Tuesday, December 01, 2015

America Matters: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration

The second verse in our treasured song, "America the Beautiful," reminds us of our noble history and beckons us to reawakening the nation:

O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America, America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.

This verse is an inspiring reminder of our destiny, forged by history, demanding that we rise from contemporary challenges to the ideals that America stands for.

America’s Cauldron of Corruption

Just a few days ago, America was once again blistered by another corruption scandal exemplifying our crisis of character.

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, once one of the state’s most powerful politicians, was convicted of charges involving devious schemes to earn $5 million illegally and then lying about it.

Silver now faces decades in prison after being convicted of all charges: honest-services fraud, extortion, and money laundering.

Corruption throughout every level of American politics is business as usual.

America’s cauldron of corruption poses a fundamental assault to our national security and principles of democracy, freedom, and liberty.

Corruption impacts security on our borders as well as in our neighborhoods, the integrity of verdicts in our courts, and all government services.

Aside from Silver’s conviction, additional scandals of public officials, documented on the FBI website include the following:

• Former New York State Senator Thomas W. Libous Sentenced in White Plains Federal Court for Making False Statements to the FBI.
• Two Donna School Board Members Indicted on Bribery and Attempted Extortion Charges.
• Army Captain Pleads Guilty to Gratuities Charge.
• Guilty Plea of Former U.S. Speaker of the House John Dennis Hastert of illegally structuring cash withdrawals in order to evade financial reporting requirements.

America’s Culture of Violence

Tragically, we are continually witnessing violence throughout our workplaces, communities, schools, campuses, and families and there is no end in sight.

Alarmingly, tragedies appear more commonly but outrage within society is diminishing.

America must wakeup, take action, and stop the carnage.

Recent and notorious tragedies of America’s culture of violence paint an unsettling picture:

Dec. 2, 2015: At least 14 people died in a shooting at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif.

Nov. 27: A reprehensible, deadly attack and standoff at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and killing of three people including a police officer. Nine others were injured.

Oct. 1: A gunman shot and killed eight fellow students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

June 18: A suspected white supremacist ills nine members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

May 23, 2014: A killer follow through on his meticulously planned attack near the UC Santa Barbara campus that leaves 6 dead and 7 wounded.

Sept. 16, 2013: A former Navy enlisted man, shoots and kills 12 people in the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard.

Dec. 14, 2012: A 20-year-old kills 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adult teachers and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

America must have its eyes wide open and resolve to put the lessons learned from these horrific acts into action. Complacency, incompetence, and apathy cannot be excuses for failing to remedy America’s culture of violence.

The broken-hearted families of those gone too soon, especially the children and parents of the victims, demand America’s commitment to violence prevention.

America’s Police-Community Relations Crisis

The recent charges against a Chicago police officer, for the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald were made more difficult for the city to accept because of the way city officials delayed the indictment for a full year. The incident has once again cast the criticality of accountability, transparency, and integrity into the police-community spotlight.

As detailed in my article titled "Police-Community Crisis: Rise to the Occasion" for the May 29, 2015 edition of the Epoch Times, “over 900,000 dedicated law enforcement officials perform acts of respect, courtesy, and bravery each day throughout America, and these dedicated professionals deserve honor. Yet, there are issues emerging that crystalize necessary police reforms.”

In the article, I further argued that “this is a defining moment for police reform in America and the training of ethical protectors.”

Final Reflections

America, the eyes of the world are upon us. The clarion call for leadership, vigilance, and collaboration as our heartbeat will resuscitate the nation.

America the Beautiful will rise from the cauldron of corruption, culture of violence, and police-community crisis through a renewal, when we reignite the principles of character, courage, and community.

Note Well:

Linkedin: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

Join Vincent’s Linkedin Group: The Sentinel: Reawakening the Nation

Facebook: Vincent J. Bove Consulting, Speaker Services, Publishing

As authored for Vincent’s weekly column titled “Reawakening the Nation” for the Epoch Times, 35 countries, 21 languages and growing.

Photo - American Flags, Rockefeller Center, NYC on Nov. 7, 2014. (Vincent J. Bove)

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