A Blended Society

It’s a song written by a Russian immigrant of Jewish faith to honor America. His family escaped Russia when the communists took over. The song lyrics were changed slightly because the original lyrics might give the impression that the song favored a particular political point of view.

The song grew in popularity although the Ku Klux Klan disparaged it because of it being written by a person of Jewish faith. The song was used by the Civil Rights Movement and by labor unions at rallies. Christian conservatives also used the song when they worshipped. The song has also become popular at sporting events.

As a protest to the song, another song was created. This time, by a person with communist leanings. The song writer felt that the first song didn’t give homage to America’s vision of fraternity, equity, and community and to the beautiful variety of the American landscape. Like the first song above, the lyrics changed over time. It too became a favorite of activists.

Both songs have reached iconic status in America. Few of us can resist singing along when we hear either song being sung. God Bless America by Irving Berlin and This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie bring tears to eyes as they are being sung.

At the inauguration of President Joe Biden, performer Jennifer Lopez sang a blended version of the two songs. That performance is symbolic of the blended society we have become. One song was written as a patriotic tribute to America became blended with another song. The first song was written by someone who escaped Communism while the second song was embraced by a writer who embraced Communism. written as a protest. The singer was of Hispanic heritage, representing the blended society that is America. You can watch the performance here.

A blended society is a vibrant society. When cultures share their heritage, the blending accentuates the value of all cultures. When different perspectives can be blended, everyone benefits. The blending process can be challenging and troublesome to those who are fearful of losing their identity. But the reality is that the blending amplifies the value of each culture.

Just imagine how blending has enhanced the community where you live? Just imagine how blending has strengthened opportunities for all of our citizens who have the ambition to better themselves? Just imagine how blending has reinforced our values of acceptance, dignity, grace, and tolerance.

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“I really like blending two things together that are polar opposites. Because I feel like, in a large aspect, that’s kinda like what I am.” – Kyle (rap musician).

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