Tuesday, August 09, 2016

US SOCIETY AND POLITICS GETTING FRACTURED ALONG ETHNIC LINES


 
Image credit goes to this link:
https://sites.psu.edu/sarahnicolegalang/2014/02/20/civic-issues-the-changing-face-of-america/
 

The very uniqueness of the grand social experiment that made the US of A the most successful in the history of mankind is now poised to tear its very fabric from its seams and across its breadth.

The coming together and gelling as one of the many diverse cultures and multi-ethnic groups produced for us the mighty and world power which came to be known as the US of A, the land that immigrants built.

Now, it is my belief that that very same unique and magnificent quality of the continuing grand experiment is poised to rend it to pieces.

There now exists many permanent vested interests, big and small, that threaten the suddenly fragile union.  Vested interests not necessarily defined along political ideologies, but built and strengthened along more identifiable lines like ethnicity and/or race.

Immediately our attention jumps to the series of recent alarming violent confrontations between African-Americans with whites and with police authorities.  Giving rise to extremely activist groups like BLM, Back Lives Matter.  Extend that to the ugly riots engendered by contentious issues of immigration, especially illegal migration, as is the case with Hispanics.  And during such events the showing of foreign flags like that of Mexico is commonplace.  We are witnessing therefore a society at odds within itself.

These are of course the extreme examples of deep fractures in its societal structures.  But there are more insidious and less perceptible ones that over time we have all come to accept and take for granted.  It ranges from the highly visible and accepted NAACP, or maybe like the somewhat clandestine RAZA, to the low-keyed almost unnoticeable social organizations identified by their hyphenated member appellations, like Mexican-Americans, FilAms, Asian-Americans, etc.   Many exist in relative obscurity, some as merely necessary aggrupation for certain social events like Cinco de Mayo, various independence days of various countries, etc.   How can one properly display and honor Philippine Independence if there is no FilAm group to handle it.

By and large, these are well and good, and benign and harmless.  Until we dig and excavate deeper, in society and politics.

In society, this issue could be a significant cause for hindrances to facile integration and ultimate assimilation into the mainstream American culture, which has kept the union intact, one that promotes and honors one society culled from many.

In politics, this could be cause for pursuing advocacies promoting the narrow interests and welfare of the group, rather than the entire community.  Organizations may wield their collective powers to bargain with politicians toward promoting their own narrow interests, again rather than the interests of the collective.   It is not unusual for politicians to promise these groups concessions in exchange for their patronage, concessions promoting the narrow vested interests of the groups which by and large exist for their narrow self-serving goals.

And it is here where its gets murky and thorny, when personal interests trump the pursuit of the general welfare; and in which typically the latter suffers in the exchange.  And this is as we see it in reality, a little cursory observation would tell you that.   A politician in exchange for some promises of some favored appointments or concessions will leverage that in favor of votes from the organization.   And this is multiplied and copied in many situations as to amount to wholesale horse-trading or what have you.

Over and above, we have a country with parts or sectors competing against each other in these greedy and myopic ways to the detriment of the entire polity.

It is a devout wish then to see the day when hyphenated Americans become extinct, and only Americans exist.

And amidst the rancor and mess, we are witness to a little bit of a sobering miracle which has been ongoing with scant notice, in continuance of the experiment started a long time ago.  The creation of one union, amidst diversity, not only in ideology but also in ethnicity. This materializes when ethnic groups intermarry and differing physical lines are blurred and ultimately erased.

The face of America is being changed, to one truly unique and distinctively American, and all simply showing only faint traces of the messy diversity that it emerged from.

And I see this in my own family, which in itself is an amalgamation of many different cultures and ethnicities -  from Filipino moslem and lumads, to Spanish and Chinese, to American Irish or Jewish, to Persian and African American.  And we have produced a wonderful admixture that is quite uniquely distinct from any other.

Is this the future of the US of A? 

We are seeing these inexorable changes in our very midst. Hopefully this quiet miracle is not overhauled by the violent and divisive upheavals we now witness in widening pockets of society and politics.