Friday, January 28, 2011

Peas and Carrots, Peas and Carrots

            As similar as we Americans wish we were, our willingness to emphasize our similarities sometimes lingers in our closed mouths like so many bad throat lozenges. If, on the street, we asked for people’s views on prohibiting (brown) children from receiving an education, most respondents would be opposed, citing the negative societal effects of an undereducated generation.  Likewise, if election results showed results similar to those obtained through a public opinion survey, then elections would be decided before the polls close.  In these survey/election processes, we find the duality of the American status quo.  We’re all for change, but why so fast, and why so loco? 
Immigrants have been coming to this country even before declarations were penned or proclamations were uttered. Conservative fringes that attempt to proselytize humanity in the guise of purity, while instilling fear in their contemporaries of how nonwhites in this country will ultimately overwhelm or undermine our "sistema franca”, have existed since lords ruled over serfs. And what American, at some point, hasn’t felt the nationalistic pride of one accord being sung by brethren and foe, holiday-time benevolences of wheat and wine with those less fortunate. We hold this virtue as part of our American culture, but doesn’t American culture (or it's cultural elitism) habitually brush aside the calls for justice by its’ smallest minorities?  Does it not contain derisive groups extolling the purity of being Caucasian, while forgetting, linguistically, that Caucasian wouldn’t exist without the Asian? Do we not recall many U.S. presidents subjugating their moral imperatives to merely get reelected?  To denigrate the future of our culture, merely by emphasizing the existence of another, only serves to dilute the culture of the denigrater.
In 1996, California’s Proposition 187 election results show that for every blue-haired person over the age of 50 with a either a fat pension and/or plenty of time on their hands to visit their local polling place, there were four middle to lower class working parents without ample time to cast their ballot.  Prop 187 passed with 59 percent of the vote, but technically, 59 percent of those who were able to vote, and that’s with only half of the registered voters participating in the election. Independent surveying of large groups of anonymous people also doesn’t have to take place within a 10-hour period, on one day, and at only a few select locations. And even if Prop 187 hadn't been thrown out by the courts, these election results show that if verbally asked, many people will respond with their heart. Unfortunately, the aorta doesn’t dislodge itself from the top of the heart and pull that lever in the booth, or touch that screen in the cubicle; only the mind can do that.
Given optimal conditions, humans will choose their best vision of a better future, but when restricted by time, finances, or overwhelming daily responsibilities, humans will choose the path of least interference. A lever isn’t a heartstring, and a person with a clipboard on a sunny street corner has a face, not a screen.  Don't let the polls and surveys proliferated on unscrupulous news channels determine your political leanings.  There are many minorities that are still left to be heard, if we only learn to listen.