Category Archives: Opinions

Barbie Savior Complex??

YunaLee, Staff Reporter

The satirical “Barbie Savior” Instagram account uses a Barbie doll to illustrate an intricate concept — the White Savior complex, a trope in which Caucasian people “save” people of color. The White Savior complex usually doesn’t happen with malice in mind, but it ends up hurting everyone. On the Barbie Savior account, Barbie works for a NGO that provides drinking water to those in Africa. Barbie Savior’s exploits are maddening and exemplify why all help isn’t good help.

 

You’re scrolling down your Instagram feed, and you see a post from one of your friends. You realize to yourself, “Oh, he went to Africa! That’s cool!” You scroll down and see another post, this time of him and a group of African children. “I taught these children how to walk today!” the caption says. “I’m so glad I was able to change their lives forever. They certainly have changed mine!”

These tourists have been struck by the White Savior complex. It’s the trope in which Caucasian people “save” people of color.

This can be seen in movies like “The Help” and in other mediums of pop culture. Here’s why it’s fairly problematic, especially in relation to Africa.

There are lots of reasons why people go to Africa: for mission trips, to contribute to a charity or maybe just to go to someplace new. But what common theme unites them all?

Soul searching.

Apparently, Africa is home to some incredible therapeutic power where anyone can go to “find themselves”– whatever that might mean. No matter what part of Africa they visit, they always come back reborn.

Well, what did they learn about themselves on their soul searching adventure?

Did they learn that not everyone has clean water? Yes, but anyone could’ve told them this. Did they learn that not everyone has the same access to education? Yes, but anyone could’ve told them this. Did they learn that people have different lifestyles and cultures? Yes, but anyone could’ve told them this.

So, what exactly was learned in Africa that couldn’t be learned anywhere else with a little bit of time and research?

Does the poverty rate and lack of internet in the United States not call enough attention? Is it not the “wow” factor they need for their instagram posts?

I understand that going to Africa or the Dominican Republic changed your life for the better, even humbled you. But what if we stop making the conversation about us and our deeds and focus on their stories and their voices?  

Advertisements

Why we can’t have off-campus lunch

KimaraSmith, Staff Reporter

Many high school campuses around the nation have the luxury of off-campus lunch. Closer to home, Alpharetta High School offers their students off-campus lunch during their hour-long lunch period. My sophomore year, I wrote an essay which challenged the strict no off-campus lunch rule for Chattahoochee students.  I was given the opportunity to read my essay to our school’s administration. After reading my essay, I was told that Chattahoochee students were not able to have off campus lunch because it was a liability and safety issue. Even though I felt these issues could be easily resolved with a simple parent permission form, I held my tongue .

Recently, I interviewed administration again and asked them if they had reconsidered the idea. Assistant Principal Debra Bryant said, “I do not see Chattahoochee students ever having off campus lunch because we can not guarantee that the students will return to school safe, if at all. ”  Although, that is a sensible argument, off-campus lunch will help solve the problem of overcrowding during the two lunch periods. Chattahoochee announced that next year there will be three lunch periods to combat this problem. I feel that students that possess both a parking pass and fewer than five absences should be allowed off-campus lunch . Despite the fact that administration feels so strongly about not having off campus lunch, I believe that if local schools can conduct off campus lunch without trouble then our school can too. It is my hope that administration sees the good that changing the rules can do not only to benefit the students, but to help solve the problem that is overcrowding at lunch as well.

Training for Change

TaisFerreira, Staff Reporter

Discrimination still prominently exists in today’s world and we can see it happen in our everyday lives. One of the most recent happenings was the Starbucks scandal. On the 16th of April,  two African American men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks wanting to have a business meeting with one other colleague. Upon sitting down, Nelson asked one of the Starbucks employee to use the bathroom and the worker responded that the bathroom was for paying customers only. Therefore, he sat back down with Robinson and they both waited for their colleague to arrive. Before they could even attempt to understand the situation happening, they were both being arrested. A white Starbucks employee had called 911 on both of the men for “trespassing”. The arrest was recorded and went viral on all media platforms. They were both taken into a cell and were confined for hours on end with no outside contact and were let out later in the night, and no charges were officially filed.

Because of this incident, Starbucks has decided to close 8,000 stores for a day in which employees will be trained on how to deal with racial bias. It is only right that Starbucks provides training for their employees, arresting any non white person for “trespassing” when they are simply sitting and not bothering the restaurant like all of the other customers is unacceptable. Because of this, all restaurants should be required to give racial bias training to all of their employees.

