by Nat Frothingham
In all of our history to date, I can’t think of a greater American achievement than the “rainbow of people” who have managed, despite their differences, to live together in this country with a degree of tolerance and respect that from time to time has been an example to the world.
As this paper is being written, think of the women and men, many of them volunteers, who are rescuing survivors from the flooding in Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana. As Marichel Vaught, who works at The Bridge has pointed out, these emergency responders are single-minded in their mission of saving lives and caring for hurt and injured people. Saving people is their mission and they are not asking people in flooded homes if they’re white or black or brown or whether they’re from Texas or Mexico or whether they’re rich or poor. It’s enough to be human and it’s enough that when people are in need, we help them.
When the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, among those who died were people representing a cross-section of the world. Remember that building was the World Trade Center and working in that building among others were cooks, janitors, office clerks, managers and high-paid executives. When the emergency personnel charged up the stairs to rescue the survivors there was no test of nationality, race, gender, sexual preference, ability or disability or whether people were rich or poor. They were human. If they were in need, they deserved help. Period.
No one in a leadership position and no one in authority should dare shake us from our respect and tolerance for each other. People talk about treason. That would be treason.