The Us of Us
February 9th, 2017
When President Trump or his surrogates say that his actions are what Americans want, that is only partially true.
The majority of Americans voting did not vote for Mr. Trump. In record time and a record low for a new president, a poll released last week (CNN/ORC) shows that 53% of Americans already disapprove of his performance so far.
What is wholly true is that while a president is empowered to speak for America, this president does not speak for a majority of Americans or for what America stands for around the world.
Recognizing that could change and define his presidency. Denying it defines delusion.
As published in The Memphis Daily News, February 10, 2017, and in The Memphis News, February 11-17, 2017
I AM US.
I am Muslim.
I am a COGIC Hindu Jewish WASP Jehovah’s Witness. I am a Roman Catholic Buddhist Satanist Seventh Day Adventist and Latter-Day Saint. I am an Atheist Agnostic Humanist Evangelist. I am a Sunni Shia Christian Rastafarian Taoist Sikh. I am a Foot-Washing, Holy-Rolling Jain Spiritualist and whatever Lord Voldemort is – and I am not.
I believe that Karma is a bitch, and I believe in God and Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Yahweh and Ra, Voodoo, Vodou, Vodun and Vudu, and the Holy Spirit, the Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka and Gitche Manitou, and whatever it is that Joel Osteen believes in – and I do not.
I am and believe any and all and none of those things, and that is my right.
I am a latte-sipping, pro-choice, Times-reading, bleeding-heart, civil-rights-whining, know-it-all, gun-toting, bible-quoting, beer-guzzling, tin-hat-wearing liberal conservative, elitist blue collar redneck suit, and climate-denying, pro-life, social activist skinhead, millennial boomer, pothead professional teetotaler, wrestling fan and champion of women’s rights and the far right left.
I am complicated.
I am African-American African Aussie Latino Hispanic Anglo Native-American Scots-Irish Asian, and French Italian Peruvian on my mother’s side. I am Middle-Eastern Eurasian Eskimo Russian Scandinavian Lithuanian Swiss Welch Haitian, and Basque German Portuguese on my father’s side.
I am human.
I live in the Rust Belt, the Bible Belt and the Grits Belt – and I take a belt now and again. I live on that coast and the other one, and on the shores of the Gulf and all the Great Lakes, and the ones not so great and all the rivers large and small, and in the swamp and in the valley, and on the mountain and this side of the wall. I live in the flyover, the done over, and the all but done. I live up there, down there, over there and out there, in town and in the country, in peace and in conflict, in certainty and in doubt, in wealth and in poverty – and less and less in between.
I am local.
I am a married heterosexual homophobic homosexual single tranny granny. I am a straight queer macho butch bisexual male biker in touch with my feminine side. I am a gender neutral transgender lesbian logger in a gay mood. I am a perfect gentleman and a real lady and a guy’s guy on a girl’s night out.
I am who I am, and my right to be is guaranteed.
I am equal to everyone by law. I am subject to no religious test by law. I am, whether just born here or just sworn in five minutes ago or tracing to the Mayflower, just as much a citizen as any other citizen by law. I am, whether in a tower or a cellar, boardroom or bordello, answerable to the law.
I am an American.
And because of all of that – all – I am a beacon to the world. When any of that – any – is denied, the light dims.
I’m a Memphian, and an American.