I believe that even before a person is hired, they should be required to fill out several questionnaires that ask about what they would do if they were faced with a racial issue. Employees are being paid to serve all of their customers with respect and the same kind of treatment despite race, religion or disabilities. If a company desires to be a successful one, it should be more than willing to dedicate money to the proper training of its employees. With training, employees will be less likely to commit discriminatory actions that will damage their own employment and the company’s reputation. Overall, this is why companies should keep a tighter grasp on their customers training and the people they hire to represent their company. Discriminatory actions is not okay and will be ended if people work together to do so.

 

Racial Discrimination in Starbucks

KimaraSmith, Staff Reporter

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of a Philadelphia Starbucks following a racial discrimination issue that occurred on April 12 only days before. Two black men arrived at the Starbucks to conduct a simple business meeting, but things went downhill quickly after the two men were arrested for allegedly “trespassing.” Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both 23, had no idea they were about to be arrested while they were waiting for their meeting. When one of the men asked to use the restroom, an employee told him that it was “only for paying customers. “ Countless non-paying customers come to Starbucks, yet are still able to use the bathroom.

Confused, the men ignored the comments and continued on with their business meeting. The employee persisted, stating that they must purchase something to stay and conduct their meeting. Oddly, only two minutes after arriving, the police had already been called by the store manager. When the police arrived, the two men were unjustly escorted out of the restaurant and arrested. Following the situation, the CEO of Starbucks released a statement saying “Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.”

After many days of protesters lining the streets and boycotting, the company later announced that they will be closing over one thousand stores on May 29, 2018 to conduct racial bias training for their employees. The closing of Starbucks for the training sparked outrage among many customers; however, this type of action is needed to educate and shine a light on the discrimination that happens all too often in America.

The Seven Deadly Sins of American Politics

EthanBenn, Staff Reporter

Do you hear the people sing? And march. And chant. And shout and scream. And raise their voices in a cacophony of protest, surrounded by signs bearing every message of hope and upsetting pejorative.

I did. The voices I heard arose from the March for Our Lives and Enough movement, which held nationwide demonstrations on Mar. 24, and those vehemently opposed to them. But they didn’t make me hopeful. I’m nervous and anxious and a whole lot more for the future of this country. These factions aren’t helping to alleviate my fears.

Instead of feeling inspired or uplifted, I was despondent. I saw individuals act for their own personal gain, emotional backlash and a lack of principle. That was on both sides. So let me be clear: we’re all losing something from the gun control debate. And that, reader, is what really aggravates me.

I’m starting to think that neither side in this debate wants a real solution, or at least isn’t willing to compromise far enough to reach some way to resolve this. And since when did this become normal? Not just gun violence in schools, but mass protests and demonstrations every other week. Pardon me for preferring the stability of normalcy that comes along with good, responsible and aware government, but this just isn’t right.

Well, it is right in some sense for this to happen. Even though the United States is a “representative republic,” the tradition of democratic participation is still strong and encouraged. In a healthy democracy, the people enforce their will on their elected leaders. How healthy is it, though – this nation and its democratic values? Going back to these two movements, which I personally find unsavory, and looking at them in depth might yield a portrait of modern politics in the United States of America. There are seven specific aspects to this portrait of modern politics: moral posturing, historical revisionism and misinformation, unwillingness to compromise, an us vs. them mentality, personal attacks, appeal to fear and emotion and tunnel vision. Without further ado, these are the seven deadly sins of American politics.

Moral Posturing

Who doesn’t like to be right about something? The satisfaction of winning an argument or defending your dearly held principles is quite a rush. The issue is when one side claims to not just have the better stance on a topic, but argues that they and their opinions are morally superior and their opponents (and their opinions) are morally inferior. Your opinions are wrong, and so are you. Thinking about an issue in a certain way determines, for lack of a better term, how good or bad you are. Now, there are multiple examples of when one side of a debate is clearly better than the other – look to civil rights movements in the 1960s and 1970s, for example – though I think this moral posturing has gotten out of control.

