The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.
Yesterday, for the first time, I heard the poem, On The Pulse Of Morning, read by the Poet Maya Angelou at the Clinton inauguration in 1993. I was stunned at its beauty, stunned at the message of peace, at the celebration of diversity, at the call for society predicated on inclusion.
These days I am bombarded by the rhetoric of the Trumpers, see policies pushing us into darkness and I weep for my nation.
Oh, how we have digressed since that bright day Maya’s voice graced the halls of our Capital, let ourselves slide into a pitch quagmire of classism predicated on racism of nationalism trending toward isolationism of protectionism to preserve ethnocentrism of religious imperialism emboldening sexism. All the isms are prisons for souls. All isms infest the hearts of those who hold them near, hold them dear like maggots on putrid flesh.
What has happened to us America? How have we become so twisted that we wage war on poor people instead of trying to eradicate poverty? Why have we entrenched our identities in political parties instead of embracing the ideal of the independent American? Where is the nation that rejected isolationism to heroically performed its duty to the free world when joining the allied forces in WWII? How have we allowed our melting pot to be sifted of flavor leaving a blanch mixture of middle-class, white, native-born, Christians opposed to diversity, opposed to lending a hand to the poor, opposed to welcoming the immigrant with open arms and open hearts? How did we allow ‘my country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty’ to be supplanted by an anthem of hate?
A few short years ago, standing on the shoulders of Maya, our nation nurtured a view of a wide, inclusive horizon. Today, we are content to stick our head in the sands pretending the rest of the world does not exist.
I weep for my nation.