Winning the vote of all Americans…
Latino/Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans…how about just Americans? Candidates on both sides vying for a win among what they refer to as ‘black and brown’ communities…why do our country’s leaders as well as its citizens use this language of separatism? The consequences of a nation divided by this perpetual segmentation of people either put-upon or self-imposed, has made us over-focused on our differences versus the cohesion of shared values. This inability to see ourselves collectively as a whole has inhibited us from truly finding solutions to national problems. Instead we relegate issues by segmenting them to their supposed rightful group – immigration a Hispanic issue, police brutality a black issue, wage gap a gender issue – the ‘it’s their problem not mine’ mentality.
This inability to work together on issues that should be addressed collectively results in the continued deterioration of our position on the world stage as a leader in quality of life and citizenship. Among global nations, we have also declined in innovation, entrepreneurship, and trustworthiness – attributes that previously formed our country’s brand value. According to U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Countries Report, the U.S. ranks overall number 7 behind countries like Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, and the U.K. It ranks 15th in the category of ‘Citizenship’ – trailing other countries that value inclusivity and the power of social capital. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been on a downward trend losing points in perceptions that it cares about human rights, has gender equality and is safe.
Our nation’s strongest asset should be its people and the level of diversity it attracts – a rich compilation of backgrounds, experiences, and thinking that should be valued and leveraged. In contrast, we are seen globally as a country plagued by issues of inequality, exclusion, and prejudices. At times of crisis we have come together in solidarity, but somehow we cannot sustain this collective cohesion as Americans to positively tackle issues that continue to plague our country. Issues of immigration, lack of opportunity, inequality, discrimination, wage disparity, police injustice – are not just black or brown problems, they are OUR problems as Americans. As a nation we need to further our understanding of each other without losing sight that regardless of the box you will check off on a Census form – we are all Americans. Collectively, we should be striving and aspiring for the same goal – a better America for all. That is the message we need to hear from our next President and our country’s leaders. The acknowledgement of every American’s contribution to the success of our nation and how we can use this collective power to overcome any of our challenges. Together we can forge the path that brings our country to its rightful number one country status and lead the world by example.
Photo Courtesy of Kalhh of Pixabay