The world has become a platform of discontent and intolerance by those who actively shout the rest of us down in the name of “tolerance.” Activism has turned into the militant stifling of opinions, ideas, and thought. The recent surge of justified thuggery in the hope to persuade those of opposite opinion that they are pond scum; has risen in alarming proportions. These intolerable activists will undoubtedly put themselves in the same genre as Martin Luther King Jr or even Mahatma Gandhi. The problem with such assimilation is the fact that half of our country’s intellectual elites are educationally ignorant and I am sure that if asked, they would think that these two men are night show hosts!
Those raised in the 60’s remember the Civil Rights marches and the relevant speeches by Martin Luther King. We wondered about this man’s courage and the courage of those who marched with him; black or white. All marched toward the obvious need for social change, justice, and yes: tolerance. The movement took a life of its own because those activists woke us up from our “safe zone” stupor to give us a much needed conscientious kick in the butt toward expunging the evil of allowing another human being’s degradation. There was no question, no hesitation, and no second guessing as to the injustice that had prevailed for so long. It was morally wrong and economically redundant; because to survive and remain a strong and powerful nation, we had to embrace all of our “We the people” and integrate them into our great society. That was activism toward spirituality and moral justifiable change. What has changed since the Civil Rights movement? What has turned legitimate activism against evil into unequivocal intolerance?
We are breeding and raising a generation of entitlement and intolerance under the auspice of justice and social equality. Martin Luther King’s cries for equality were founded in the constitutional integrity that “all men are created equal.” Mr. King was concerned about basic human inequalities that judged one race above another both humanely and intellectually. He knew that once tolerance was achieved, social and economic equality will follow; allowing everyone to have access to the same opportunities toward the American Dream. Nowhere and never did he ever mention entitlement toward the “pursuit of happiness and liberty”. Currently however, politicians, self-interest groups, and academia self-righteous elitists, have become the leading manipulators of truth. They manipulate history to instigate unfounded grievance. They delve into the annals of history to find relevancy in their cry of victimization and entitlement. Why? Because it is a well paid industry. The intolerant industry led by wealthy charlatans (of all races and gender), manipulate political parties, government departments, entertainment, and the media: becoming wealthier through multi-million dollar law suits and social extortion. They play the race and gender card in an obscene attempt at going after those they disagree with. These champions of intolerance make millions by squeezing the rest of us into submission. They go after businesses, universities, churches, and the government in the hope of replacing our country’s constitutional values and freedoms with an insidious representation of equality based solely on their interpretation of “justice”. They are well funded and prepared to enslave the rest of us into submission and into giving up what our founding fathers gave us: our rights. America was not built on the assumption that some of us do the work and others reap half of the award. It was built on the concept of voyeurism, creativity, courage, and the belief that if one works hard, follows valuable basic human and social principles, and helps others in the pursuit of happiness: one would eventually reach the American Dream. Nowhere in the constitution is there written the right to social equality without self determination or responsibility.
How have we arrived at a point in our Great Society when social and constitutional manipulation is acceptable? Universities are no longer institutions of higher learning or intellectual creativity. They are now the bedrock of activist fascism veiled under the pretense of social justice. One would think that we are back in Bolshevik Russia when uprising against the Imperial Crown albeit justified in many ways, found it reasonable to murder the Tsar and his family in the name of Common Good. For the next 70 years Russia and its Soviet Empire wallowed in the Common Good and could hardly feed their own people. How about that for social equality? The Russians all wanted what “the haves” had but never got it, because the very social activists who promised “equality” enslaved the population for the next 70 years. Universities are ripe for dissent because they are filled with kids who have not lived long enough to experience life let alone social injustice. Like 100 years ago, universities are employing activist professors who consider themselves the intellectual elite; the cream of political science (whatever that is); attempting to brainwash our youth toward a Marxist communist philosophy that what ails the country must be the fault of those who are better off than I am! How simplistic, how poignantly Zhivago-ist, how inane! What do they get out of it? My theory: Power. Power in shaping and molding young minds into gradually changing the social and moral fiber of our country. What could be more tolerant?
