America is the home of the free and the land of the brave. It is one of arguably three superpowers that attempt to police world peace and influence its ideology and cultural influences throughout the globe. Immigrants from around the world continue to attempt to migrate to the United States because, if nothing else, America is still the land of opportunity.
However as an upcoming presidential election brings to light, and more specifically the rhetoric of the Republican nominee, highlight our country’s increasingly perceived hypocrisy. A country built on illegal immigrants, from the interloping settlers who simply claimed everything they saw irrespective of the natives who occupied for centuries prior to their arrival and the subsequent importation of an estimated 6 to 7 million Africans and their subsequent offspring who were only granted the title of “Americans” after nearly 250 years of enslavement. Many now want to close our borders except to highly educated and affluent Europeans, Canadians and Asians.
This is not to say that we should not have restrictions and controls on whom we let in, but it just cannot be based primarily on incendiary language and prejudices. Terrorism abroad and the threat of its infiltration into the United States are real and palpable. However, the threat already festering within our country is something that needs to be addressed immediately.
I am not referring to ISIS radicalized US citizens or residents or even degrees of Narco-terrorism from cartels that trickles into the daily lives in nearly every big city. Again, these are major concerns but known and with significant resources pushed toward their eradication. What has gone largely unnoticed or at least unaddressed are the ever growing disparity amongst the haves and have nots in this country.
All Lives Matter…That said, it is important for America as a whole to understand and not be dismissive of cries that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Fox News and other right wing organizations would have us believe that the very victims of injustice and persecution by their sheer audacity to speak out against and want justice or at the very least change are criminals, thugs and/or terrorists for the most un-American acts of speaking out.
This however isn’t the platform to rally against Fox, too easy because you are either for or against that viewpoint to begin with. No, the attempt today is to try and explain why Black (& Brown) Lives should Matter to the majority of Americans.
Blacks comprise roughly 14 percent of the United States population. Hispanics are around 18 percent (and growing). According to the US Census, the United States 2016 estimated population was just over 322 Million. That means that over 101 Million Americans are considered Black and/or Hispanic. People Of Color are presently a minority of the United States’ population but POC still represent a large number of people (and population trends show the minority is trending toward approaching a majority in numbers in time) who feel oppression and injustice in this country.
These problems must be addressed and having such a large demographic feel fractured, disenfranchised and unprotected by the system and law enforcement is a problem that needs to be rectified. The GOP talks so much about trickle down economics in which the vibrancy of the rich and a strong economy is supposed to trickle down and benefit the rest of us, what about the ripple effect of protest and dissent on such a large part of the United States’ population. We have seen pockets of civil unrest, how long before that unrest takes on a more vocal, organized and less patient position in calls for change that are being largely ignored.
America will never be a utopia of single-minded thought and harmony. We are too culturally and racially diverse to be completely like-minded. However, America and in particular, the present White majority, has to do a better job of showing empathy and understanding for its brothers and sisters who are screaming at the need for more equality and protection at the hands of a system that is supposed to be created for all men (and women) equally.
The problems do not go away by ignoring them or denouncing the voice of dissent. Whites criticize the government and perceived wrongs and that criticism is somehow considered patriotic. Blacks, POC and immigrant groups criticize and they are vilified. The hypocrisy has to stop. More importantly the present majority in America has to come to grips that the issues affecting such a large portion of its populace are in fact issues that affect the country as a whole and them specifically.
Empathy and understanding are not bad words. There is no arguable potential for any bad coming from trying to understand and rectify the problems that so many of your citizens encounter. The problems may not ever fully be eradicated for all in the United States, but the efforts to do so, rather than demonizing and ignoring the voices that call for change, will only help push this country to greater heights.
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#justiceforall #america, #blacklivesmatter #election2016 #firstamendment #empathy