Masood Akhtar is a columnist, an entrepreneur and adviser to the Muslim community, and has lived in Madison for more than 30 years. (Photo courtesy of Madison Magazine)

Minorities in America are living between hope and fear. Our hope is our U.S. Constitution. Our fear is how many innocent lives are going to be lost because of our color, ethnicity or religion.

First, with Thanksgiving weekend still in mind, let’s all be thankful to our Founding Fathers for creating a four-page U.S. Constitution protecting our democratic values — liberty, equality and justice for all.

Second, let’s all be thankful to our local communities that stand up for each other when innocent lives are lost. During such difficult times, we see America at its best when our community members show their full support by sending emails, letters and flowers and strongly condemning attacks. These gestures remind us that America offers hope, and that we should never give up even when the very principles that form the foundations of our country are being tested.

While we are thankful, let’s all make a resolution now and not wait until next year: We all must commit to working together in a nonpartisan way to make America great again through unity and by rooting out divisiveness. Let’s build a prosperous America for all that’s free of violence and extremism by educating our friends, neighbors and co-workers at the dinner table that we are just like you. We all are a nation of immigrants with diverse faiths or no faith, but we share a common belief that our differences make us only better.

Let’s have a cup of tea and remind each other that what really makes America exceptional is the acceptance of any and all people, no matter our origin, color or religion. On the Fourth of July, each of us would say, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…” and not to the flag of black America or brown America or white America.

We all love that America promotes unity and not uniformity. Everybody’s opinion is respected, despite our differences. Those who are lucky enough to be born here may or may not recognize what America offers. Let’s conclude without any hesitation that America is different than the rest of the world, and that is why we all are here.

We trust our Constitution, which provides a system of checks and balances, including limits and controls on the powers of each branch of U.S. government so no single branch becomes too powerful.

President Harry Truman said: “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

The Rev. Martin Luther King said: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate. … Hate cannot drive hate, only love can do that.”

Yet we are now living in an environment of fear and hate, knowing that hate is not a Republican issue nor a Democrat issue. It’s a human issue, and it should be dealt with in a nonpartisan way.

I am confident that, despite all of the anti-minority rhetoric, America will remain the best place on Earth to fulfill our American dreams. America also will continue to serve as the role model for other countries to follow, particularly the Middle East which is burning and is in great need of reform.

But this will only be accomplished if we continue to stand up for the freedom of others, while enjoying ours. Let’s continue to be a superpower, but without making other countries powerless. May God bless America.