Dear Sir. London N. Breed,
I begin my letter to you this day of November 25th, with what may seem as simple yet indispensable words, words which linger at the heart of who we are, better yet said who we should aim to be, as the people of this lovely and yet, I regret to see, fraying nation. No, I am not someone you personally know or anyone of political glory, but I am a citizen of this beloved country, a country which I love dearly and deeply. Thus, I feel the responsibility to say something when I see with my naked eye that the country I deeply love and cherish frays apart by reasons which cannot be, in any right mind, justified by nothing and none. I plead you, to read this letter as if you would read a letter from a friend. Imagine going back in time, back to 1787, and ask yourself if the same definition found below, one based upon which this country was built, can be applied to our nation today. If these words cannot be applied today, I am afraid that this country is becoming less and less the great place it was intended to be for its people and I am certain you agree with me when I say that all of the delegates present at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia would be in agreement with me. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Just last weekend, as part of considering making California my new home, I traveled to San Francisco, California. My delight and enthusiasm, moments after checking into my beautiful hotel room at but the edge of the renowned Union Square, were shuttered by what was nothing but a shocking and alarming social reality which made me think of but a single notion, a movement towards total entropy. My two day vacation has surpassed the mere experience of disappointment. I felt shoved into something I never thought would be possible in this country. I have never been so frightened and appalled by the appearance of a big city in my entire life.
My first impression of this presumed glorious city consisted literally of the questions: “Who the hell lives here?” followed by “How could this be possible?” I could not but ask myself questions like: “What has happened here?” and “Here, of all places?” These questions haunted me for two days in which, I am afraid to say, I felt stunned as if paralyzed by a nightmare’s glare, despite finding myself in a charming hotel room, frightened to walk even a block away to the local café. On my way to dinner that first night, I found myself walking on the dirtiest streets I have ever seen, in a city which gave the appearance of a zombie town in which decay and filth were more than protuberant reality. The stink of the piles of garbage along with the disturbance of the decay of society which I have observed during my visit downtown would kill any dream, especially the American Dream, yet here I was in the state which is supposed to stand for elite education and glamorous flare.
I had a premier orchestra ticket to attend the San Francisco Symphony Hall’s “From the Diary of Anne Frank” performance that very Saturday, November 17th, an event I was more than looking forward to during my last night in the city. Due to fear and disgust, I was unable to attend. I felt petrified, by the shocking reality which lurked around me. It is shameful that the impression of California can be so agonizing for a spirit in love with this country’s core values and the dreams which stand behind them. I live in a big city and I know that filth and homeless are part of big cities, but San Francisco was by far the worse experience of my life. What is most shameful, isn’t the filth and the problem with homelessness, it is that nobody is doing anything about it. And this is why I write my letter to you. I know what it means to live in a country that was considered a third world country and that was neither as frightening nor as distressful as my two days spent in San Francisco.
Not even in a third world country, I do not recall seeing the mentally ill walking about the streets. We are not just talking here about common sense but the threat to public safety and the lack of consideration for such which defile the beautiful and significant words that define our very Constitution, the words which encourage us to, and I quote, “insure domestic tranquility.” As I stood in my hotel room, I researched what the kind bartender at the nearby Italian restaurant remarked about the homeless situation there and I was utterly disgusted to find out that due to funding the streets of San Francisco are not safe. When we speak about the mentally ill walking about in society, we aren’t just talking about a flaw in the system but the indifference towards public safety. You lose that, you lose order, you lose everything that is worthy to be described as civilization. The quality of life matters for all living, reasonably minded creatures under the sky who work hard to have a life worthy to be lived, not just for a select few, and this quality of life depends partially on the safety of our nation and its people just as much as on its economic progress and well-being. You see, dear Sir, forming the more perfect union, establishing the justice, providing common defense, promoting general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty so well defined in our Constitutions’ Preamble, cannot be attained without insuring domestic tranquility. And this domestic tranquility has a demand, yes it requires the use of our consciousness and the practice of our concern which is every citizen’s responsibility.
Domestic tranquility cannot happen by us standing to the side as silent observers, sitting as idle statues maneuvered by a fallacy of thought that we must somehow be tolerant of everything and everyone, and meanwhile we ignore the truth for the sake of being complacent as this ignorance robs us of all that is right and good. We are doomed if we ignore our inner common sense, rationale, and our core sentimental values. I say this with all my heart and all of my respect, I do not wish to see this country become what San Francisco has become and I hope that whatever it is in your power you will do, to encourage a change for the restoration of what this nation once was. This nation still has tremendous potential. We have to concern ourselves with what once was, what it is, and what we want it to become. This is our home and we have a chance to restore what has been lost, improve what has been degraded, and create a brighter tomorrow. It sounds like a dream, I know, but didn’t the people whose hearts longed to establish this nation did so because they had a dream, a dream for a brighter tomorrow? It all started with a dream. That is why our flag is painted with stars. Stars are the hopeful dreams that beam into and throughout the darkness. Let us not ever forget that.
I hope from the bottom of my heart, that you will consider the content of my letter with much deliberation for what is important to you as a politician, as a citizen of the same nation I love and which it is assumed you love as well, and above all things, as a fellow man under the same star-spangled sky I see and I treasure each and every day.
Carmen A. K.