Our nation’s heroes: would they be proud?


Jessica Adair, Staff Writer/Columnist

Over spring break, my family and I went to Washington D.C.

We, of course, visited every monument in the general vicinity and as I stood on the steps where Martin Luther King recited his “I Have a Dream” speech and as I read the walls of the Lincoln Memorial, I couldn’t help but think — what would these people think of America today? What would Thomas Jefferson, the brave man who wrote the most important document in United States history, think of a society that uses words like “selfies” and “twerking” on a daily basis?

photo-27If I were to sit down at a table with all these heroes, I believe they would all unanimously concede that we have made a lot of progress since the tumultuous times of the Civil War, Great Depression, and Civil Rights Movement. But at the same time, I strongly believe they would all believe that there is more work to be done.

Even though African Americans are no longer enslaved and forced to eat, drink, or sit in places separate from white Americans, many people, both black and white, still use the “N-word.”

Whenever that word was used in the past, it was used with hate and bitterness. But now it is put into a rap song or said to a friend like it’s just any other word. And even though our sports team are completely integrated, a complete racist was allowed to own a professional basketball team for more than 30 years.

And there are more than just racial issues in this country; yes, women are allowed to vote and are paid the same salary as men, but they are still over-sexualized and condemned for wearing clothing deemed as “revealing,” even though the clothing only reveals normal body parts.

In addition to that, just over 50 years ago, African Americans were beaten in the street solely because of the color of their skin. Yet in 2014, people are still beaten in the street because of who they choose to love.

I want to make it clear that I am not a pessimist and that I am proud to be an American citizen, but I do want us to think clearly before we make decisions.

Next time you think about making a racist, sexist, or homophobic remark, think to yourself: what would our heroes do? The fact is, we would not be here without them and we owe it to them to finish the job. Because even though we have accomplished a lot as a nation, we still have a long way to go and that’s just the way it is.

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