We are not what we once were;
or are we, in fact, the same?
We were founded on ideals;
ideals of liberty and justice for all.
Really, did we ever meet
that lofty goal for those
that were different than the norm;
the others not just like us?
First, there was the massive genocide
of indigenous people mislabeled as Indians.
Then we deny that we built the nation
on the backs of slaves without any liberty.
Each external crisis caused an internal assault
on those that weren’t just like us,
whoever and however we defined as not us:
different colors, origins, races, and religions.
Now we have a leader that tells us “like it is”,
and most of us don’t like the “it” that is being defined.
We don’t have public lynching or many swastikas,
but we are far from liberty and justice for all.
Yet, this aberration of a racist bully leader reflects
to the world that we are not what we once were.
We need to stand up and speak out
that greed, racism, and paranoia do not define us.
We were warned against the military-industrial complex.
We shared the grief of the world when we were attacked
on our own soil in a horrible reflection of the world anger
that we have helped to create by our own aggressive ambitions.
We are a nation that must regain the standard
of liberty and justice for all without exception.
We have just shown what a group of caring people
can do to overthrow hatred and fear mongering.
We, the people, must regain control of our destiny.
Our destiny is not to rule the world.
We need to take care of our own, all of us,
and share our wealth and greatness as we once did.
It is up to us, each of us, you and me,
to redefine who we are and who we want to be.
Wake up! Rise up! Speak out! Vote!
Restore the dream and live up to our promise.
© Copyright 2018
Rev. Jim Hetzer
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