When I was 18, I tried to enlist in the United States Armed Forces. I was not accepted because I have a metal rod running through my femur from an accident. When I was 19 I tried again thinking that maybe something would have changed. When I was 20 I tried for the National Guard thinking that the rod wouldn’t be as big of a deal if I wasn’t sent into a war zone. Apparently the Metal Rod is a big deal. I contacted my surgeon to see if it was possible to have it removed, but by the time it could be removed and I could rehab from that surgery I would be getting towards 28 and that in itself would pose problems.
I am telling you this only so that you may see how much I want to serve and protect this great nation. So you can see how much I want to defend the rights and freedoms of every American citizen. To show you how much I believe in Democracy that I would be willing to undergo a surgical procedure so that I may serve in the protection of Democracy.
Yesterday America, for which I would give so much, became an obscure reality.
A sixteen year old girl that lived just a few minutes away from my house was abducted. She was abducted because she was black and living in a white home, in a predominantly white rural area in Southeast Indiana.
I have known for a long time that I live in a place where the KKK is still alive and well. I have known that there are white supremacist gangs at the local high school (of which I did not attend). I have known that racism is prevalent in my regions population.
I did not know that this group of people, which Democracy protects (and not unjustly) was active and was organized and was so bold. Abducting a sixteen year old with learning disabilities because she was black, sending her family threats, that takes hatred. And that creates hatred. I hate that the constitution which I love, protects these citizens ideology. It does not protect what they did, and it did not protect this girl, but it protects their belief that the white man is somehow greater than the black man.
Last night I considered using my second amendment rights to sit in front of this girl’s driveway to send a message that I, representing America, do not tolerate this and I know how to exercise my rights too. Instead I am blogging and hoping that this reached enough people who agree that the KKK is not something that America tolerates. That we can send a message that say ‘we know you have the right but you are NOT right.’
I would die for my country. Today I questioned whether I could die for these men. For that girl I have no doubt that I would and could. Do I love my country less because I cannot defend them?
There is a communist in one of my classes at Xavier University. I have defended his right to believe in Communism. I believe that he has absolute right to believe in Communism although I disagree with it. Something about white supremacy seems different to me. I put it on the level of which I hate people who cannot see that the LGBTQ community shall be granted equal rights as the heterosexual community. Maybe this difference is because I do not see Communist beliefs hurting anyone in America today. Maybe it is because I do, and too often, see homophobic and racist beliefs hurting people and many people in America today.
Is that the America that I love? Do I have too high of an expectation of honor and morality?
Can I defend a nation that so passively allows such atrocities to occur on our own soil?
What are we doing to stop this?
What can I do to stop this?