The Fourth of July is less than 10 days away – a time to reflect on patriotism and the ineffable privilege of living in this country.
In war, many things have changed. The ramparts from which those at home watch a war are not first-hand, but they are up close and personal: television, YouTube, iPads and smartphones.
The red glare of rockets has been replaced by missile-carrying drones, some as small as an apple or a bug. Spreading conflicts that have sent our armed servicemen and -women to three separate fronts have not diminished the nations desire for peace. We all love our country, and outspoken protests on almost any issue serve to bolster our faith in the First Amendment.
The RoundTable takes seriously its mission to promote the open discussion of ideas, on the basis that the winnowing process of critical analysis will move us forward as a community. We prefer civil discourse to angry confrontation and we prefer candor to secrecy. So our ears have pricked up at what appears to be a purposeful trend. In the media and at large, the word “citizens” is now used where “residents” once seemed to suffice. Is this merely a new trope, or is it a whispering campaign? When we think of “citizens,” are we to think of voters? Or does this usage have a deliberately negative “shadow” – an intention of making us think, rather, of undocumented persons who have chosen, or feel they have been driven, to make the United States their home?
Again, we do not fully understand the current usage, but, while there may be nothing to its orgin, we feel it is a divisive and even insidious trend. For the immediate future, therefore, the RoundTable will address, discuss, analyze the actions of – and live among – the “residents” of Evanston.