We Can’t Let America Hate Again
There has been a call to “Make America Great Again.” But what exactly does that mean? When did America veer off that path of greatness?
Was it when the U.S. dared to declare freedom and equality for all people in the Declaration of Independence?
Was it when we proved we meant equality for all during the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement?
Was it the countless times we have fought for the rights of not just our own people but those from all over the world who have been persecuted against by xenophobics?
Or…. Was it when U.S. companies outsourced labor? Was it when the government demonized entire ethnic and religious groups in an effort to cover up the U.S.’s responsibility for creating the extremist groups that now terrorize the world? Was it when the government broke the back of the working and middle class America by creating tax loopholes and giving tax breaks to huge corporations and conglomerates?
America has veered from the path of greatness, she has failed her people in very real ways, and she has failed to address their legitimate concerns. So let’s address those concerns.
Immigrants and people overseas are not the enemy, they are the victims just as much, if not more, than you are. They didn’t ask for a wage so pitiful it seems a misnomer to even call it a wage. They didn’t ask for horrendous working conditions. And they don’t want these circumstances any more than you or I. They aren’t “grateful” to get whatever they can. Our trade policies and our drug wars ravaged their economy, and forced them into this choice of poverty or poverty. Our policy makers have thrown us all to the wolves of Apple and Walmart. And we’re so caught up blaming each other that we let them get away with it.
Demonizing the Other
Perhaps the most demonized group in society today is Muslims. Despite the U.S. government and media’s fear mongering about an entire religious group, Muslim extremists represent only about 0.01 percent of Muslims total. Muslims are more likely to be victims of hate crimes than others are to be attacked by a Muslim. The fact is that the U.S.’s intervention in the Middle East has played a large part in creating these extremist groups. And now, we have a lose-lose situation because it is impossible to ignore the atrocities that are happening in the Middle East, but intervention and attempts to control the culture and resources are what caused the situation in the first place. Regardless of the solution that I by no means have, the fact remains that the demonizing of Muslims has been unjustified. It has created a culture of fear and intolerance. And America has resorted to demonizing an entire group because she can’t take responsibility for her part in creating the real danger. America can’t admit to her people that it isn’t Muslims they should fear, but her unbridled power overreaches. It’s time we own up to our mistakes, stop demonizing entire groups of people, and focus on healing the damage through reconciliation.
Tax Breaks for the Rich, Back Breaks for Rest
Let’s face it, income equality is worse now than it’s ever been, and it’s only going to get worse under current policies. Trickle down economics DO NOT WORK. If they worked, then the richest 1 percent of Americans wouldn’t own 35 percent of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 80 percent own just 11 percent of the nation’s wealth. If they worked, 30 percent of income inequality wouldn’t be due to unfair taxes and budget cuts to services and benefits. If they worked, CEOs of major corporations wouldn’t earn nearly 300 times more than an average worker. CEOs and Wall Street only care about two things: money and themselves. They will say anything to convince the American people that tax breaks for the rich are in everyone’s best interest, but this is a blatant lie. And this lie is breaking us. This ever-widening income gap has poisoned the American Dream and made it almost impossible to attain. It doesn’t matter how hard you work because the rich will keep getting richer and the poor will keep getting poorer. That’s the future we’re facing right now. America’s policymakers have let her people down by perpetuating this system. It’s time to put it to an end.
We can’t make America great again by dividing ourselves. It’s time we unite and face the real enemy, and get back the greatness we all want for America. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be quick. But the future of our nation and of the world is worth the battle.
So let us courageously march together and fight for the human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness like so many before us have. And let us remember, that we ALL succeed or fail, win or lose, together. America, it’s time to reclaim the united part of our states.
Join the movement for unity. Attend the DTC Biennial Conference, Sustaining Global Change: Healing and Liberation where you will learn from and connect with national and global speakers, as well as other community members, all of whom are coming together to take those first steps toward a better tomorrow.
About the Blogger:
A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, Elizabeth McGlone is the Blog Coordinator at the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation and Global Justice. Elizabeth is a senior at Butler University and is studying Strategic Communications and Psychology. Elizabeth is passionate about social justice and lives by Margaret Mead’s quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”