My name is Ryan Emmanuel Phipps, a 23 year old Black American graduate of Baylor University; current employee of the Bank of America. A resident of Dallas, Texas, a son of Dallas, Texas. Now, after all the identifiers, the only one that really matters, is the fact that I am an American. The others differentiate me, and separate me. And they have separated us for far too long.
This is America, We are America.
I would say people have forgot that, but the problem is that people don't remember that.
People love to go back and invoke memories of the forefathers and foremothers, but I cannot. I was born in 1987 in the Piny Woods of East Texas, in a small town of Trinity, Texas. My first President was Bush the father, who I was not cognizant to, but still have felt the ripples of his tenure in my life time. Early on I was socialized to believe how people wanted me to believe, but being the stubborn know-it-all I am, it never worked. I could since right and wrong from a very young age. What was wrong with me being extra nice to my white teacher, or having a white girl friend in pre-kindergarten? What was wrong with me being born out of wed lock or not knowing my father? What was wrong with my skin color and why was it such a big deal? Those were questions I did not want to ask, but were forced to. And as I grew I asked many more of the same type of questions. Why does my mother have to work 2 jobs and become stressed while other moms don't? Why do I have to live by drug dealers and gang bangers? It's not about fair, its about whats right. And it seemed to me this land of opportunity for the fortunate few.
This is America.
Not fortunate as in wealth, but as in luck. Far gone are the days where working hard gets you somewhere. Far gone are the days where you can even find work. To have a job is fortunate in this time where unemployment rates are up and everyone no matter degree or pedigree are fighting for the same low paying, no opportunity jobs.
Far gone are the days where we politics where left in the meeting rooms and agendas where they belong. The socioecopolitical society that we now are deeply rooted is the major cause of most of the inability to change in this country. Everything becomes an issue, everything becomes a story, every thing becomes a battle ground. This wins go for the party, not the country, the loobyist, not the people, the corporation, not America.
This is America.
We live in a time where we don't even know the people who live next door to us. To say neighbor would be a severe overstatement. We are closer with people hundreds and thousands of miles away from us, thanks to the evolution of social networking. But your face book friends aren't watching your house when you are way, your my space friends aren't watching your car when you aren't looking, the people you are following aren't even following you and they cant tweet you when your kids are playing in your front yard and get hurt. What happened to our communities? What happened to our neighborhoods? No wonder we are in the situation we are in. When you don't know your child's teachers, principles, the officers that patrol your neighbor hood or even the name of your city mayor? How can you be a neighbor, a member of the community, a citizen of the city? Moreover, in this time, people drive 45 minutes plus just to go to worship. They probably pass hundreds of churches on there way to this mega church where you cannot even talk to the pastor. When you have to make a 2 week advanced appointment to meet your pastor, then there is a problem. When your pastor has bodyguards there is a problem? America we have a problem because this is America, now.
But it doesn't have to be forever.
Go back in to your homes. Talk to your kids, get to know your kids, love your kids. Find out who there friends are, teachers are, principles are, idols are. Go back into your neighborhoods. Knock on your neighbors door, find out who they are, chat with them, bond with them. Stop a cop and ask him who he is, why is he patrolling your neighborhood, how you can help. Go back into your communities, go to worship in your community. Find out who the people are that live around you, get to know the issues that their facing, how y'all can come together to get y'alls common goals accomplished. Go back into your cities. Find out what areas need the most help and go and volunteer, go and build them up. Invest in them, invest in the people, invest in yourself. Go back into our country! Take a family vacation to New Orleans and find out why it is no place to vacation to. There was over 61 million raised by Hope for Haiti, but the New Orleans telethon only raised 30 million. If you go to the wards of that city you can easily find where 31 million more dollars could be desperately needed. Churches and groups do thousands of missionaries overseas and invest millions of dollars abroad, but that charity, money, time, and supplies can be seriously used in the post hurricane carnage of new Orleans, slums of new york, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles...of America
This is America! We are America!
So let's start acting like it!