Take a Leap

December 2018

Take a Leap

“Once upon a time in America,” the famous lines of a 1980’s film by the same name that depicts the life of Jewish ghetto thugs who rise to prominence as Mafia heads in New York City. The all-star cast, led by DeNiro, gained minimal acclaim and lost money at the box office. But one thing it did do was become a legend of the American gangster films, especially with European audiences. Much like Jerry Springer, audiences in other countries look to our media, movie industry, and the tweets of well-known politicians to make judgement about America — judgement that may not be based in fact but closely resemble the America we know and love. This is typical if not problematic. But the real problem comes into play when American’s buy into the same antics, forming opinions about America that are based on hype, opportunistic propaganda, and special effects.

The America generations before knew, believed in, was a singular vision of good, not perfection. The team of Brooklyn Dodgers, for example, that worked together to overcome racism in baseball was led by a group of white faced men from every ethnicity even though the face of that battle was black. Looking back on a film on the era, I ask myself if I put dirt on my hands at the plate because it’s a good strategy or because Jackie Robinson did. The orbital mathematicians that led the NASA mechanics to bring manned spaceflights back to earth were, again, led by a pale faced manager who saw talent where others simply saw color. And because MTV hesitated to crown Michael Jackson as King of Pop, Black Entertainment was born, on the loan of a white man. There are thousands of other examples of Americans working together for the common good of America. No one group or person is being championed as the lone hero — the efforts were a group effort, plain and simple.

This idea of working together, and working hard at something that might seem impossible to others, is very American. It is the stuff of dreams. And once upon a time, it was the norm in our country.

Right now, we are in a society that has no clue about that kind of America nor that kind of hard work, for that matter. People have no idea of the things that unite us as Americans. We only seem to notice the things that divide us as people. Individually, our character and personality are not enough. Reputation alone no longer makes a person who he or she is — only superficial identifiers are recognized as the concepts that define us: gender, color, socioeconomic standing, affiliation, and sexual preference. Interestingly enough, everything just listed can be changed on a whim because of self-identification.

What’s the problem, scientifically, with self-identification? The simple answer is that the conclusion cannot be triangulated. In other words, if I self-identify one way one day, then change my mind, no one can predict or act upon a truth until I inform them, through self-identification, of what my truth is. When widespread, as this trend is attempting to become, it slows down all forward progress. If you have to wait for me to tell you who’s who and what’s what as it pertains to simple identification, which we should be able to take for granted for the most part, we find ourselves in a holding pattern circling the runway as we burn our fuel reserves.

For those evolutionists who were so vital to the idea that change is inevitable and ‘natural,’ did you not stand on the idea that these changes were (1) necessary for the survival of the species, and (2) take place over thousands if not millions of years? But as we push to promote fundamental changes, like gender, to take place in a matter of months, but be accepted almost immediately, we demand what evolution and nature are diametrically opposed to.

Like some others, I think there is a chance to turn this thing around. Because even with all her flaws, America has been a champion not only for peace and economic prosperity, it has been a beacon of hope, land of opportunity, emblem of religious freedom, and banner of inclusiveness. For those who focus on the times America has fallen short and point the finger of blame, please take a moment to look at the history of other nations, and when you find one better, please move. No America is not perfect, no country is. But She has done her part to rid the world of wrongs, correct mistakes, and give a hand up or hand out to anyone regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation. Why? because those things don’t make a person unique. It’s what’s inside that makes a person, a person; not what’s between their legs, regardless of what color those tools are. People in America once knew that.

Even during the years of our national blight, we knew and legislated for, and even went to war to convey the message that color is irrelevant to a person’s ability to contribute to the common good of our country.

Yet taking a leap back into the old American way of thinking, even as we take a leap forward into a new year, can only be accomplished when we throw caution to the wind and dive in, with both feet first. No propaganda, no special effects. Just plain ol’ unadulterated truth. Not your truth, nor mine. Just the truth, with a capital “T.” Like the Constitution, these truths were once self-evident, that all men are created equal by their Creator. We know common sense is no longer common, but we cannot dispose of truth in the same way we kicked common sense to the curb. Truth cannot be manipulated by the short attention span of public opinion, special interest groups, or opinionated people on platforms. Neither can we spin truth based on what a person self identifies as.

Leaping into 2019 without the Truth is like leaping into the shallow end of the pool then complaining when you bust your head on the cement floor. It’s self-evident. It you choose to overlook it, it will cost you. It will cost the people around you. It will cost any person who chooses to follow you into that shallow way of thinking, with a broken skull to boot. Parents, teach your children — people, talk to your neighbors. Those who would help propel America into a new level of success are busy taking care of the wounded who keep diving into the shallow ends of pools.

Lisa Noël Babbage

Lisa Noel Babbage is a author, teacher, and patriot who is dedicated to rebuilding communities through philanthropy and activism.

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