America would be great if it were America

We all know the image of America we had in our minds when we were kids — land of the free, home of the brave, with liberty and justice for all.

I recall my introduction to reality: real estate covenants that blocked Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews from buying homes, golf courses and hotels that were restricted to white Christians only.  On the plus side was America’s unfailing endorsement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states universal health care and adequate shelter for all people. Our Constitution assures equal protection under the law for all people in America, but we all know that does not exist.  As for the right to all for an adequate defense and presumption of innocence, in Lynwood, Washington (2002) the public defender only represents people who plead guilty and is not obligated to appear in court for those who plead not guilty.  If you don’t object to an unconstitutional delayed arraignment, it is taken as your consent to this violation of your constitutional rights. I could go on and on.  What it all comes down to is:

“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown”

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown” means “you can’t change things, it’s the way things are and the way they will be, regardless of how much you tilt at windmills. The line is about the futility of fighting injustices and darkness in the world. It’s about giving up and looking away, because nothing can be done .

There is a theory to which millions subscribe, that maturity is reached when you give up trying to make the world a better place. As a Baha’i of Jewish Heritage and upbringing, I think that is complete nonsense It is exactly the opposite.

“We were all born with the moral obligation to leave this world a better place than the world that we’ve found.”

Everyone can do something.  Make someone happy.  Be generous, be supportive, be kind, refrain from gossip, advance justice mercy and compassion.  Beware of fatalistic cynicism.

Even if you are the only one who cares, act on it.

 

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