• Bob Dickerson

Oh Beautiful

"Oh, beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesty above the fruited plain. America, America God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea."

Once again, those were words that we sang as children, and I'm sure in our relatively naive child minds actually believed. That America, this melting pot of brotherly love, is the one depicted in that song.

We clearly see that America, especially the United States of America, has a negative reaction to demographic changes. Now, this is not the first time that the demography of this hemisphere has changed. I think about that every time I hear someone say this is a white country. As any student of history will understand, white people are not indigenous to this hemisphere. Since most of us will express a belief in God, a supreme being who is wise, all-knowing, and omnipotent, the creator of this universe and all that dwell therein, we must admit that He placed certain people in certain regions of the world. People from various areas have different characteristics, including skin color, appearance, and features. Our complexion, facial structures, noses, hair texture and color, eye color are different.

God placed people where he did. Now, He didn't restrict our travel or access to other places, but truth be told, this hemisphere is the native home to people who we consider brown. So, just like He placed brown people here, He placed people in Asia, people in Africa, people in Europe, and people all across this earth. People from these different regions have physical characteristics of those areas. Therefore, for anyone to say that it is a white country is badly mistaken, at best. No one would call China, Nigeria, or a Polynesian island white.

As for the first change in the demography in this hemisphere, we should also note that it came about as a result of European explorers, conquerors, and settlers. We know the history, we know about the racism, the genocide, the enslavement, but none of that changes or alters the fact that the indigenous population of this place now called America is not white.

What is true, however, is that America has become a melting pot. There may well come a time where race might not matter, but that time seems to be far in the distant future. Right now, whites are reacting to this demographic change in a number of hurtful ways.

It seems that in order to hold onto power, those who will soon be in the minority are quickly setting up what looks like the American version of apartheid, where the few rule the many. The concentration of wealth and hoarding resources hurts us and puts the American middle class at risk. Favoring legislation that maintains power in a group that will no longer be the majority of the population. Voter suppression in a country built on freedom to express political objections through voting and the tactics used to make sure certain people stay in power are the schemes we see play out every day. On top of that, there is a resurgence of overt racism and white supremacy backed by paramilitary groups, the 21st century KKK, and elected officials, including some in the US Congress.

America, the beautiful or otherwise, is an experiment that at this moment is facing a crossroad. Will the majority have a right to vote and rule? Will the middle class disappear? Will hard work be a formula for gain or simply survival? Will America ever honestly and truthfully atone for past sins? Or, will the founding documents and philosophy, forming a more perfect union, all men created equal, one man one vote, and the opportunity of self-determination be fully embraced and enacted, or relegated to the archives in history books.

Tune into NTHBLK with BobD every Wednesday at 6 PM CST on Facebook and YouTube.

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