Us v. them in the same society / by kevin murray

America wants to believe and claims to live to its principle, that all are created equal, and all are entitled to equal justice under the law without favoritism.  Further to the point, America in so many ways is a great experiment, of allowing and permitting into this country, so many different nationalities as well as so many different faiths, under the belief, that the love of country and of what it represents will unite these disparate elements.  It is a grand and a very noble experiment.


So first things first, one must give a lot of credit to America, in even attempting to be that human melting pot, of which, one is hard pressed to name any other country, that has done so much for so many, and provided real opportunity for those that are not white, Protestant, and Anglo-Saxon in heritage.  However, America has also made the sacred promise to not discriminate against race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability, but in so many ways, America has not even come close to living that in action, for America most definitely discriminates in ways small and large against those very things, and in particular, especially discriminates against those that are poor and disadvantaged.  This intractable problem is further exacerbated by the fact that America is clearly divided between those that have and those that have not, of which those that have not, are often those that have not had even a scintilla of real opportunity and of real assistance to have a fair shot and a fair opportunity for success and prosperity.


Not too surprisingly, in a country in which a minority of people has an awful lot, and a significant underclass of people has just awful lives as well as awful living conditions, in which the middle class is stuck between these two worlds and often has enough trouble of their own just to maintain their status, there is always going to be significant civil unrest or undercurrents of that unrest.  That civil unrest, could readily be ameliorated, if the government and its people would meaningfully address the issues of poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of good education, and lack of justice in those communities that are suffering from these ills, rather than doing the very opposite of such, which is to as much as possible, shut those that are poor and disadvantaged, down.


So then, rather than spend the billions to help those that need and deserve to be helped, this country in its public policies and its implementations, fundamentally has determined that it would rather spend those billions on dividing this country into two opposing camps, of which, the camp with all the money and all the property and all the power, either incarcerates or exploits those that have little or nothing, for the benefit of that ruling class.  To do such, effectively makes this nation disunited, for an objective look at the who, what, and why of the American incarceration policy, for example, demonstrates that America imprisons or discriminates primarily against those people whose only real crime, most of the time, is one of being impoverished and of lacking any realistic means to escape from such.


America is unequal in every single definition of that word, and that inequality has material consequences.  It is the reason why so many, feel so unsafe, and it is also the reason why so many feel so discriminated against; and as long as America stays disunited, this country will be a far more foreboding place to be, rather than being and representing the last best hope of mankind.