Before the Berlin wall “came down” and the Soviet Union agonizingly morphed into the “former Eastern Bloc”; those of us stationed in Europe took frequent short trips to Eastern European countries, out of curiosity and eager to discover what went on behind “the iron curtain”. We walked the bare streets of East Berlin, bumping into the few sour looking locals who ventured out not because there was anything or anywhere to go, but because they had to. The few shops available to them were meager at best and depressing at most. Shops laden with “western” products were purposely on “show” for the benefit of us from the west or diplomats; demonstrating undoubtedly that the east “had it good” as the west. The latter argument evaporated like bad perfume on a hot day when we picked up a can of Heinz Baked Beans priced at $10! In the 70’s and early 80’s, $10 was a week’s salary for an East German. I vividly remember one episode which quickly made me realize that manipulated social justice enslaved people into bare existence. On one of our East Berlin jaunts, we went to the only “large” department store in the city. We noticed a rack of children’s clothing; all the clothes were the same size and color. We politely asked if there were other sizes or colors available. The abrupt “nein” sent us reeling back a few paces but we persevered. When would they have other sizes or colors? A faint audible voice in the back of the line replied: “who knows, maybe next month, maybe next year.” This had to lead to another inane question from the “west”: “suppose you need another size?” The reply; “you wait.” So much for social justice and tolerance! A fine example of distribution of wealth and misery! But I digress.
The Civil Rights movement brought to the surface true injustices, true reforms, and true equality to our nation. It did not pick or chose the gender, color, or religion. That is why Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a dream” remains poignant, relevant, and decisive to this very day. It was a lateral speech; spreading across all social boundaries. A speech that set our spirits on fire and took everyone to task including Martin Luther King’s people. How have we abandoned this noble path and taken on the gravel of half-truths, self-serving charlatans, and instigators? When did activism become so intolerant? How are we to move forward when freedom of speech is violently shut down, and where intolerance in the name of tolerance attempts to rob the rest of society of its right to express another opinion? Why would anyone supposedly fighting for equality and justice make it a mission in life to curtail freedom of expression to those of opposite views and opinions? What inane logic is moving people to think that individual thought is only valid when it applies to them? Martin Luther King and others marched from Selma to Montgomery Alabama in defiance knowing full well that good was on their side. They were not self-indulgent whiners or malcontent; but a bona fide activist group who called and fought for social tolerance of each individual “under God.” That noble notion has long been lost in empty cerebral teleprompter rhetoric behind podiums and in university halls.
We are living in a Botox self-centered egotistic victim-induced society that breathes malcontent where none exists and where individuals truly believe that they are entitled to have whatever anyone else has. In the old days we called it “covet.” It is actually in the bible. The Ten Commandments to be exact. According to the 10th Edition of the Merriam’s Webster Dictionary, “to covet” is to “desire what belongs to another inordinately or culpably”. In basic English it means: to want what you are not entitled to. But then who reads the Bible or Webster’s Dictionary? After all isn’t the Holy Book considered intolerant? Our country has lost its spiritualism. Contrary to popular belief, spiritualism goes far beyond religious beliefs; spiritualism is the moral and value compass that gives us the ability to distinguish right from wrong. It is also a basic inherent quality that drives one to work hard, conquer adversity, and ultimately achieve. That “spirit” was the strength that drove thousands to the shores of our country in the last two centuries. Unfortunately, it has been replaced with an apathetic attitude driven home at childhood by inept parents who do not parent, schools that do not teach, and a media that no longer reports but follows the political flavor of the month. No doubt our young generation is screwed up. No doubt we find politicians who are borderline communist: attractive. And no doubt that our country is sliding into oblivion decline economically, academically, and spiritually.
In 1921, my grandfather left a small Mediterranean island for America. He was not suffering in Europe, but he wanted something better. He felt the need to cross the Atlantic and follow his instincts that across that vast sea life would be better. He believed that he could build a better future for his family. His spirit of the fundamental right to pursue happiness was successful. Eventually he paid for his family to join him. My mother was seven at the time. They settled in Manhattan, New York City, and lived to enjoy America and become successful despite The Depression and a World War on the horizon. That spirit of courage and tenacity remained with my mother throughout her life. She later left America to move back to Europe, start a family through the blitz of World War II, and eventually raising seven of us in post-war Europe. Adventurers like my grandfather, built a strong nation never expecting anything from anyone. They built businesses and worked hard knowing that the “spirit” of America would sustain them and launch them into a better life. They never asked for hand-outs but built a nation that fought evil on two continents and became a beacon of hope for millions. America was built on the concept of freedom: freedom of choice, opinion, thought, and creativity. The country was also built on courage: courage to fight against evil, courage to change, courage to lead the world against oppressors. Finally: our America, was built on the principle that we all have the right to pursue happiness, and not the right to expect it. In the famous words of John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country”. Maybe his party should recite those words once in a while as a reminder of what they used to be and not the caricature that they have become. Click on the link, and read John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech: he said everything his party now denounces; to include God.
Activism is part of the American genre. It is also the fundamental right of every individual to fight toward justifiable change. What it should not be is: an excuse to hinder freedom of speech, individual expression, diverse opinion, religious freedom, and political choice. Be an activist but remain tolerant. Without tolerance, activism looses relevancy and becomes a bad cliche’ on a cheap coffee cup!