When you hear someone claim that what they’re doing is “right” or “good,” like marching to ban certain firearms, walking out to demand a higher wage, preventing women from receiving treatment at Planned Parenthood or waving Old Dixie on the side of the highway, it should raise  suspicion. It’s all too easy to build a cushion of sanctimoniousness around you and your opinions and to cry: “I am holier than thou!” Smugly playing the morality card and claiming that the other side will be on the wrong side of history or whatever else is a cheap move that doesn’t do much to convince anyone to exit the echo chamber, and this is especially true of Democrats and liberals. Saying that an opinion is correct because it feels or sounds good – “gay people should have the right to marry because it’s the right thing to do -” is hardly a rational line of reasoning. There are plenty of other good reasons and explanations for the expansion of (sticking with our example) gay marriage, such as extending civil rights and following court rulings or the Constitution. In this day and age, facts are always preferable to feelings and the smirk of moral superiority.

Personal Attacks

Along with moral posturing comes crude insults and ad hominem attacks. These are the dreaded “isms” and “ists” of the modern cultural lexicon. Here’s all of the ones I can think of off the top of my head: racist, sexist, misogynist, misandrist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, bigot – look, there’s a lot more than 10 of these caustic catchphrases, but I hope you get the point. These types of terms, often used by the left to deride the right as outdated and mean spirited (or worse) have their own counterparts. I’d like to list them here, but they are genuinely too inappropriate for me to write.

The point is that hurling insults isn’t a good strategy, but it’s a pretty ubiquitous one. Go to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or any other social media site where self-described political experts congregate, and amaze yourself by analyzing the depths of human depravity. Really, go check – I’ll wait.

You might have noticed that everyone and their mother has decided to resort to these basic blows of indecency. Even the Parkland kids and members of March for Our Lives and their opponents, like NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch have traded insults, resulting in boycotts (like of Laura Ingraham), Twitter feuds and absolute disgust for your staff reporter. I’m not kidding: I don’t enjoy it when rational discourse gets reduced down to snide remarks and the like. Pundits who curse, scream and shake their fists in righteous anger at their “true” (though mostly perceived) enemies receive no respect from me. While it might be easy to hurl cannonballs of cruelty from your digital, anonymous fort, it certainly doesn’t mean you should.

Historical Revisionism and Misinformation

Sometimes, liberals and conservatives stick their heads out of the trenches long enough to open up a history book. But rather than read certified curricula or accounts that are agreed upon as fact, it seems that some of them have chosen to turn to alternative facts and falsified histories to up their political arguments. I’m not just talking about crowd size, as this campaign of misinformation and intentional ignorance reaches far beyond simple statistical accounts. Perhaps of any sin on this list, this is what most hardline Democrats and Republicans are guilty of: lying to make a point. When we can’t agree on facts, it’s going to be hard to agree on anything else.

On the left, common mistruths include those over the gender pay gap, a good portion of most of the accusations lobbied against the NRA, that President Trump is in step with Vladimir Putin (which, to some degree, may be proven true) and definitions of sex and gender, to name a few. All of these are mostly based on faulty statistics, bogus facts and haphazard reasoning, as are their counterparts on the right. Righteous condemnations of climate change, the claim that the United States is a “Christian nation” or that Barack Obama is (1) a Muslim and (2) doesn’t have a birth certificate are just as ungrounded. It’s alarming, and quite frankly, disgusting, that anybody can blatantly ignore reality, even just a part of it, in such a manner. It’s okay to get things wrong or misspeak, but it is simply impossible that every mention of such claims is a slip of the tongue. Is it too much to ask for the American public to be intellectually honest?

Well, when they’re not twisting the facts of today into the fallacies of tomorrow, ideologues are working hard to contort the past, and our Constitution, to suit their present arguments. Cherry picking the Second and Tenth Amendments, (Republicans) or the First and Fourteenth, (Democrats) for political reasons is abhorrent. So is obscuring their meanings: it seems “the right to bear arms” is emphasized much more than the “well-regulated militia,” in the same way that both sides clamber upon the First Amendment whenever their speech is at risk. The familiar point that the “Democratic party is the party of slavery” fits here, too. I think Lyndon B. Johnson, the signer of three pieces of civil rights legislation, (the Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act) would beg to differ. Put simply, if people on both sides of the spectrum are going to use “facts,” they ought to be true.

