Commentary: The battle for America’s soul is happening right now

Commentary: The battle for America’s soul is happening right now
March 29
12:30 2018

Citizens of America, we are under siege and on the battlefield against each other. We live in the same United States of America, but we live in a divided country. When some of us wake up in the morning, we have hope, while others of us wake up hopeless.

In an intriguing sort of way, we are in another civil war. Our uniforms are not blue and gray because we now wear suits and dresses. We drive cars now and don’t ride horses. However, the common thread between then and now is that we are killing one another.

What is happening to America? Most recently, in Austin, Texas, there was a series of bomb explosions and our citizens were injured. A person who is employed with Goodwill Industries was hurt, however the injuries were not life threatening. Assistant Chief of Austin Police, Ely Reyes, said, “The Goodwill employee found two artillery simulators in a box of dropped-off items and was injured when one of the ordinances initiated.” Reyes added, “This incident is not related to any of the other incidents that we’ve had here in Austin.”

The incidents in Austin, Texas, are just the latest examples of the “civil war that is going on in our country.  Just a few weeks ago, we had the Florida school shooting, where a young person turned his anger on a group of students who were in the same age range. Now, we have students who are afraid to go to school and parents who are afraid to send them. Schools have become civil war battlefields, 21st century style.

America, what is happening to us? For example, March has been designated as Women’s History Month, yet we also have a #Metoo Movement because women have been abused by their fellow citizens, mainly men. It is my opinion that this movement is here to stay. Women are just plain fed up with being treated like second-class citizens and having to acquiesce to the whims and desires of other people, mostly men.

Just last Sunday in Sacramento, California, Stephon Clark, a black man, was shot 20 times by the police. He is dead at 22 years of age. His brother, Stevant Clark, said, “He didn’t deserve it.” Stephon Clark was the father of two young boys.

So as is the case with too many African-American males, they leave children behind to mourn them and to miss them. The tragedy of this is these children have a father who is laughing, talking and playing with them one day and the very next day the absolute unthinkable happens. Death does not give you a second chance. Sudden death is, well, sudden death. There is no appeal or second chance. When you lose parents and love providers under normal circumstances, you are hurt, and you are grieving.  This is what I know. But when you lose a parent or loved one because of violence, you are overcome with pain, hurt and shock. The senselessness of it sickens me.

Marvin Gaye sang, “Mother, mother there’s too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying. You know we’ve got to find a way to bring some loving here today.”

America, we can do better, and we must do better!

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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