I recently came across this clever little meme that talks about who is a true American that has given us the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom to demonstrate, freedom of the press.

 

“It’s the Veteran, not the reporter,
who has given us the freedom of the press.
It’s the Veteran, not the poet,
who has given us the freedom of speech.
It’s the Veteran, not the community organizer,
who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.
It’s the Military who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

 

I have news for whoever wrote this.

You’re wrong because it takes all of us to make sure those rights exist and stay in place.

By excluding the community organizer, you exclude the people who call us to arms, to try to right the wrongs of the community as we see it. Community organizers are not just demonstrating in the streets, they are recruiting people to their cause – be it the army, the alt-right, the women’s march, or their house of worship. And whose words are they using?

They use the words of the poets, the dreamers, those who can speak eloquently about the things the rest of us believe but can’t put into words. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander  were incredible writers who put into words the things that our burgeoning nation wanted and dreamed of. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence that still stirs our souls over two hundred years later. Hamilton wrote various portions of the Constitution and went on to write the majority of the Federalist Papers that define and explain the Constitution even further. Where would we be without the writers of the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, or I’m Proud to be an American?

By excluding the voter, you exclude the people  who do the hardest part of this nation. They go to the ballot box and make their voice heard. Sometimes your side wins, sometimes your side loses. Other nations fight for this right. Other nations have election day ruined by those factions who throw acid or shoot at voters. That doesn’t happen here. And let’s work to make sure that never does happen.

You want to prop up the military as the only fighters of freedom. And a part of me understands. But the other part says that’s not going to happen because the military isn’t the only one doing the heavy lifting of democracy. The work belongs to all of us – the poet, the organizer, the artist, the voter, the journalist, the mother and father, the every day joe and josephine, the soldier.

Someone has to inspire, someone has to gather us together, someone has to create the images and flags, someone has to write about it, someone has to work with the children, someone has to do the everyday work of the nation, someone has to protect it. We are in this together despite looking and being different in so many way.

DEMOCRACY REQUIRES ALL OF US!

 

So Together

So Together
by Kadir Nelson

The only question left is what are you doing to protect our democracy?