Us vs. Them Mentality

But what each side wishes were true is that they might be the victims of civil discourse: the underdogs, the downtrodden, the oppressed masses without hope. Look to Fox News to find conservatism and conservatives under siege (the us) from those “rabid leftists” and the mainstream media (the them). Fox exploits this tactic extremely well, positioning itself as the last line of defense against the Democratic party and liberals alike. The liberal enclaves and bubbles on the East and West coasts of the U.S. are the other brewing ground of this thought process.

Black-white, male-female, straight-gay, rich-poor: it’s not that social, racial and economic divisions don’t exist in the United States – they certainly do. It’s just that some organizations and institutions exploit these divides for personal and political gain. Any propaganda artist knows splitting your team from the other team, so to speak, is an excellent way to build support. Not to mention, there are tons of special interest groups representing a wide variety of interests in American politics on top of these identifiers. The Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, ACLU, AARP, NAACP, NRA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Planned Parenthood, the March for Life, the March for Our Lives and plenty of others have to divide their own members from their ideological opponents.

The pressure to join a team in opposition of “the other” shouldn’t stop you from joining any sort of organization, and in itself isn’t harmful. But the already toxic climate of politics, coupled with the widespread use (and arguably, acceptance) of personal attacks, means that respecting people’s opinions, and acknowledging that they have a right to an opinion, is no longer in vogue. My advice? Step out of the echo chamber, and hear something new every once in a while.  

Unwillingness to Compromise

Even though some of us might be familiar with the policies and objectives of our political opponents, we certainly aren’t willing to give up our dearly-held beliefs to work with them. Put frankly, knowing your enemy doesn’t mean you’re going to help them. Unfortunately, this is a particularly entrenched attitude among American politicians, and it normally stems from them putting their party over their country. Coming together to work on bills and legislation which might genuinely help the average American is just too hard for our elected leaders, I suppose.

The Senate, the more esteemed, older-brother of our Congress, has a love-hate relationship with compromise. When the federal government teeters on shutdown, as it did in January, they have no problem rushing to back rooms and offices to hammer out a deal to keep the lights on. But if you look at something like DACA and immigration policy, you’ll see the opposite. In fact, the lack of compromise between Democrats and Republicans over “the wall” and Dreamers led to the shutdown in the first place. Sen. Chuck Schumer decided to play hot-potato with hundreds of thousands of Americans’ lives and trillions of federal dollars, praying that the cries of “hot potato, hot potato!” wouldn’t end when he would be responsible for coming to the table.

If our representatives learn that compromise involves both sides losing something so everyone can win, even if just by a little bit, and ignore the temptation to act opportunistically, government shutdowns, vetoed bills and lengthy filibusters might be things of the past.  

Appeal to Fear and Emotion

But there’s something too powerful to stop using: fear. Our worries motivate us in a way that every politician, every organizer, every activist has seized upon. After the 2016 election, pundits on nearly every news show talked endlessly of the economic anxieties of white Americans – that they wouldn’t have a job or be able to send their children to college, for example. Appealing to the most basic, animalistic feelings of people is surprisingly easy, and today’s politics seem to feature it heavily.

March for Our Lives and the NRA both push fear to the front of their supporters’ minds. It could be you next, they declare, as a silhouette of some armed criminal hovers behind an innocent woman. What if it was your child?, they ask, conjuring up hopelessness and downright terror in those unlucky enough to fall victim to this petty tactic. Because, much like moral posturing, saying “oh, that’s scary, so support us,” is not a good reason to join any movement, it seems plenty of organizations will have to rethink their branding.

Besides fear, there is plenty of indignation to go around in today’s political sphere. Try to fill in the following phrase, and you’ll see how easy it is to work up a certain element of society: ___ man kills ____ woman, screaming ____. Drop in different ethnicities and races, religions and perhaps a slur, and you’ll soon find at least half of America tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming their rage onto social media. It’s all too easy to be misled by our own emotions.  

Tunnel Vision

At the same time, staying on the path and relentlessly advancing your party or group’s agenda can be dangerous. Pushing environmental protection or economic expansion at all costs isn’t going to end very well. When politicians and activists only consider the ends instead of the means, and are sure that the ends will justify the means, we’ve entered morally ambiguous territory. “Progress” at all costs, for example, quickly turns into regress.

The minds of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren might be full of wondrous ideas of democratic socialism, universal healthcare, free-college tuition and the like. But, if you follow them to the end, there’s no denying that countless Americans will find themselves worse off under such policies.

