has real issues. And we’ve got problems. But the source of personal anger and frustration in your life is not because two gay people can suddenly enjoy the same tax benefits and legal union that you’ve always enjoyed. And I think it’s irresponsible to tell you otherwise. But as I reflect back on that day that changed the course of this nation, I’m reminded that what seeks to divide and destroy us fourteen years laters is right here at home. And it is not the President who brings that division. It is not the President.
It’s Ann Colters. It’s Glenn Beck. It’s Americans, left and right, who hate their fellow Americans more than they love America itself.
It shouldn’t take a tragedy of almost 3,000 people on our own soil before we are willing to say, “Congratulations, Mrs. Barry. I wish you much success!”
What if we could honor those Americans who died on September 11, 2001, by living everyday in the present like we were still searching in the smoldering rubble, and embracing everyday like we did the days in its aftermath — with unyielding good will and kindness towards our fellow Americans. I’m not promising that I’ll stop calling Trump a twat waffle, but I’m willing to write off some right-wing insanity for peace of mind.
When those towers fell, tens of thousands of Americans were rushing to get out, and thousands of New York’s finest were rushing to get in — even as it took their own lives. To quote Jon Stewart, I’ll take those odds of the American people anyday.
I still believe in you, America. In your strength and your resolve. But most importantly, I still believe in your people. And I always will. I always will.
May the souls of those we lost rest forever in peace, amen.