America was created based on the ideal that every citizen is equal and is entitled the same rights. While the ideal is wonderful, the reality is that we live in a country that is more complicated.
Yesterday, at a bill signing, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that America was never that great. Naturally, his comment drew ire from you know who and some members of the Republican Party.
I agree and disagree with his statement. I agree because America has a long way to to go before all citizens are completely enfranchised. Women, citizens of color and other minorities are still routinely discriminated against. There are some people in this country who would like nothing more than anyone who is not Caucasian, Christian, heterosexual (and male by extension) to become second class citizens.
I disagree with him because America is a great country. A century ago, members of my family emigrated from Eastern Europe. This country not only welcomed them with open arms, but supported them so they could give future generations a better life than the life they had in the old country. If America’s borders had not been open, they would have likely died in the gas chambers and the concentration camps. Future generation of my family (myself included) would have never been born or given the opportunity to live and thrive. While we have not completely corrected the mistakes of our collective American past, we have come far in starting to correct them. The Civil Rights Movement, The Feminist Movement and the LGBTQ Movement have opened many of our eyes about the disenfranchisement of our fellow citizens.
The issue with the comment is not just the context, but the timing. Mr. Cuomo is running for re-election for Governor. His statement gives those who want to replace him as Governor another reason to prove why they are better suited for the position.
Only time will tell if this comment is just a momentary blip or if it is the reason why he loses the Governor’s race. Either way, it shows how complicated it is to be an American in 2018.