The sin of tunnel vision is really just a reminder to consider the consequences of your actions within politics – bills, protests, votes, etc. – and not get so absorbed or high strung in your own objectives.

And thus concludes the seventh, and last, sin. There’s more problems with the way this country conducts its politics than I can address in some two-thousand word article with a decently interesting headline. With any luck, these sins will stick out to you in the future as easily avoidable political pitfalls.

Race-Baiting 101

EthanBenn, Staff Reporter

“Why, Ethan?” I can hear you say. “Don’t you position yourself as the non-triggerable journalist, the defender of common sense and rationality above feelings?”

Well, dear reader, this snowflake is ready to melt.

Because what I’m so mad at is based on facts, or rather, the lack of them. George Yancy, a professor of philosophy at Emory University, seems to have added a new course to his schedule:

Race-baiting 101.

Genuinely, how does titling your article “Dear White America” or “Should I Give Up on White People” not elicit rolled-eyes and groans? That’s just the beginning, and by the by, I do suggest you read Mr. Yancy’s articles to have some context. The basic point of these articles is that regardless of how white people act in the United States, they benefit from systematic racism and are therefore racist.

These articles are a siren song to the self-flagellating white, the man or woman who has taken it upon themselves to repent all sins of the Caucasian race since the beginning of time. Is that  hyperbole? I’m not entirely sure – the comments section of the “New York Times” is full of people lamenting their own privilege and promising to “do better for their black brothers and sisters.” Breaking news, millennial Americans: you didn’t, you don’t and you won’t own slaves.

Regardless of Yancy’s exploitation of pasty postmodernists early in the articles, dodging the barbs of his moral posturing makes running a marathon through Kabul seem easy. I suppose that Yancy thinks his declaration that he is a “sexist” because he, “perpetuate[s] sexism every day of [his] life,” is meant to buy him some level of credibility, though I’m not sure when ethos became absolute self-degradation.

“Just because I fight against sexism does not give me clean hands, as it were, at the end of the day,” writes Yancy. “I continue to falter, and I continue to oppress.” Apparently, men of America, the American movie industry in Hollywood, pornography and sexual objectification are going to make you oppress women no matter how hard you try to respect them. Did you just hire dozens of women to corporate leadership positions? Well, you’re still a sexist!

Yancy then strings together his own personal sexism with the racism of White Americans:

“You may have never used the N-word in your life, you may hate the K.K.K., but that does not mean that you don’t harbor racism and benefit from racism…As you reap comfort from being white, we suffer for being black and people of color.” Mr. Yancy, are you alright? What year is it to you?

If you subscribe to the power and privilege model of racism, one which comes from sociology and American history, then people of color can hardly ever be racist. The United States was arguably founded by white people for white people (even I can admit that), thereby elevating them to positions in government and a higher standard of living while eliminating these opportunities for African Americans and other minorities. Because people of color don’t benefit from this system, they simply can’t be racist. This is how Yancy argues that the privilege and power White Americans have and benefit from means that they are all unwittingly racist.

Oh, yes. Did I mention we’re all part of the system?

I could go on and on talking about how the system seems to be pretty good at electing African-Americans and people of color to political offices, or giving Yancy a nice intellectual safe space. Do tell, Mr. Yancy, how oppressive White America is, especially when it allows you to go on and on about just how bad it is. Like every showman and snake oil salesman that’s ever done business, Yancy’s got a cure-all of his own: admit that you’re racist, “whitey,”  even if you don’t think you are.

What type of remedy is that, I ask? Racking your brain for the sins you’ve committed last week is best saved for confession, not for everyday conversation. Perhaps all Yancy wants to do is make himself the victim of some monolithic white AmeriKKKa, where the Klan runs free and anyone who isn’t a straight white male finds themselves behind barbed wire.

What frustrates me is that Yancy doesn’t separate white liberals who marched in Charlottesville or chant Black Lives Matter from the elderly Southern grandma who might make a rude remark about an interracial couple or even a card carrying neo-Nazi skinhead. When racism gets chalked up to systems of power instead of individual actions, there’s no perspective or agency involved in analyzing them. It’s quite frankly ignorant to portray “White America” as this singular entity which thrives off racism.

Now, perhaps you’ll have to forgive me, dear reader, for alerting you to this fact: it’s 2018. And while American society is certainly not “post-racial,” our nation has come quite far. But to Yancy and those like him, it’s 1861, and we stand on the precipice of a war which will determine our future.

