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Edith Lee-Payne at March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom: 8.28.63

I’m impressed with how you are engaged and involved with today’s political & social issues. I’m hopeful for America’s future because YOU are that future. And yet it breaks my heart to see you filled with stress at having to witness the moral degradation of late.

Exhausted from the two-year fiasco we’ve endured we’re also concerned for our unknown future. My 22-year old daughter said “it feels like a death”. Students are crying, wearing black and protesting on campuses all over the country.

It’s not enough for us to verify that the country seems hopelessly divided and say we fear for your children and grand-children. Better that we circle the wagons—keep all of you close via face-to-face conversations, video chats, texts and phone calls because ~ yes we have seen a death of a measure of common decency and human spirit, but also of apathy, which needs to die. Let audacity live in its place. Your generation is waking us up to the call for paying attention and holding ALL politicians accountable, on both sides. Van Jones says—we must mourn (and drink water!) in order to heal, and then we must pick up and move forward. As President Obama said, “the sun will come up again tomorrow” ~ a place where from death there can be new life.

I know it’s hard for you to imagine that America has been through worse than what we are seeing now, but it’s true. Much, much worse. It’s up to those of us who were there for those times to help you navigate these rough waters by elevating morals.

We who believe in decency and “re-spect” must look deep and “see-again” the Good Wolf embedded in the foundation of America—a determination that had to be strong to rise from the blood and ashes of piracy and genocide that is, sadly, America’s bedrock.

Beginning in the 1600s with the collisions of First Americans with the entitled Spanish and British dissidents, the forced migration of enslaved Africans, indentured servants and others, race was constructed in America—and as Farai Chideya, said on Twitter, “white” is also a race. One cannot build on such a wrongful foundation and escape the consequences. An America where forces that embrace wide-spread bigotry can rise to power is part of those consequences.

Through centuries of hardworking fighters who would not be moved the phoenix called Audacity rose and still flies in the hearts of all who believe. Trust in the power of one; we must continue to not be moved and be the positive, inclusive change we want to see in the world.

With each rising sun of the next four years we will renew the journey as countless fighters before us have done. We will not succumb to the notion that at its core America is anything less than benevolent and humane—otherwise we would not have survived these 240 years. THAT is the balm to begin healing.

And no. We don’t move to Canada; we move forward like The Scales of Justice ~ working to strike a balance between the forces that seek to divide us and our collective Audacity.

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