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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Not My America

I am not one of those who say of Trump, "He's not my president."  Of course, he is by definition of having won the Electoral College vote (though not the vote of the people) and by definition of me being an American.  

However, what he symbolizes is an alien spirit in this country I love. Therefore, I can truly say that Trump's America is not my America.

My America starts with the idea that justice is for all people, not just those who look, pray, think, and believe the way I do. 

My America believes in the principle that by helping all we help ourselves.  I call this the "Lincoln Principle" taken from Abraham Lincoln's December 1, 1862 address to Congress (given 1 month before the Emancipation Proclamation) when he stated:

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free. . . .
 For me this means that whenever we seek the good of others in America regardless of who they are, we do good for ourselves. Whenever we seek to exclude others from the benefits of our community, we do harm to ourselves.

My America is a land of tolerance, a land that celebrates diversity and draws strength from the contributions of many cultures.

My America believes our greatest weakness is not a lack of military might, but a lack of empathy for the plight of the marginalized and dispossessed in our world.

My America rejects fear and accepts openness towards others.

My America is not Trump's America.

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