All of us have seen someone you know, or follow on a social media platform discusses politics, the upcoming election, or what is happening to our beloved country at this time and you either engage in the conversation or choose to stay out of it due to being ostracized for your view. It doesn’t matter which side of whatever debate you are on; in today’s America we are more divided than ever.
Over the last twenty or so years, we Americans have shifted from a mixture of political views to being staunchly on one side of the debate or the other. To put it in numbers, some pundits claim more than 40% of the total population now classifies themselves in one political party or the other. Where just a decade or two ago, most American’s identified with a political party but felt their interpretation of views was somewhere in the middle.
What is more concerning, is that over the same time the amount of people that feel the other political party is a threat to the American way of life has more than doubled. The ever-widening path of polarization has created what we see in front of us. Arguing politicians, misinformation in the media, and most especially social media, protests that have turned violent and fear is rampant in the hearts and minds of citizens.
But what exactly is driving the widening and deeper divide? Well, one can say the election of an outsider such as President Trump was the icing on the cake. But there were undertones of unsatisfied Americans before that night in 2016 when people were caught off guard. As if that wasn’t enough, now we have been forced back into an old debate based on the death of George Floyd and the eruption of an age-old debate about racism.
What no one wants to hear, is the actual truth. As sad as it is, we as Americans want to watch our Netflix, go to our shopping malls and eat out. Of course, COVID-19 had a little to do with that and we can debate those issues probably for some time to come, what we cannot do is ignore the truth ladies and gentlemen. The divide that separates us has existed for a long time and news outlets have been using it for their benefit for years.
Now in today’s world, social media is the new source of news, and people can openly debate, chastise one another, and downright call people horrible things for little or no apparent reason. It is sad and uncalled for. It is everyone, disgraceful and not what our loved ones fought so hard to make a country where we could all be free. Our ancestors sacrificed everything for our right to be able to have differing views and we should not tarnish their sacrifice or the gift we have been given.
Does Racism exist? You bet it does. But not just between certain groups. Between all of them. Race, Religion, Creed, Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation to name a few. Look how far we have come regarding the rights of those who are not heterosexual and you will see how these differences that create tension and chaos make us American at the end of the day. Differences are ok and change is good.
Unfortunately, we do not listen to that. We are taught by our socialization, not by magazines and tv today, but by Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. While we are more tolerant of one another, we must stop classifying ourselves as this race, or that race. This religion or that religion. No matter your skin color, your religious beliefs, or your sexual orientation we at The Ribotsky Institute feel you have the right to live a free unadulterated life. Where we draw the line is violence, murder, desecration, destruction, and disobedience that is dangerous for others.
Instead of saying this one’s lives matter or that one’s do, we feel everyone matters. All races, all religions, all sexual orientations, and everyone on the planet. For years things needed to change and we hope this last round of wake up calls will change things forever. The same as the movement that brought about change for women in the past several years, so they no longer have to be treated in a way that is degrading by men who shouldn’t be in the position to put them in those positions in the first place.
Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is hard to realize sometimes since it is normally right in front of your face. You can agree or disagree but let us make sure we agree to do that with style, grace, and mutual respect. No matter who sits in The White House and what city or state you are from, we all, you and I deserve the same respect and the same ability to live and chase the part of the American Dream you want to live. My life is not your fault and yours is not mine. But whatever we can do to help one another achieve a better life, that is what we must teach everyone. Blame will not get anyone anywhere. Change is needed.
Is it time racism ends? YES, NO QUESTION. Is it time religious discrimination ends? YES, NO QUESTION. Is it time gender inequality ends? YES, NO QUESTION. Is it time sexual orientation discrimination ends? YES, NO QUESTION.
But the path to a better future starts with everyone. Tolerance is something we all must practice, but practice peacefully. If anything that people have suffered of late is to have any meaning then we must have peaceful debates, peaceful protests and remember that acts of violence or destruction are only taking us back years and not ever going to solve these problems.
We must come together towards a common goal, where yes, we will disagree and that is fine. But that must come with respect for one another for our opinions and our right to have them because we live in the land of the free because of the brave.
Our problems are systemic and will not go away on their own. We must change the way we think, feel, and act so that we can get to a better place. You know it’s true and you know that we are all entitled to our ideas and that is why we are Americans. But those ideas are not supposed to hurt others.
Remember, as much as we may not like it, this is where we are. Deep in our souls, we know right from wrong and no amount of posting on social media or ranting on Twitter is going to change people. People must want to change and then we can evolve as a society. Or else we wither and…….