I am so proud to be an American! A country built on people and ideas from around the world. A freedom to be able to create and be who you want to be. However, I believe America is going through a teenage phase.....confused about our identity and the foundation it was built upon. When we were young like a child, we opened our doors to the world (sometimes not on the best intentions) but it was a place where people from every country, every race, and every religion could come to a place full of opportunity to build their lives. This is how we built ourselves up to be an amazing place to be in a short 240 years - it could not have happened without all the immigrants that made this country great.
Now we are regressing as a teenager would. Some in our country are throwing tantrums saying it is not fair that someone who immigrated here is earning job opportunities based on their qualifications. They forget that most of us come from family that immigrated here. Many do not believe people should get equal rights to healthcare - a basic decent human right. Some people are listening to a man's propaganda that is creating fear, and trying to tear down what built us great by building walls. There are mass murders every day using our right to bear arms with emotions based on fear. Teenagers form cliques, and I see some people forming their own cliques putting people that practice a certain religion in a box, people that love differently in a box, and people of a different race in a box. It is an emotional and turmoil time to live in America as many are acting like teenagers. We have a choice to get out of this phase and grow up into adulthood, and remember what our country was built upon.
Even with all the horrible news going on in the U.S today, I see glimpses of the beauty and inclusiveness of most people in the U.S.A. Yesterday, I was at the Fillmore Jazz Fest, and everyone was swaying to the beautiful vocals of Kim Nalley, a world class American jazz and blues vocalist. As I looked around the crowd, there were young, old, African American, Asian, and Caucasian all intermixed enjoying the same music. This is what makes America great I thought! Then I saw a woman with a shirt that says Stop Profiling Muslims, and I thanked her for creating the conversation. She said, "It should say stop profiling Everyone!" I applaud her for standing up for what is right, and creating the conversation.
Last weekend, I went to the Pride Parade in San Francisco. Thousands came out to celebrate love and how love can be between two men, two women, and a man and a woman. It did not matter as love is love. Rainbows and smiles were everywhere, and messages of celebrating diversity shown through. With the awful mass shooing in an Orlando gay club, there were moments of silence and remembrance. We did not let fear of what happened in Orlando stop us from being proud to be in a country that celebrates love in all forms. Finally, we celebrated the year anniversary of recognizing all marriages as equal in the U.S. All of these wonderful moments remind me that U.S. is growing up and progressing, and I hope this coming year will not show that we are really regressed in our teenage years.
Happy 4th of July! Keep growing up America and keep your arms open to the world!