When did we give up being the land of the free and the home of the brave and become the land of the willing-to-give-up-freedom-for-security and the home of the cowardly and mean-spirited?
Why are we letting cynical leaders feed us the bread of anxiety and fear as they carry out the will of their corporate paymasters? When did we hand over our national soul to the NRA and its minions?
I am ashamed of my state -- filing suit to prevent six Syrian refugees from being resettled in Texas. So let me say this as firmly as possible -- not in my name. Not in my name will you bully and harass people trying to help those fleeing the same terrorists who have you cowering in fear.
I am ashamed of much of my national leadership, my president excepted. Congress is practically groveling in fear before the "might" of ISIS. So let me say this as firmly as possible -- not in my name will you defund refugee relief efforts and demonize those good people trying to help desperate people.
I am ashamed of the media in this country. You have been given the enormous privilege of constitutional protection, so important is the work of a free press. And yet you allow yourselves to be fettered by fear of losing ratings or clicks or God knows what and shrink from challenging bald-faced lies of candidates seeking our nation's highest office while peddling a perverted gospel of fear, rage, and violence.
This. is. not. who. we. are.
We are not a people defined by our fears, We are a people defined by our ideals -- all people are created equal and liberty and justice for all. We are a generous people, unafraid to risk kindness in the face of the unknown. We are the shining city on the hill, a light to a world starving for hope of freedom and democracy.
This is how we combat terrorists, not by cowering behind closed borders and slammed doors but by demonstrating how a free courageous people live. Not by feeding on fear but by standing tall and extending helping hands. Not by demonizing strangers but by taking them in. Not by shaming the hungry but by offering food for the body and the spirit.
This - this is who we are -- we, the people of the United States of America. Never let anyone make you forget that.