An 18-year-old gunman killed 21 students and teachers in Uvalde. The Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade. Covid-19 is still rampant as people let down their guards. Catastrophe after cataclysmic catastrophe, we are reminded of how divided we are and how slow change is to come by. Some of us are protesting for change after seeing the devastation that has befallen us. Some of us think this is status quo and par for the course all the while claiming that our country still needs to be great again. No one is happy where we are and as such, we all suffer. The truth is that it is not laws that will change our nation, but rather our notions about equality. If half of us are okay with people dying and living in poverty, then our laws will never change. Laws are useful, but even more horrifying is the thought that many of our neighbors don’t want to see change because they don’t want to see others benefitting before them.
Many times, we ask why there isn’t meaningful reform and change, but the reality is that this future has been engineered by men in the shadows whose vision has lived long beyond them. This is their America. They planted a seed before many of us even took our first breath. They shifted minds to believe Unions were not beneficial and that abortion is not medical health. They let Whites believe racism was made up and that slavery was not as bad as it was. They led many to believe that anyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps if they just tried hard enough and this resulted in: redlining, gerrymandering, exorbitant campaign donations, and school districts being funded by local neighborhoods, creating richer and poorer schools that benefitted those who lived in certain neighborhoods.
The issue is not the laws. The laws are the result of the seeds that were planted many years ago. The true, underlying issue is many of us grew up believing in individualism and that big government overreaches unless it’s for the things we want. All of this is predicated on a fervent hatred of otherness. They have conditioned our neighbors to believe that the America they once knew is gone and at risk of getting more liberal and they must harness their hatred to make sure it doesn’t change. Things are literally going their way. Roe V. Wade was overturned. There are currently no meaningful gun laws, and yet, they still believe they are under attack and liberals are all to blame. The reality is they can never be content because they wouldn’t have their hatred to fuel them anymore.
Change is on the horizon, but our deep-seated racism, which we refuse to acknowledge, will always bubble up if we don’t teach actual history and instead bemoan that Confederate monuments built by the United Daughters of the Confederacy are being taken down. If we don’t tackle mindsets and beliefs first of White Nationalism, bigotry, hatred of LGBTQ, and more, those beliefs will continue to live on and become the new America.