21st Century Racism and the America Spirit
While on a recent driving trip returning my grandkids to their caretakers, I popped CD’s into the player to keep me awake, and this one came up. While it’s an older song created by Neil Diamond and was very popular back in the ’70’s, I thought about the premise of the song and how it applies in this new century and how it relates with this new administration that has gotten laid back Americans on their feet with activism again.
Thinking about the fact that MOST Americans are immigrants as described in this song, yet this administration is totally against new immigration, and thinking about the unrest and the racism that has risen again, I came up with these points to ponder:
- At the most in our history of over 200 years, 15 out of 50 states (that’s 30% – interesting that number matches the administration’s supporters) had slavery.
- That means 70% of the country NEVER had slaves.
- Population studies for the 1850’s show that the population was 23 million with 3 million of those being slaves.
- So only 13% were slaves at the time of the Civil War (13% too many of course, but relatively speaking)
- That slavery ended over 150 years ago, yet we are still fighting the remnants of the results of that slavery. And although the war that was fought to fight that slavery was over then as well, the remnants include statues of heroes who fought on both sides of a very important war.
- In the time after that 150 years ago, the immigration rate has risen and fallen. (Source: https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-have-immigrated-to-the-United-States-since-1865)
- Considering that even in 1850, 3 million were slaves vs 40 million were immigrants who didn’t own slaves, this country was built as much by immigrants as by slavery.
- So 14% of the population were immigrants, almost equal to the 13% that were slaves in 1850.
- In addition, slavery stopped in 1850, while immigration continued with a constant influx for another 50 years.
- Both immigrants and former slaves struggled to get on their feet for the next century.
- Both immigrants and former slaves faced prejudices – think about, Micks, Jews, Polocks, Chinese, Japanese, & even Native Americans and countless others, who have all had their unique struggles to get their start in this New World.
In conclusion, thinking about the American Spirit that is helping millions of Texans survive a natural disaster at this time, no matter whether their ancestors were slaves, immigrants, or plantation owners, it’s time:
- to let slavery stay in history.
- to let that American Spirit which brought immigrants to this country by the millions grow to support each other rather than tearing each other down.
- to let those worn down by racism to arise with the American Spirit of helping themselves and others to grab the American Dream.
I’ll bet that Abraham Lincoln is turning over in his grave watching us bring up the old struggles that he tried to lay to rest in his Gettysburg Address!
Wake up Americans! Stop listening to those that want to divide us…. we have so much in common, and so much we need each other for…. Gather your American Spirit and share your American Dream!