United in the Merriam-Webster is:
: made one : combined
: relating to or produced by joint action a united effort
: being in agreement : harmonious a united family
With this definition in mind why is it we have called America the 'United States'? To step back through the history of America, our 'founder' credited to Christopher Columbus began the theft of the land from the natives that once thrived here. Europeans and spaniards sent travelors in search of riches but we failed to name those flying under a government flag pirates. The natives taught early settlers how to live off the land, they were thanked with genocide. Slaves were later brought in by the boat load and over 2 centuries people were treated no better if not worse than livestock. Order was set by those in control and how to stay in control meant having land, money, and political power. Sadly even after the 2 World Wars, the abolishment of slavery, the civil rights movements, and all the advancements of society we still face the some lesser degree of hardships of our ancestors once faced. Hate has found its way through bloodlines and though concealed is very much so a part of our every day life.
So is this the United States? After the North defeated the South that only put an end to the establishment of the confederacy, though it still lived in my hearts of those under the regime. The idea that a man was better by the color of his skin, and that you should legally be able to sell and trade other property freely (this 'property' the conderates refer to includes human beings). Its called heritage not hate and its said to be okay because that's what their ancestors stood and fought for even if it was an unjust cause. It was some time before the civil war lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key penned what would be the 'Star Spangled Banner' a song that many have used their platform to protest in recent years. Key, once a slave owner, and avid anti-abolitionist uses the line "land of the free" and we take it to mean all people while he spent a bit of his professional time fighting againt the ending of slavery. Yet that song is reguarded as a mark of freedom and patriotism and people are shunned for showing disapproval.
Over the recent years we saw our nation divide more and more even after the nation was shook by the devastation that fell on 9/11, a time where Americans (if you weren't muslim unfortunately) came together. Politics brought more divide as the country saw its first black president which makes me think if there is no such thing as a white priviledge how are we just now recieving a person of color as president? To be for certain he hasn't been the only qualified black man, but apparently there is no such thing as white priviledge so I digress. Some people hated him because of his politics which is fair if you're well versed on the matter but it was apparent many hated him because of his color and just used politics as a cover, well it was felt by black america some who fought for what we believed a good president and some just for another black man under attack. All in all we as a nation voted (<-- lol) a minority into office so progress is recognized reguardless. Camera phones and social media brought to the light many incidents involving black civilians and extreme police force and though I can't say all were what they seemed it shed light on an actual problem that some of America fails to understand or believe. The fact is that sometimes listening and following directions of a cop is still not enough, sometimes the violence is verbal sometimes deadly and of course many cases where a cops is appropriatly doing his/her job. Lets not forget cops once controlled people of color violently and it was normal behavior in and before the civil right era. Dogs were used to attack and they sprayed people with high pressue water hoses and if we are going to act like this hate and discrimination wasn't and still isn't passed down we're only fooling ourselves. The truth remains domestic terrorist groups like the KKK always moved in secret because they were often major players in communities. They infultrated the government and as segregation became illegal and the country changed the hate lived on, as our judges, police officers, doctors, even higher positions. Is it not common for the sons of these men who were taught the hatred of a man because of the color of his skin to have the same tendoncies? Also how common is it to follow in your fathers footsteps for a career? I can only imagine the dinner time stories of how their powers were used to oppress those thought to be less than equal citizens help molded kids who turned into the same bigotry.
Fast forward to August of 2017, we have a president with no prior political background who has made a barrage of insensitive comments towards women, the disabled, and people of color. A campaign that captivated many with the slogan "make America great again" with crowds including neo-Nazi white supremacists. Sure speaking as a businessman the country has seen many great moments, from the boom of industry popular on the east coast to the advancement in technology out west we have surely proved to be great but that often masks those troubled times in the history of America. Still today we see a public mass meeting of the KKK and neo-Nazi movements evan a sighting of an unnamed armed mulita that recieved no reported backlash from police. This was something brave men once stormed Normandy to defeat, we lost lives to bring down the Nazi army as well as the confederate army but there are modern forms rising up because they have been made comfortable by our newly appointed POTUS. A car driven by a person accociated with this Nazi faction drove into a crowd of protestors of the gathering killing 1 and injuring many. At this point I have not seen the national guard placing baracades or threats to those who protested the rally as I did when it came to protests like those that took place in Fergason or Charlotte and though I don't agree with roits every Sunday I have to hear about how overpaid athletes taking a stand, or shall I say a seat, for equality are pieces of shit for not standing up for a song that wasn't wrote to represent them in the first place.
I was at a bar about a month ago and I was approached by an older white lady about what I was wearing. I told her what Forever United was and what we were about and she was very pleased with what she heard. I told her we were about bringing people together and I took her response as a challenge and in the moment it almost caught me off guard: she asked what did we do to bring people together. I told her we bring people together through events, and how our acceptence of others and diversity of our lifestyle is represented in our work but I knew inside that I had to do more. I felt complelled to articulate my sentiments to the audience I've been working so hard to grow. Yes it'll ruffle feathers and cause people to disagree but if I can open someones eyes I'm spreading my message. No America wasn't the first to have slaves, Hilter wasn't the first to hate someone because of their skin, and not all cops burn crosses in their spare time but it is time that we acknowledge maybe more hate exsists than we've been willing to admit. Their is no supreme race and though I firmly believe in an almighty God I would never condem another man from believing something different. We are all created equal as our constitution states, that's another topic, but unlike the United States of America at Forever United we actually believe and stand firm on that principle. Man, woman or child, white or black, Christian or atheist, rich or poor we are all special and important to the fiber of the human exsistance. Let us celebrate our differences and join in true unity, but in order to do this we must first close our mouths and listen and understand what others can teach us.
- Marcus Garrison
The United Ones