“One Nation”, “One America”: A Rallying Cry for Unity

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By Juanita Bratcher


It was in the spirit of unity that thousands of Americans flocked to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC at a rally Saturday (October 2) where speaker after speaker pronounced their intentions of building a future for the country that is workable for all people.

It was a pleasure to watch a rally dealing with pressing issues and calling for real solutions to issues that have had a dramatic hold on a slow moving economy, an economy that has sucked up millions of jobs, forced thousands of Americans into foreclosure, and brought about uncertainty in the landscape overall. 

“One Nation”, “One America” was the overall rallying cry coming from those in attendance at the “One Nation Working Together” Rally at the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years after the lauded and famous “I Have A Dream” speech delivered by Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 The One Nation Working Together rally was organized by local, state and national groups – civil rights, labor and religious. It seemed more like a “get out the vote rally,” but the rhetoric focused on the problems of jobs, reinvesting in the country’s infrastructure, public education and a myriad of other issues.

 This was serious talk – no belligerent voices. There were no spins, no slants, no hateful rhetoric, no insulting signs, no incendiary talk, polarization or mudslinging. It was all about working together for a better America, a great America – to come together in unity. There was no hatemongering. It was not a platform of division as has been at many Tea Party rallies, including the one put together by Talk Show Host Glenn Beck at the same location weeks ago.

 Moreover, the crowd at the rally was a diverse group of people, a true picture of America – something not seen at Tea Party rallies.

 Rev. Al Sharpton, one of several speakers at the “One Nation Working Together” Rally, noted that, “This is what America looks like – not one color, not one agenda.”

 Comedian Charlie Hill said “It’s all about healing.”

 Speaker after speaker underlined the issues, and talked about solutions to get the country back on track.

 Ed Schultz, host of “The Ed Show” on MSNBC, called the rally a “defining moment in America,” noting that the march was about “the power to the people.”

 Representatives from hundreds of organizations were present at the rally. Others attending the rally were Comedian Dick Gregory, Actor and Singer Harry Belafonte, one of the speakers; Former Politician and former head of the NAACP Julian Bond, and Richard Trumka, President of AFL-CIO. Trumka told the crowd to promise not to let anyone divide them or turn against each other; that they must stand together, fight together and win together. Benjamin Todd Jealous, President of the NAACP, urged attendees that when returning home, ask their friends and neighbors to vote.

 Some of the displayed signs at the “One Nation Working Together” stated: 

  • “We March For Hope Not Hate”
  • “Healthcare Not Warfare”
  • “Silence Republican Lies”
  • “Gonna Vote? You Betcha”
  • “Keep It Made In America”
  • “Jobs With Justice”
  • “Hell Yes, We Can”
  • “Go Out And Vote For Democrats”

Vowing America is “One Nation under God”; there were loud voices from the crowd repeatedly yelling “One Nation”, “One America”.

Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, described it as a positive and inclusive rally, and Wade Henderson, pointed out that “Voting is the language of democracy.” 

The “One Nation Working Together” rally was in the spirit of the people, a spirit of unity in working together toward a better and greater America.

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