We and They in America…
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.