Sunday, February 15, 2015

Selma. Do we really want what is good?

Watched Selma this afternoon with my better half and my oldest two kids, and at one time in the movie my teenager leaned over to ask, "Dad, are you getting sick?" It think it was the clinched jaw, the contorted facial expressions and a degree of anxiety that created the question.

While tragic and yet hope giving, I wonder what are our own Selma's of today. Hearing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I wonder why we too often fail to stand with humanity. We acknowledge gerrymandering for the sake of political power, and we look the other way. In fact, we embrace it to keep "our side" or "our party" in power.

We have 12-15 million, yes million, immigrants in America who are not here with the proper paperwork. President Obama has enacted presidential powers to help a small portion, perhaps thirty percent of these millions, have a sense that they no longer have the possibility of being deported.

Imagine waking every day, going to sleep every night, and wondering if you might be arrested for being here in America? Many of these people are working men and women; they arrived thirty years ago with parents when they were one, two, three and thirteen years old. This is their only home. They know nothing, or virtually nothing of the country from which they came.

Yet, the majority of the Republican party wants to deport them. Well, perhaps not deport them since so much of our agriculture, along with service industry, depend on them. The hope is really to just be sure they stay living in fear. This way their family members, or others from their countries of origin, will not be so interested in America.

Honestly, if we really believe in freedom, then more people will want to come here. But instead, we keep millions living in fear. This is the goodness and generosity of the Grand Ole Party? This is not the party of my grandparents. This is not the party of Lincoln. This is not the party of Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, or the esteemed U.S. Representative from Grand Rapids, Paul Henry.

It is time Americans stand together regardless. Libertarian's following Ayn Rand or simply their own economic fortunes so they can die with the most toys is not what is good about humanity. Standing with one another, seeking justice and mercy, freedom and hope for the future are what bring us together.

Now is the time to seek leaders who are willing to be self-sacrificing for the sake of the common good. Now is the time for us to believe that we have hope for more Selma's in the year and decade ahead. This is the America for which I long and my children hope to call their home.

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