America by Heart

I do not like how the media polarizes people. How everyone is lumped into a stereotype. My prime beef with the book The Antidote is that I find it hard to believe every African American acts like the people chronicled in this Reverend’s book.

There’s no room in the media dialogue for differing viewpoints that challenge assumptions and stereotypes about how people act and believe and live. That’s what’s not right in the discourse in American society: if you don’t fit in this or any other box, you’re not written about and not given a say in the media.

I happen to favor Bernie Sanders if you must know. I think healthcare is a right not like Ted Cruz who says it’s a choice.

Try as I might to see how the right wing faction of our government makes sense (and how Conservative Christians make sense) I have a hard time buying what they’re selling.

I’ve been branded a liberal because I speak out in favor of open-mindedness. I was interviewed at Yahoo for an article on dating when you have a mental illness. I was positive and proactive in my quotes. Yet the majority of people who posted comments below the article stigmatized those of us with a diagnosis who just wanted to be loved and love others like everyone else.

I’ve always made the case for treating others with dignity. A friend who was a CEO–even he knew the trickle-down theory doesn’t work in practice. On the face of it evangelical arguments seem plausible yet when you analyze them they don’t make sense. Like Jeanine Pirro claiming on Sirius XM radio that because of waterboarding we’re keeping America safe. Months later there was a terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

Star Jones was quoted that if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. I stand for giving every human being dignity. I stand for stopping these endless no-good wars. I stand for booting out stigma of any kind including racism and homophobia regardless of who’s doing it.

Now that it’s voting season in America I’m a voracious reader of the political news. I’m fascinated with the demographics of the people interviewed in exit polls.

This all leads me to think I’m right in claiming our government can’t fix what ails American society. People are disenfranchised. For decades we’ve been unable to influence the fate of Acts that become Laws.

Who knows: maybe now is the time for more of us to get involved like my political activist guy. I’ve changed my mind: we need to get active in speaking out even though at the end of the day it might not matter who gets elected.

Yet it does matter to me when Republicans co-opt Christianity as a political ploy and blunder what Love Thy Neighbor means.

Only now I feel it’s imperative more than ever that everyone uses our voices to talk about the things that matter to us.

I’ve written my congressperson and senators about the mental health Acts that should be voted into Law. In this way it’s true we’ve had to wrestle the government to the mat to do the right thing.

The right of everyone living in America to recover–the chance to have a full and robust life when you’re diagnosed with a mental illness–that’s what matters to me the most.

I say this because without mental health what does a person really have?

It might just be time to get involved as citizen activists.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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