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Still Two Americas

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

Let’s admit it: we in the United States think pretty highly of ourselves.

· We comprise around 9% of the Earth’s population, yet we use 25% of the Earth’s resources.

· Our federal government brags about how well we are handing COVID-19, yet the U.S. has more of a problem with coronavirus than any other country in the world.

· Some of us have deluded ourselves into to thinkIng that there is one America; in fact, we really have two Americas, one for white people and one for everyone else.

If you live in the America for Whites, you see the police as your protectors. If you live in the America for Everyone-Else, you see the police as people you may not be able to trust. The America for Everyone-Else, especially the America for Blacks, has every reason to see the police as people who will likely harass or even kill you. For over 100 years, the Americans who are most likely to be killed or hurt are Black males.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past two weeks, “America, we have a problem.” How can anyone see it otherwise?

Well, I guess the current President of the United States does. He and many others, i.e., many White folks, seem to be OK with White people storming state capitols with semi-automatic weapons, screaming in the face of police and being permitted to walk away with no consequence. Heck, where I live, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows citizens to kill other citizens if they feel threatened, even if the other person is unarmed. Really.

I’m sure those cops in Wisconsin and other states felt threatened when those armed White folks who were tired of coronavirus lockdown stormed the streets (did you see any non-Whites in the news?) violating their State’s orders. The police might have been within their legal rights to kill some of those who threatened them, but that didn’t happen. In fact, not one rubber bullet was fired nor one flash-bang grenade tossed into the crowd.

But if the protestors were Black or Brown people? A whole different story. Get out the truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets, boys.

So how does this continue to plague a country that deludes itself into thinking it is “The Best Country in the World”? Anyone who questions our supposed superiority is called “unpatriotic” by those who live in the America for Whites, even though all citizens in the U.S. - whatever their race or culture - has the constitutional right to assemble and protest.

The great educator and leader Carlos Rodríguez often said, “The United States will never be good enough for anyone until it is good enough for everyone.”

Those who think the U.S. is good enough now tend to be White. If you’re White and don’t agree with that, you’ve been ignoring the truth about yourself, your largely unearned privilege, and the very different America for Everyone

-Else. Wake up, people, and smell the coffee.

So many White folks watched with horror as George Floyd was killed in real time, yet still remain silent outside of their homes on this travesty and the long, horrible history of mistreatment of the folks who live in America for Everyone-Else. White folks who are silent are a major part of the problem. Until White folks start speaking out, their silence is consent.

Black Lives Matter does not mean only Black lives matter. It means that Black lives haven’t mattered - and it’s way past time to recognize that and treat everyone as though they live in an America that is yet to exist: the America That Is Good Enough For Everyone.

Because right now, we all live in an America That Isn’t Good Enough For Anyone.

©️Copyright by David Samore. Excerpts in part or whole may not be used without the expressed permission of David Samore.

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