Native Writes: Everyone should be able to speak out


Today over coffee we ponder what the president of the United States said about four particularly vocal women of color in the U.S. House of Representatives and why he said it.

He told them to go back where they came from and show people there how to run their governments, then come back and share.

They are all U.S. citizens and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing -- working on improving government right here at home.

Speaking out on it, they rub persons of the opposing political party the wrong way and they react, just as a housecat does when someone rubs its fur the wrong way.

I do not believe our government is working well and certainly not for everyone. It never has, that’s why the Constitution has grown to occupy a large building in Washington, D.C. rather than the one room in which it was signed.

The Founding Fathers didn’t expect it to and created options for change.

Those options have been misused, so the courts are asked to determine what the law actually intends.

Supreme Court justices daily ponder problems and seek solutions.

Theirs is the rule of law, not to be tweaked and twisted to suit the parties in the issues, be they Republican or Democrat, male or female, conservative or progressive, mellow or passionate, on and on.

All believe they are right.

That’s what we face today. In my mind the president was wrong to tell the four women to go back where they came from, drawing assumptions about their citizenship from their names, appearance and even the accents they have when speaking.

He has his supporters, along with those persons who want to see him impeached and in jail. That’s nothing new, history shows that no president has escaped often-vicious criticism. Even our founders fought.

Racism has been injected into the recent past by the same individual who is doing it now. A sitting president was subjected to an eight-year racially motivated “birther” debate as the man who would succeed him declared he wasn’t born in the United States and, thus, was unfit to serve.

He finally admitted he was wrong, but those sharing the assumptions that were behind his position remain active and vocal, especially persons believing conspiracy theories and the idea that race is a factor in one’s ability to lead.

The fact remains that the four women coming under fire by the president have been participating -- they were elected to be -- and vocal in their criticism of the way the nation is governed.

Congress is approaching its August recess and they will go back where they came from, the states that elected them.

Will their constituents be listening and ready to work for change?

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