Words used to describe who you are matter because they characterize and assign each of us to social and economic levels in this American community. Several communities are marginalized by these categorizations. Curiously, all three words begin with the letter ‘C’: citizenship; corruption, and communication.
My first 2019 New Year’s resolution is to correct those who categorize me as a “Mexican-American” because invariably that characterization contains their assumption that I am a recent immigrant. Not so; I am an American citizen by birthright (i.e., born here). Many immigrant residents become naturalized citizens who have taken advantage of an established path to American Citizen status.
It is very important to declare your legal status because many characterize us without knowing anything at all about us. Profiling methods are used by many politicians to ‘slice and dice’ the general American community into groups which are pitted one against another (us vs. them). This is a tried and true strategy of ‘divide and conquer’. WE, THE PEOPLE, who are citizens must declare our legal status so that the voice, authority and power of our community is not minimized by those having self-serving schemes. With demonstrable solidarity, we may project our collective voice, values and expectations with much more effective authority.
By claiming to be an AMERICAN CITIZEN FIRST and foremost, we facilitate being one nation under GOD who belong to one humanity created in GOD’s image. Each of us can still claim our heritage. In my case, it’s a proud competent Mexican. In this very diverse community, let’s project the power and authority of One People; One Community; One very powerful nation wherein religion, race and national origin does not break us up into smaller, less potent fractions. We are all American citizens who live together in peace & harmony as equals under the established laws of this land. These laws are all based upon the U.S. Constitution. Our civil rights apply to all of us alike…even the undocumented non- citizen. American citizenship ideally conveys to each of us “Equal standing under the laws of this land.”
Now, today our reality does not measure up to the ideals already embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Trump’s white supremacist practices have encouraged neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and other racist supremacists to come out with public activities. I told one racist: “When I want your opinion I will ask you for it; meanwhile it is better to continue your silence.”
This simple recommendation asks that each of us stand our ground by insisting on being characterized as American Citizens first and foremost. What follows is claiming our heritage by simply saying to others, “I am and American Citizen by birthright (or a naturalized citizen)”- whose heritage is proudly Mexican in my personal case. My family’s heritage can be traced back to Central Mexico’s highlands and its indigenous peoples.
This statement form will undercut their divide and conquer approach and establish our legal status as equals under the laws of this democratic nation. Our nation’s residents practice a concerned ‘Good Samaritan Stewardship’ which enables us to look out for each other and share the resources and wealth of this American nation which are provided by Divine Providence.
Working class folks need to organize to practice effective collective bargaining. A recently formed organization, Silicon Valley Rising, is pushing back effectively surprising the executive leadership of Google, Facebook, and Apple, with a well-orchestrated labor walkout. Silicon Valley Rising leadership may want to meet and confer with existing unions to learn their established strategies. Knowing existing labor laws is helpful. EO’s management will continue to be ‘labor friendly’.
We, The People are the foundation of Democratic ideology: One citizen = one vote; Our ‘grunt work’ creates the wealth executives manage. When we insist that the Laws of this Land characterize us correctly and treat us ‘equally under the laws of this land, the solidarity of brotherhood and sisterhood unify us as One People who agree to live together with dignity, respect, caring for each other using the ample resources available. And, We, The People must support and enable governance whose purpose is to enable us to do things collectively because each of us has the right to equal access to opportunity and to fully develop our personal potential. This is the foundation of our American Dream.
Today corruption in our federal and state governance is very visibly favors the influential wealthy and corporations. It behooves We, The People to begin insisting upon full honest and factual & truthful transparency which enable the re-establishment of integrity, fairness, and reliable access to the services of this democratic system of governance at local, state and federal jurisdictions. All of us have the ethical and moral duty to pay a fair share of taxes used to underwrite the services of the education, transportation, and community safety required by society and its commerce.
Our current federal administration, especially its executive branch, has allowed gerrymandering and voter suppression. The new voting districts based upon 2020 Census data, must have boundaries drawn by citizens who have no conflict of interest. The goal is to require competitive fairness which permits voters to select new elected officials who fairly represent their values and aspirations. Too many self-serving scofflaws are now elected and enable the wealth of this nation to be funneled to benefits for very few.
This trend began back in 1975 when the Reagan Administration removed the Air Traffic Controller’s Union collective bargaining rights and the health care industry became profit oriented via health insurance industry privatization. In addition, the Koch brothers conducted their first highly secretive conference for Billionaires. “Dark Money” is a recommended book to read because it documents the establishment of organizations which advocated for many changes in governance which enabled small oligarchies favoring those special interests.
A very high level of support for the Military-Industrial Complex developed which implemented the use of America’s superior military power to protect American interests wherever these interests exist.
In the Mid-East invariably America’s interests were those of big oil corporations whose proprietary interests needed security provided by American military forces.
American people yearn for truthful factual information which enhances efforts to sustain a world at peace. The current Trump Administration has been very disruptive and abrasive.
Currently, Latino refugees are the scapegoats and That Wall is a diversion. Improved National Security requires control and monitoring of all international airports along with the American-Canadian border. The inhumane treatment of Latino refugees, breakup of their families, and increasing detention practices along the Mexican-American border must all become fully disclosed. What the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security is doing there will not provide this nation with improved national security.
My Third Resolution is to be dedicated to communication which presents truthful, factual and useful information. My perception is that American working-class folks want resource allocations needed to improve and modernize this nation’s infrastructure; health care; affordable housing; and payment of living wages…all need attention. A fair share of taxes by all corporations and individuals are required to avoid increased national debt levels. Perhaps it is time to go to a flat income tax system rather than continue with an IRS tax code having more that 20,000 pages. Few have read it all.
So, as citizens, Americans would do well to make resolutions about citizenship, corruption, and communications. Public policy must continue to favor an economy which prospers and thrives during 2019: Happy New Year!