As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
The truth is that the First State of the Union address from the Trump presidency took place on January 30th, 2018. This is a duty given to the President from the US Constitution. As I wrote earlier, it was truly an honor to witness, and be a part of history in the making. There was a great spirit of expectancy, the build up, the buzz of congregations, politicians, public, and finally a silence, as the President of the United States of America spoke his words. Whilst I too shared the happiness of spirits on this day, and viewed this as a great learning opportunity, it does not mean that I agreed with everything that he had to say, and quite frankly anyone has the right to agree or disagree with him, because it wouldn't be a democracy otherwise. It would be that authoritative leader, who is telling everyone his vision - this is what it is, and here is how we're going to do it. Whilst I was very appreciative of his unifying symbols, and invitations of guests to reinforce the verbal descriptors he was presenting. I re-thought and felt that he actually used God. He used God to imply that we have this wonderful nation, we care about our flag, so let's unite because above him is God. And God is the ultimate unifier for the nation of America. But this also becomes problematic because God doesn't say that he doesn't love someone, or a thing because the individuals / groups / societies disagree with God. God wants to see your love for him. How far are you willing to sacrifice in the name of God? And if you think about this on a deeper level, if the law is God, and God is love, then ultimately the law of God is love. God wants to see the lengths we are willing to go to create an equal and just society. The very symbolic unifier of God was totally contradicted when President Trump announced his four pillars of reform which were as follows:
First Pillar: Path to Citizenship Second Pillar: Securing the Border Third Pillar: End of Green Card Lottery Fourth Pillar: End of 'chain migration'
With these arrived the rhetoric of repeat. A continuous emphasis upon immigration, the DREAMers, DACA recipients who are mainly from South America crossing the US Mexico border. Immigration also includes people entering the United States who are from different religions, and racial minority groups. So by using the symbol of God, he was also producing a prejudice towards any people who worship through other religions, and also the atheists who choose to not believe in God. Here we can think how the protections of religious freedoms were limited, and also the narratives of human rights.
Any person who is entering the United States of America from the Southern border is just entering another US territory. I think that there is a fear at the macro level that Latino's, or people that are Spanish speaking, and living in the US will want to re-claim a land that was formerly theirs. Whilst Spanish is one of the formal languages in the USA, we can think about how Latino, Hispanic, or Spanish speaking peoples heritage is somewhat being withered away. I would like to learn more about how school boards are preserving culture, heritage, and language within a school system, and community. Also where there is a higher demographic of Spanish speaking, Latino, and Hispanic population, how are these schools creating an environment for inclusivity? These thoughts can be transferred to any other state where there are higher minorities in one state, than other states. As leaders of communities or even a nation, there should be a responsibility to promote inclusivity, and also promote a preservation of history and culture.
Culture and history allow us to understand how we got to the points of where we are at. What worked, and what did not work. The USA is known to assist with processes of de-coloniztion historically, and peace building efforts. But what is heartbreaking is the silent, modern colonization that is happening within. With the constant words such as "build the wall", "DACA", "DREAMers", "illegals", "Aliens", there is a psychological impact that is created. In simple terms these words can be translated as: You are not wanted here. But then what about the millions of Latino's, Hispanic, Spanish speaking and minority communities who are contributing to the American Economy, paying taxes, and building their American Dream? Are these people wanted out as well? If business, building national wealth, creating jobs is one of President Trump's top priority, then how would tearing people out of a country, and forcing families apart build his vision of a thriving America?
The move of a USA embassy in Israel was also mentioned. What was interesting is when he said these words, the camera's travelled towards Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, which is suggestive that President Trump made this move to reinforce his relationship with his son-in-law, and for his daughter, who is his advisor, shaping policy with no formal role or title at the White House. This move, and the fact the she is serving as his advisor is absolutely unethical. He is fooling the public to say that it is in the best interest of the USA, but really the best interests for him and his family.
So as he decides to cut, paste, and add, he does the same to plan to make drugs more affordable. OK fine yes, if you are ill, sick, and need some sort of medications to heal then fine, it is good to be able to save money on health care costs. But then what about drug addiction, and people who don't even know that they have become dependant and addicted to the prescription drugs? Instead of promoting a healthy lifestyle, healthy choices, holistic health, he decides to do another backward turn, to promote medicating a society through the out-dated medical model, which even medical practitioners have a problem with. I also think that this was a direct attack on companies such as: Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan.
So while there was an illusion created of unity, this SOTU created a dis-accord, prejudice, and can also be labelled as racist. This was especially visible through the threads of First Lady, Melania Trump. Who I actually had placed high hopes in. Immigrant, successful entrepreneur, who has only proved herself as a fashion statement. If the pre-requisite of becoming a First Lady is to look good, and offer a smile, I think that I could get the job. But quite seriously with any position arrives a responsibility. How is she creating here own narrative as a First Lady? What is she contributing? When we advocate for the independence of women, strong, and possessing a voice. What about the voice of First Lady Melanie Trump? What is her narrative? All criticism aside, I think these words should serve to encourage. She is adorable, successful, and that is to be admired, but what is her narrative? What is going to be her contribution?
With regards to the piece about Veterans. I think that the USA has done, and is continuing to do a lot to ensure that veterans are protected through initiatives of social security. Veterans have played a historical role to protect and this is something to be honored. However, there has to be a new narrative that includes veterans to embrace a future for America. Kuh offers a thought as follows: "Every generation needs its own way to understand the world" (2009).
As I write these words, people might think, well what about you? What are you contributing? The very act of thought, being able to critically engage with a multiplicity of topics is a skill that requires a tremendous amount of energy. Which is why the thinker / researcher is perceived to be doing not much, but actually is. And besides I think that it is upsetting as a person who has a deep belief in the American Dream, and America to constantly hear the not so subtle prejudices, stereotypical attitudes, and racism from a President who I have simply tried to support. Also these words are a critical analysis, they should not serve as reactionary, but to reveal my care, and concern for the nation of America.
God Bless America. My thoughts to share with love & Kindness! :)
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on February 1st, 2018.