True Colors

Today, America celebrates the anniversary of the day that delegates in the Second Continental Congress signed the final version of the Declaration of Independence…thus separating our colonies from Great Britain. It was a monumental task, to say the least. Independence wasn’t very popular. We still viewed ourselves as English citizens….but these brave men took that bold first step regardless of the consequences that could follow.

Those men had no idea of the events that they had set in motion and how they changed history. If only they could see what their bold step has done….especially this year, an election year (and an historic election year at that). It is that time that comes every 4 years when we, as Americans, actually get to exercise our vote and speak our minds and press for a better tomorrow.

When those men signed that document, they didn’t think all too much of African-Americans….except that they were slaves. Thomas Jefferson included a clause in his original draft blaming the slave trade on Britain….but southern delegates had it stricken out. Since then, we have fought a civil war and freed the slaves….and even went through a civil rights movement that granted equality to African Americans. If only those delegates could see how it all turned out now.

But still to this day there are Americans that are forced to feel like second-class citizens in their own nation. They are discriminated against by the majority simply because they are different. And what’s even worse is that we are in the 21st century, and we haven’t learned from our own past mistakes when it comes to making a group of people not feel equal as others.

This nation was founded upon equality for all….and though they might not have thought “for all” from the beginning (they excluded women, too), it’s still the fundamental core of our nation. And in today’s time, we understand that all too familiar phrase “all men are created equal” to mean that every citizen….every person….is equal to every other person. No one has rights that someone else can’t have. But yet….we tend to forget that phrase.

Ignorance breeds bad judgments and bad opinions. And most of those that are against equal rights for all citizens (especially against gays having equal rights) don’t understand the issue that is in front of them. The issue isn’t gay marriage as they would like to claim. It’s not an issue about family either. It’s even more basic and even more American. It’s about equality in a nation that says it’s the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Sure, the majority of Americans are against full equality for the gay community. And that carries some powerful pull…because the minority must somehow convince the majority to side with them. It’s the minority that usually gets trampled on throughout history and society. So it’s an uphill climb all the day. But, in it’s basic sense, we are all Americans. No one is greater than anyone else. And no one deserves more rights than anyone else.

It’s not a liberal or conservative issue…or a red or blue issue. And it’s not a rainbow issue either. LOL In fact, it shouldn’t be an issue at all. Though this nation wasn’t founded on overall equality for all its citizens….it is what this nation has come to be. The rest of the world looks to us for guidance on freedom and equality. And sadly, we are not rising to the task. Other nations are moving faster than we are because we simply can’t see the writing on the old document&183;

I am very fortunate by being able to be myself and live my life….even though I might not have all the same rights as my straight friends. But there are many gay people out there who don’t have a voice. And so I speak for them today….on this day of celebration…that they shouldn’t be hiding their voices and they shouldn’t be treated any differently than anyone else. In our core, we are all the same. Whatever happened to the phrase, “treat others the way we’d like to be treated.” We have lost it….but I know that if we started treating some of these people the same way they treated us, that things would be drastically different because they wouldn’t stand for it. So why should we?

This nation needs to stop dividing its population against each other. We can achieve so much greatness if we start working together. Sure, we will probably keep our own personal biases. We can’t stop being human altogether…nor would I try to change anyone in that aspect. But it is important not to let those biases out. They are our own…and need to be kept private. And we shouldn’t let it keep some Americans from enjoying all the rights and freedoms that have been fought and died for throughout our history. This is our nation, too…and we have helped to shape it into what it is. All we want is what all other Americans have….to be equal….to be free not to live in fear….to be true Americans.

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