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It's important to remember there are more of us...

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Photo Source: UnSplash

It is easy to feel that trying to support the rights of other Americans when they have been ignored for four centuries is a fool's errand.

Civilization moves inexorably forward only through the tiny micro-affirmations* that citizens show each other every day. When we feel unmoored and adrift in a landscape that seems dystopian in the last few months, I try to remember that there are many more decent Americans than we sometimes believe.

Photo Source: UnSplash

I watch the looting in New York, which is only connected to the protests in that the perpetrators of these serial thefts use the fact that the police are elsewhere, to better plan their raiding sorties. Those who fear the positive change of giving people of color greater equality try to conflate criminal acts such as this widespread stealing, with the peaceful activities of those exercising their basic constitutional freedoms.

It is disheartening to see the marauding of businesses anywhere, but for me it is especially so in New York, a city that was formerly my home. One of the aspects I love most about the iconic city is its tenacious ability to reinvent itself through resilience. It is far more disheartening for me, however, to recognize that those who wish to call out the military against American citizens engaging in democratic freedoms, would also deny their fellow Americans their fundamental human rights without compunction. The desperation stems from their fear of losing any of their perceived superiority within the pecking order.

There will always be naysayers who say that those who seek progress for social justice are insincere, foolish or naive. The favorite verbal dismissal almost always involves belittling the message and its messengers. I believe that this perspective on the world reflects directly upon the holder of it, and not upon the dedicated majority of Americans who continue to choose persistent hope over soullessness.

Photo Source: UnSplash


*Micro-affirmations substitute messages about deficit and exclusion with messages of excellence, openness, and opportunity. Powell, Demetriou, & Fisher (2013) distilled micro-affirmations into a series of tangible actions that can be applied to challenging and affirming experiences.

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