Our Hypocrisy Outshines the Sun

Posted on November 29, 2018

Our Hypocrisy Outshines the Sun

Seriously America! Are we blind idiots, sinful hypocrites, or both?

In my vacation and Thanksgiving, I turned off the news for a week. I needed a break and wanted to spend time with friends and family without politics. As I came back to the world, I was struck by what had happened during my absence from the political reality of these United States.

Here I was celebrating a Holiday predicated on native people finding it in their hearts to take pity on immigrants looking to a new land for safety, freedom, and hope for a better life for themselves and their families. We stuff our faces, drink wine and whiskey, and watch football until we feel exhausted from our privilege, fortune, and excess. A country of immigrants celebrating our collective good fortune in this new land (recognizing, like I know all of us do, the unfortunate price paid by native peoples and later slaves whose worlds were turned upside down so Europeans could establish this new country).

Turning on the news after a week of ignorant bliss, I see imagines of U.S. Border Agents tear gassing children. 60 Minutes exposes our intentional separation of children from their parents was more pervasive than initially stated. That on the holiday weekend that we celebrate the good fortune of our immigrant forefathers and mothers, we close our borders and intentionally set up roadblocks to people searching for the same safety and better life this Holiday is supposed to represent.

While I treasured my time with friends and family over the Holiday, coming back to reality, I wonder if we were celebrating a country that never really existed or is long dead. As the Native Americans and Pilgrims sat down to break bread, I wonder what words would fill their prayers of Thanksgiving, if they knew how, in a few short generations, what they started would end up with so much violence, racism, and death.

I love the United States for what I know we can become and all the fantastic people trying to realize that future. In this small consolation, I give thanks, and ask forgiveness to all those for which we failed to uphold the promise this country could provide.

6 responses to “Our Hypocrisy Outshines the Sun”

  1. Steve Jackson says:

    Matt, thanks for that truthful and poignant post. The sentiments that you shared resonated with me in more ways than usual, because even if I descended from both African and Native peoples, I too share the excess and access that are problematic. I see the points that you make in an entirely new light. I’m thankful for you and your insights.

  2. Mike Santeusanio says:

    Touché Matt!!! Touché!!!! I need to take a week away from the news as well so I don’t become numb to the violence and keep a good perspective!!!! The other nagging question that surfaces is, “What can I do to help turn this horrendous tide?” Right now the best answer I have for myself is to continue in my own growth and training of trauma informed care, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness!!! Keep up your fantastic work as well Matt!!! It’s an honor to be connected!!!!

    • Matthew Bennett says:

      Thanks, Mike! I believe you do an amazing amount just going to work each day to give hope and life-sustaining services to those in your community. In that, we are all fortunate!!

  3. David Washington says:

    Well said! Taking a break from the news is definitely important, I need to do that myself. It saddens me that our culture continues to uphold these values of separation and rugged individualism, instilled in us by an elite class of individuals who benefit from our division. Also, I found it particularly difficult to watch the Cowboys and Redskins game on Thanksgiving this year, it is a blatant representation of violence and conflict as opposed to community and ‘thanksgiving”. I hope through our work, we can continue to remind each other that we are all one; and that if one human is suffering, we are all suffering. Thank you Matt for providing this space!!

    • Matthew Bennett says:

      Thanks David! I’m with you on the whole football thing, I can’t say the name of the “Washington Football Team” without feeling like a part of my soul dies. In addition, loved how they signed a player a few days after an arrest for domestic violence and being cut (for the offense) by the 49ers. Who are we is less important than who we can become! I know your work helps us becomes something greater!

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