The US is the world’s melting pot for the nascent global society forced to deal with basic challenges like climate change, transnational commerce, cultural disconnect, racial animosity, religious fanaticism, gender confusion, civil unrest and political upheaval over issues too buried to be known. If all that is not a burden too heavy for America to carry, break it all down to the personal level.
The family home where I have an apartment in New York Bronx was built at the turn of the 20th century by refugees from the Balkan country of Montenegro. In the middle of the Covid pandemic, the building was sold by an absentee landlord to a Mexican family totally uninterested in mingling with outsiders. They wanted no rent, just a vacancy as quick as possible.
In the middle of Covid, the evacuation took longer than expected. At the same time and seemingly overnight, the entire neighborhood underwent a change in ethnic character. From European White, it went to brown Arabic and then to the multicultural group of Hispanics lumped into the umbrella category known in America as minority.
Wait. In this global Melting Pot called America founded on the principle that all people are created equal, conspicuously absent are American Blacks whose enslaved labor allowed European refugees escaping hardship to find refuge and establish roots here. Those American ex-slaves are still fighting for equal rights. New immigrants may be stealing their rightful thunder.
Today’s immigrants are not the tired, the hungry and the poor of yesterday. They come here as relatives of those already established. They come not as supplicants searching for a handout but as equal partners entitled to whatever part of the American dream they can grab. Some return home once they make a fortune here. There they live like social kings on the wages earned here.
Such is the global reality of today. It is a situation that gives White supremacists the excuse they need to wreak havoc on the country and the world.
Looking objectively at White supremacists like the Proud Boy gang or their hero Donald Trump, it is hard to see any reason to be entitled to the designation of supreme. But they are members of the group that currently holds the global economic levers. That status developed because of democratic liberty. The US Constitution opened the door of prosperity for all, at least as an ideal worth pursuing. The French Revolution and a tsunami of others made clear just how popular the idea was. And still is, as long as the greedy of the world can be kept in check.
Greed can take many forms and employ a full range of tactics to achieve its ends. Money and political power top the list of socially acceptable strategies for satisfying greed in the industrialized democratic countries. But to those who aspire to heights out of reach, less acceptable forms of rising upward may be an alternative, maybe even justified by the sense of entitlement that comes from being in an entitled country.
As the 2022 midterm elections near, America is on the verge of losing its democracy because of radical conflicts so strong that bloodshed is a threat. The king of greed in all its forms who managed to capture the naive American White House is still wreaking havoc with America’s conservatives. The stalwart middle-class Democratic party is torn asunder by divisions over the way forward for the country.
The “woke” elitists are at war with gun-toting election deniers. All-American seasoned Joe Biden is the bad guy caught between everyday malcontents and the progressives who are mostly minorities and not American Blacks.
In the land of opportunity where the ambitious at all levels can lose sight of the bigger democratic picture, it is easy to rub others the wrong way. Good guy Joe Biden is slammed for caving to progressives, coddling illegals, favoring foreigners and eating ice cream in public.
In the heated atmosphere of today’s America where “woke” culture talks a different experiential language from angry White guys incenced by uppity minority women demanding rights, it might help all sides to heed a piece of advice once offered to a young woman by an old world misogynist.
“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
To win hearts in the decades to come, talk turkey instead of political correctness. Resist the temptation to be greedy for attention by berating. And most immediately, vote blue, stop demanding miracles and support the President of your country doing a yeoman’s job preventing a Third World War.`