Many are neither proud nor happy to be American

Someday.

Someday we’ll be able to come and go as we please, to wherever we please, whenever we please, without giving our actions a second thought.

Someday we won’t have to fret about packing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, wearing a mask or trying to keep a safe six feet away from other people.

Someday we will be able to go out to restaurants again, to the movies, to the store, to church, to the barber or beauty shop and to large public gatherings, without somehow feeling like we are taking our lives and the lives of those we love in our hands.

Someday we’ll be able to have dinner parties, cocktail parties, barbecues, block parties, Sunday school soirees, without wondering who among our guests could possibly be carrying the virus.

Someday we’ll be able to have a conversation with a neighbor, a notorious close-talker, without doing the COVID-19 shuffle, stepping this way and that to try to keep a safe distance away.

Someday we will be able to travel, to hop in the car and drive to the mountains, the lake, the beach, theme parks, the zoo, natural wonders and roadside attractions.

Someday we’ll be able to hop on a plane and explore this great country or the rest of the world.

Someday we won’t have to read the news every day and see the number of COVID-19 cases rising, hear about the people dying as well as those who have survived but are left requiring extensive rehabilitation in an attempt to return to some state of normalcy.

For many people, of course, someday is today. They seem to think the virus has vanished, that the dreaded ‘rona bug is history, that there’s nothing at all to worry about. Would that they were right. But the doctors and nurses, the medical experts, keep warning us that the pandemic is far from over as they stare into the camera with weary eyes, fatigued faces, worn down by the daily struggle against this insidious disease.

Someday we won’t have to hear all the cockamamie conspiracy theories that somehow the whole thing is manufactured to hurt the president’s chances of re-election, that the media is ginning the whole populace into a frenzy for nothing, that COVID-19 is no worse than a bad flu. Tell that to the families of the people who have died of it thus far, just shy of 122,000 at this writing (while at the top end of the charts an average flu season kills roughly half that many or less).

Someday.

Someday we won’t have to go around chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Of course they do. Someday we will simply take that as a matter of course.

Someday we won’t be color-blind, but neither will we let a person’s skin tone blind us to their humanity and their basic right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Someday we won’t have to read of police officers kneeling on the necks of anyone, of any race, until they cry out for their mothers and die.

Someday we won’t have to hear about police officers shooting unarmed suspects in the back, while said suspects were running away.

Someday the public will look at the police and see the vast majority of men and women in blue, honest, hard-working, caring individuals who are serving to make their cities and towns safer and better places in which to live, not the ones who act out of arrogance or a sense of entitlement and inflict violence against those who don’t deserve it.

Someday the public will understand something of what it means to be a police officer, the inherent risks and hazards of the job. But kneeling on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds until he breathes his last is no one’s definition of reasonable force.

Someday we won’t somehow equate removing statues of those who represented a failed revolution with moving forward in the area of civil rights. Why did we erect statues to those losers in the first place?

Someday we won’t have to see Confederate flags flying. The Confederacy tried to destroy the United States of America, so does that mean if you fly a rebel flag you are anti-American? It would seem so.

Someday.

Someday we won’t be so politically polarized that we can’t even have a reasonable discussion about our differences. Sometimes these days our discussions become so heated we can no longer even agree to disagree.

Someday we will realize that love is the only thing really worth having in this world, and that means for everybody, not just those who look, act and think like you. I didn’t say you have to like everybody, good Lord that’s impossible, but love, as in “love your neighbor as yourself.” If you hate yourself, I suppose you are free to hate everybody else.

Someday we will look back at 2020, this year of COVID-19, of racial and political turmoil, and whatever else this crazy year has in store for us as we enter the last half of it this week, shake our heads and marvel that we survived.

Someday.

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Mullin is an award-winning writer and columnist who retired in 2017 after 41 years with the News & Eagle. Email him at janjeff2002@yahoo.com or write him in care of the Enid News & Eagle at PO Box 1192, Enid, OK, 73702.

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