Tuesday, October 30, 2018

There Are No Easy Answers!

The focus is again on the violence that has erupted in this land of the free.  Blacks shot in a grocery store because the guy couldn’t get into a church that he had targeted.  Bombs sent to
Trump critics by a MAGA true believer.  Old people slaughtered in a synagogue by a virulent anti-Semite.  And those are just the ones in today’s headlines.  Less visible is the long line of others wanting to do the same.

So the commentators, the survivors, the politicians and the 24/7 media are trying to figure out what’s going on, why, what can we do, what does all this mean, who’s to blame, etc. etc.  Trump is the easiest target.  For sure his divisive, bigoted rhetoric of hate deserves to be called out and deplored, but he’s the messenger, the accelerant, for what’s already going on in this country, not the source of it. 

I would argue that as Americans we have much to be proud of – from the beginning to the present.  But we also have an incredible ability to buy into the myth we’ve created about how wonderful we are.  America First.  American Exceptionalism.  Leader of the Free World. Gleaming City on the Hill.

In fits and starts we’ve acknowledged the dirty underbelly of America the Beautiful, but we’ve never really fully confronted it.  The racism.  The religious prejudice.  The income inequality.  The discrimination against the ‘others,’ whoever the latest ‘others’ may be – especially if they aren’t white and don’t speak English.

Is it worse now than in the past?  Not really.  Just more obvious given 21st century communication.  Will we wake up in time to reverse direction and come closer to realizing our American Myth?  I’d like to say I’m hopeful.  But I’m not.

There are no easy answers!


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