As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, American Divide turns a corner. I started down this road twice in the last three months but never quite left the starting blocks. It’s true, change is hard. September will begin a series of turns that will steer the focus of the blog away from a heavy politics and social justice leaning. I’ll concentrates on simplier divisions. Those that really matter. The ones close to home. The ones we all relate to instantly. The division in our schools must be highlighted here if there is a conversation about an American Divide. The challenges of the American family must be a part of the dialogue. Our neighborhoods are divided. America didn’t morph into a divided country in 2016. It has always been that way. We took it for granted. Here’s the history behind this shift.
The American Divide I’ve flirted with over the past year of blog posts isn’t the result of the buffoonery playing out in American politics. The American Divide I know isn’t the embodiment of one person, one race or the other or even about a movement or rally or ideology. The American Divide I know breathed life into my lungs on a cool November morning more than six decades ago. It taught me to speak, to walk, to run, to hide. That divide also taught me to put the blinders on. Then, suddenly, reality hit me in the face.
The American Divide I know isn’t the embodiment of one person, one race or the other or even about a movement or rally or ideology.
I have always lived in an “us versus them” America. Kids and parents. Boys against girls was next. Then skins and shirts. The smart kids and “everyone else” in grade school. Black or White kicked in during the 1960’s. Rich or poor soon followed. The list goes on and on. A different division defined nearly every decade of my life. Everyone worked with what we had. Division sometimes brought change. Sometimes it didn’t.
My wife and I have enjoyed life as a retirees for a few years now. I’m surprised at how busy we are. Maybe it’s because we have more time for the details. More time for family. More time to pamper ourselves. Some days I’m ecstatic about what I see and hear. Then there are days I’m simply shocked. Embarrassed even. I think we all have those days. We’re just too busy to notice. Then one day I had all the time in the world. That day, reality stared me in the face and dared me to ignore it. So, here we are.
Today, things haven’t changed much. We embrace small victories as always. And we blame someone else when we’re not victorious. Those looking closely see the same challenges that may always lived in every corner of America. #MeToo. #SchoolSafety. #BlackLivesMatter. #PrisonReform. #Charlottesville. #ICan’tBreathe. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. All simply restate the American Divide that has always been there.