America at a Crossroad

By James R. Koury, Editor, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2011 Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved

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Throughout the history of America, there have been times when our leaders arrived at a crossroad at which decisions had to be made as to the course of action that would be best for the general welfare of the country.  The choices made in these instances were generally of historic importance and influenced American society for years to come.

Additionally, there have been moments in our history that were characterized with mass demonstrations; sometimes violent, sometimes not.  These demonstrations ultimately and directly influenced the policy decisions made by our leaders.  One has to wonder if the policy decisions would have been made at all if it were not for the American people standing en masse in protest.  The mass gatherings that typified the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s are a prime example of the type of protests that resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ushering in a host of legislative reforms and Supreme Court decisions that ended racial segregation and  granted equal rights to this nations African American population.

Our leaders at that time made the right choice.  They took the road at the fork that moved our nation forward toward achieving the vision of America that our forefathers laid out in our Constitution; liberty and justice for all.

America is once again at a crossroad.  Our country is in the midst of an economic malaise that has no end in sight.  The economic disparity between those who have and those who have not has widened dramatically.  The middle class is being ignored and is suffering.

We also have a Congress that has abdicated its responsibility to govern for the best interests of all the people of this great nation.  There are those who wish to maintain the status quo and grant preferential treatment to multi-billion dollar corporations and to individuals worth millions.  While at the same time, attempting to pass and passing laws that are detrimentally impacting our nation’s poor, underprivileged, unemployed, women and minorities.

Rather than work together toward the betterment of this nation’s economy and enhancing and empowering those who are not privileged, and respecting the diversity that characterizes America, Congressional leaders are stymied by political gridlock.  There appears to be no interest in resolving issues and moving our economy forward.  The elections of 2012 are on the minds of Congressmen and women and keeping their 175K plus jobs rather than on resolving the economic challenges and social injustice our nation is currently facing.

Instead of addressing our economy and social injustice, Congressional Republicans and conservative Democrats have opted to wage a war on women with passage of 7 anti-abortion bills.  Our environment is under attack by those in Congress that would roll back environmental regulations and reforms that have contributed to clean water and air.  The Queer community is also under attack with the most notable travesty being the House GOP’s willingness to spend 1.5 million taxpayer dollars in poor economic times to defend the indefensible; the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Access to voting is being restricted and minorities are being discriminated against along with a host of vile immigration laws that potentially will subject American citizens to unlawful search and seizure.

Americans are once again taking to the streets in protest of the economic disparity between rich and poor, favored treatment for the rich and the corporations and the denigration of social legislation that protects women, minorities and the working poor.  The Occupy America protests are escalating, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.  Our elected officials are not listening.  There is a serious disconnect between our elected officials and the citizenry.

As is the case with the Civil Rights movement the current unrest being expressed through massive demonstrations throughout the world have the potential to change the course of history once again.  If our elected officials will not listen to the needs of its citizenry, then the citizenry must take to the streets and force the change that is necessary to return our nation to addressing the needs of all citizens and not just those of the rich and privileged who can well afford to pay a bigger share.

The spirit of America and what it represents is alive and well and is embodied in the Occupy America movement.  Take to the streets. Let your voices be heard and force, if necessary, our elected leaders to take the correct path at the crossroad that is currently before us.

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