Unsurprisingly, this is precisely what Yancy wants White Americans to do. “White America,” Yancy begs of his audience, “are you prepared to be at war with yourself, your white identity, your white power, your white privilege?”

It must be easy to make demands from the confines of his ivory tower.

Yancy’s high-minded, condescending articles reek of liberal elitism and the aftertaste of the intelligentsia. No matter how much they might denounce the Klan, Donald Trump or American history, no white can be right. Yancy has transformed racism from actively hating a person for their race to another pseudo-scientific definition of passively benefiting from systems of power and privilege.

What, quite frankly, scares me the most about Yancy and his contemporaries is how badly they want to be oppressed. Again, there are real issues revolving around race in this country, but I’m not sure all these leftist philosophers are doing much about, well, anything. Debating semantics over what constitutes racism, (hint: a lot less than you might expect) or counting your privilege points from all the identity groups you’re in, (I’m off the charts – straight, white male, thank you very much) doesn’t deliver a real solution to anyone.

There’s always been a divide in this country along one line or another, and race is no exception. But don’t look to race-baiters like George Yancy for any sense of self-reflection or any progress other than loving thine enemy and going to war with yourself. And, let me be clear, I’m not asking you to look to me either.

Dear White America. And Black, and Asian and Hispanic America and all the races and ethnicities in this world of ours:

I will not give up on you.

 

When Will America be Great?

EthanBenn, Staff Reporter

When will America be great?

Perhaps for some Americans, the start of a new era of American greatness was supposed to be Jan. 20, 2017, at noon and not a second earlier. I’m speaking about President Trump’s inauguration, but as I write this, some 450 days after this single moment, I don’t see that.

I don’t, I can’t, see a flawless country with an unblemished history parallel to none. I don’t, I can’t, stand with my country whether it’s right or wrong. And I know that right now.

And I know that the stock market is up, that taxes are down, business owners feel fine and a whole lot more. That’s plain to see – a quick search online reveals all of that. And I know that right now, genuinely, honestly, truthfully:

America is not great.

Do tell how rancorous protesters that smash and crash their way through private property; corrupt politicians who trade public support for private donations; impoverished families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers – who go to sleep hungry; ailing veterans and drug addicts who can neither seek nor receive treatment for solvable conditions – how do they, and the issues they face, make our beloved nation great?

Maybe I can help guide you to an answer: they don’t. Like the pockmarked cheeks of a teenager, these are blemishes which tarnish America’s face. Visual reminders that this country has its issues, ones which may require a deep scrub and medication to clear up.

I want to be able to love my country. I want to feel pride, to cheer on that Grand Old Flag waving in the breeze, to stand for the pledge that it receives. To applaud the president and government that responds to we the people, that values our input in the democratic process and which abides by the laws of our nation – that is what I wish for and so much more.

Look around you and listen to the cacophony of Americans of all races and creeds, of faiths and ideologies, and you’ll hear that same cry: we want to be great.

And yet this simple plea, this basic request, goes unanswered by our politicians on every level of government in these United States. Perhaps they turn a deaf ear because they know America cannot be perfect for everyone at once – neo-Nazis and Black Lives Matter have two very different ideas about what it means to make our country “great.”

It’s true that you can’t make everybody happy, and that the game of American Splendor is really a careful balancing act. But for the rest of us, the real Americans concerned with our country over our own politics, we have to move on. We are sick and tired of waiting around for false promises of tax cuts, economic rebounds, an end to harebrained foreign interventions, pointless spending – all of it.

We simply can’t keep looking to the past and talking about “making America great again” because that time, the 1950s, has already passed. Fortunately, or unfortunately for some, we are not returning to an era of Buick sedans, white picket fences, nuclear families and legal racism.

But what we can do, I think, is apply the best parts of our shared American history and culture to right the wrongs of the present. A determined work ethic, hardy spirit, firm belief in self-reliance and the ever mentioned pursuit of the American Dream seem to hardly be present nowadays.

Perhaps we all could use a stiff shot of the American ethos.  

If you feel the same way, and I hope you do, then I’m going to ask for your help, reader. I want you to look around and treat everyone, as best you can, as your fellow citizen. We stand stronger together, regardless of the color of our skin, our birthplaces, our faiths or who we love, when we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I wholly believe in this one truth: America will be great.

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. -Alexis de Tocqueville