A Fork in the Road

America has reached a fork in the road.

We could go down the road of division.

Or we could go down the road to unity.

It is totally up to us and everyone has a part to play in our future.

The year 2020 has presented challenges not seen probably since 1968.

We have riots in the streets.

We have divisive leadership.

And we have people on social media fanning the flames, and refusing to care for their fellow man.

We have people not caring if they get other people sick with COVID-19, just as long as they get to party and get back to life as normal.

We have people that do not care if African-Americans get killed in the streets or get discriminated against in corporate America, just as long as it benefits them.

We have people who do not care if America heads to a dictatorship as long as their demographic group benefits from the destruction of democracy.

I have even heard preachers dismiss the pandemic as a conspiracy theory.

I have heard some say that the pandemic was created so that several business owners could profit from coronavirus.

Regardless of what conspiracy theory a person believes, there once existed a time when a true pastor cared more about protecting their flock then protecting their bottom line.

I have heard people dismiss President Donald Trump’s racism and sexism just as long as capitalism prevails in America.

Those people seemed to be unaware and unconcerned that capitalism is what has led to systemic racism and sexism.

Without capitalism, there would have been no need for slavery and the discrimination that still plagues the African-American community today.

No, I am not advocating for the abolishment of American capitalism.

But something has to be said for people who would openly accept the evils of racism and sexism just to uphold the evil of one institution.

Never has America’s selfishness been on fuller display than in 2020.

However, if we do not start caring for our fellow man we might all perish like fools.

Nevertheless, I still feel optimistic.

However, it will take most Americans doing their parts to come together in true unity and not superficial unity.

I say most and not all for a reason.

There are some people that are not capable of empathy.

There are some people that are not capable of unity.

And there are some people incapable of love.

Therefore, those people need to be ignored and not entertained.

I had to learn the hard way that everyone cannot be educated.

I had to learn the hard way that everyone does not want unity in America.

And I had to learn that everyone does not want Americans to have love for other Americans.

We do not need all Americans to unite in order for us to get back to when America was truly great.

All we need is enough decent people to do the right thing in order to make those in the wrong stick out like a sore thumb.

America has gone through pandemics before.

This country survived the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

America has gone through riots before, and we still survived.

And America has experienced racial retribution in the past, and we have survived.

When African-Americans gained rights after slavery and gained political power, there were setbacks like the creation of Jim Crow laws and the creation of hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

When African-Americans defeated Jim Crow there were setbacks like the assassinations of many of our leaders.

Therefore, when former President Barack Obama ascended to the highest office in the land as an African-American, some Americans took offense to that.

Now, we are living through the hatred that resulted from more equality.

But there are more people with love in their hearts than hate.

I am convinced of that.

But I am also convinced that we do not need everybody on board to get the train back on the tracks.

Throughout the tumult of 2020, I have seen people of every color and every religion come together to better understand each other.

I have seen ignorance turn into intelligence when it came to the issue of race in America.

This country will one day get to the point that Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about in his “I Have a Dream” speech.

He wanted to live in a world where people would be judged by their character and not the color of their skin.

That dream will never be a total reality because people are imperfect beings.

But decent human beings can make America so uncomfortable for hateful people that they are forced to change or forced to keep their bigoted opinions to themselves.

After the civil rights movement, people who protested integration and equality became a symbol of hate in American textbooks in perpetuity.

People have looked back on their beliefs on racial issues and have been ashamed years later.

That shame will happen again as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement.

There is no reason for open-minded people to add to the hate and the division of 2020.

We just have to ignore those with hate in their hearts and pray that one day they will become ashamed just like those who protested the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

And on a much lighter note, history should tell us that pandemics often precede some of the most fun eras in American history.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 gave way to the “Roaring ‘20s,” a time in which people went out of their way to have a good time following a long quarantine.

So the fork in the road should not lead to worry.

It should lead to Americans making the right decision that leads to more love and more fun.

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