Thursday, August 16, 2018

Divisions In America Have ‘Growed’ Like Topsy

December 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Conversation

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

I’m sorry I can’t offer you glad tidings of comfort and joy for the season. I am prevented from doing that by the grave problems facing America today — which are greater now than at any other time in the last 50 years.

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, was a panel appointed by President Johnson in 1967 and chaired by Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner — to determine the root causes of riots that were sweeping across our nation.

The report issued by the Commission in February 1968, among a number of findings, concluded “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black and one white — separate and unequal.” Well folks, during the intervening 50 years, this division in America has “growed” like Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

To the original division has been added fault lines of economic disparity, religious intolerance, unequal criminal justice, and culture wars. These divisions have been aided and exacerbated by media platforms that were not even thought of a half-century ago, much less being as universally available as they are today. The most dangerous outcome thus far created by these electronic devices was the dissemination of misinformation that impacted the presidential election in November 2016 — creating the current crisis in leadership America is experiencing today.

The wealth gap is greater today that it has ever been. Religious intolerance is the coin of the realm of televangelists. Black and brown offenders are receiving up to three times the sentences their white counterparts get for the same crime.

Our president, with each and every chance he gets, promotes division from his bully pulpit — primarily directed against immigrants and football players, while giving tacit approval to white supremacists’ marches.

At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, there is no doubt that Congress must establish a Commission on the root causes of the dangerous divisions that exist in America, because the Fibber-in-Chief in the White House sure isn’t going to do it. And that’s if it isn’t already too late.

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