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The Continental Divide

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According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of Americans find the divide between Democrats and Republicans stronger than ever before. In addition the left and right, blacks and whites, rich and poor, and practically every religion faces polarization in American society today because we have forgotten what it’s like to be polite. In the current political climate, these polarized groups are more evident among citizens in this day and age.

Along with the political divide, people of different racial groups are separated from one another as witnessed in our midterm elections in Florida and Georgia and the march in Charlottesville.

The wealth gap is a prime example of this divide. Since abolishing slavery, American laws addressed the wounds caused by years of injustice, such as passing the civil rights act, outlawing Jim Crow segregation, and electing black politicians; however, there are still wounds of slavery present today.

According to the Center for American Progress, “The median wealth of white households in America is $171,000, whereas the median wealth for black households is $17,600. Many white Americans acquired wealth from their past relatives, who earned money from their slaves work; while slave owners were making money, slaves were not. After abolishing slavery, the money stayed around; however, the freed slaves were forced to start from scratch.”

The American management also lacks black representation. There are currently only four black CEOs in the Fortune 500 (An annual list of the 500 most profitable American industrial corporations). A lack of black CEOs represents a major problem in American society, as major corporations control popular culture, creating a gap and lack of representation in society that tailors to the white view.

Sports emulates society, and in the world of professional sports owners there exists only one black majority owner out of 122 teams in the four major American sports franchises.

Polarization between Americans and Latin Americans, specifically immigrants, is also prevalent in America. Regardless of what many conservative politicians have said, Latin American immigrants are not stealing our jobs, they are creating more, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

In late October, an anti-Semite killed 11 adults at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert D. Bowers screamed, “All Jews must die” before opening fire. The perpetrator in this shooting was a white Christian, as most domestic terrorists are in America.

According to the Huffington post, most of America’s terrorists are white right wing Americans, and not Muslim. This public viewpoint is caused from the way right-wing American politicians who portray people whose views they do not agree with.

When a white Christian commits terrorism, it is seen as a mental health issue, not terrorism; however, if a Muslim commits the same crime it is terrorism. The irony in this is whether or not someone commits a horrific crime, people think that the fault is in the hands of people of different religions.

153 years since abolishing slavery, 99 years after passing the 19th amendment, 64 years after Brown v. Board of Education, and 25 years after the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, America is still segregated.

In the words of Rodney King, a victim of police brutality in 1991, “Can’t we all just get along?”

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The Continental Divide