We and They in America…


we they

America certainly does have a “we” and a “they” problem.  What does this mean?  It basically comes down to who we classify as “in” or “we” versus who is “out” or “they”.  What is the criteria for this classification?  This issue is a small, tight bottleneck that inhibits the overall good of our society.

Where does it come from?  This is a question that many Americans and most people who live outside of the U.S. ask all the time.  People ask:  Why is the U.S. so opposed to income equality, welfare, and healthcare for all?  Do they not understand that by helping all of their citizens, society as a whole benefits?  In a nutshell, no, they don’t understand or do not make the connection.   People get upset if they feel that their hard-earned tax dollars go to help anyone that they don’t know or care about.  What people are failing to see is the demise of a society with a growing gap in income inequality that is ravaging the middle and lower classes.

This is a huge issue.  It affects all facets of our society including education, healthcare, and more than anything else…poverty.  Robert Reich wrote an excellent piece about this:  America’s We Problem.

From the article:

One obvious explanation involves race. Detroit is mostly black; Oakland County, mostly white. The secessionist school districts in the South are almost entirely white; the neighborhoods they’re leaving behind, mostly black.

But racism has been with us from the start. Although some southern school districts are seceding in the wake of the ending of court-ordered desegregation, race alone can’t explain the broader national pattern. According to Census Bureau numbers, two-thirds of Americans below the poverty line at any given point identify themselves as white.

Another culprit is the increasing economic stress felt by most middle-class Americans. Median household incomes are dropping and over three-quarters of Americans report they’re living paycheck to paycheck.

This is certainly a fight that we must not lose.  We must continue to raise awareness of the consequences of the “we” versus “they” mentality that is plaguing America.  There is too much at stake to let this pass by.

income-distribution-in-america-chart

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4 responses to “We and They in America…”

  1. drugsandotherthings says :

    makes me think of Pink Floyds “Us and Them”
    “Us and Them, And after all we’re only ordinary men…”

    Divisions are required for power…

    And I would say the issue is highly complicated. We are all deeply flawed in our own ways, but overwhelmingly we want to believe that “we” re right, that “We” have the answers, that “We” see through the lies…and so “We” are better…

    The most brilliant people I have ever known all share one trait- an amazing willingness to not only hear different views- but to easily admit when they are wrong….

    A huge problem I think lies in that our individual experiences of the world are so narrow- we start to believe that “Our” reality somehow reflects “THE” reality. Which I suppose is why I would say everything from travel, to psychedelic drugs, to experiences outside ones comfort zone are so vitally important….

    • thejumbledmind says :

      I agree, it is definitely very complicated. I also agree that our individual world experiences are so narrow and with that there is little exposure to alternative viewpoints on any particular issue. How does the saying go? “Perception is reality.” – I feel as though I have experienced this first hand and have had my eyes opened to a much more global perspective. Anyways, thanks for commenting, I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

  2. Barneysday says :

    Fear is not adequately being accounted for, in my opinion. Fear of losing ones job, house, medical coverage, etc creates a protectionist, almost bunker mentality where one builds a wall around themselves and their “assets.” I’ve got mine, and will do everything I can to protect and defend it. The natural corollary is to think, “I got mine, you go out and get yours.”

    Great post

    • thejumbledmind says :

      Fear is definitely a major factor – again, I have experienced that first hand. I believe that education – real education – is the only way to deal with issue. Exposing people to differing views will certainly help. I also think that people in developed countries are so easily removed from the issues and have the greatest fear in standing up against injustices. When you look at developing countries, the people gather in masses to protest the same injustices. Again, thanks for commenting and for the kind words!

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