This Scary Stuff Isn’t New

“Progress is the law of God…”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Come on, Karen. You majored in History. You know the struggles our world has endured, survived, overcome. You know the scary stuff we’re seeing now isn’t new. I mean… it’s not like all the political corruption and corporate greed and dishonesty you’re seeing in America is something that’s springing up for the first time here. Look back at just the last 100 years in the United States – :

  • in 1918, when your 98 year-old father was born, women still didn’t have the right to vote in this country
  • when your father and mother were living through the Great Depression, members of the nation’s Supreme Court continually over-turned laws and programs designed to provide relief to the poor, to help the nation recover, and to bring reform to the economy
  • in 1942 Japanese-Americans had their homes and property taken from them and were sent to live in “internment camps”
  • in the early part of the 1950s – just before you were born –  government workers, and people involved in the Hollywood movie business, lost their jobs without recourse for being Communists – or just being accused of being Communists – by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and company
  • up until 1954 – just two years before you were born – racially segregated schools were still legal in this country
  •  in 1961, when you were a pre-schooler, there were still African-Americans who were living as slaves – who’d never been told slavery had ended in this country
  • when you were seven years-old the President of the United States was assassinated
  • when you were 11 years-old, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and, two months later, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated
  • when you were an eighth grader, four students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University were shot and killed by members of the National Guard
  • when you were in high school the President of the United States resigned before he could be impeached for trying to cover-up a break-in of his political opponent’s campaign headquarters

But recognize that for every step backwards – for every reaction against progress – we’ve seen humongo strides forwards. Look at the progress in the last 100 years:

  • in 1920 women were given the right to vote
  • in the 1930’s – in spite of the Supreme Court’s resistance to social reform – social security and other programs were established to ensure a safety net for our nation’s citizens
  • in 1954 the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools
  • in 1963 the Equal Pay Act was passed – making it illegal to pay a woman less for doing the same work as a man
  • in 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed, prohibiting discrimination in  employment, and in 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed, making discriminatory voting practices illegal
  • in 1967 the Supreme Court ruled that laws forbidding inter-racial marriage were illegal
  • in 2015 same-sex marriage was recognized as a right protected by the Constitution

Karen, you now live in a country full of people who’ve never known legal segregation between the races. You live in a country full of young people who take it for granted that women can participate in politics – can vote, run for office, and serve on the Supreme Court. Americans are not going to allow this country to slide backwards. The gains we’ve made won’t be lost. Have trust in your fellow man and woman.

Buck up. There may be battles ahead – every generation has them – but progress always wins in the end.

“In Christian Science there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

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