Today, people all over the world view the United States with alarm. Non-Americans are at a loss to explain the downward trajectory of the supposed most powerful country on earth.
The US is no longer a draw for world travellers and migrants. The once greatly valued green card is now attractive mainly to desperate people from war-torn and economically depressed lands.
In fact, hundreds of US citizens plan to migrate elsewhere and bring up their families in lands less poisoned with hate.
Once upon a time, noisy American tourists and travellers were viewed as an attractive symbol of “Americana.” Today, in too many lands, Americans are despised, and only required for the cash they spend. The US today is a global pariah.
Where did the country go wrong? This is a question historians, sociologists and academics will be analysing for years to come.
Thankfully, President Donald Trump is finally allowing the inevitable transition to the Joe Biden presidency. However, he has not conceded defeat and continues to challenge the results of the most clear-cut presidential victory in modern times. Seventy-one million Americans voted for Mr. Trump. And the Republican Party remains behind the leader of what one can term the “New Southern Confederacy.”
In today’s US, a black man is wise to fear for his safety and feels less worth than whites. Racism is in the American historic and cultural DNA. In stores, many working class whites are outright rude to black cashiers. Every other day, a racist white woman is cursing or falsely accusing a black man somewhere of some allegedly illegal act, or physically attacking a black woman without provocation.
Enlightened and liberal whites treat blacks with excessive politeness, hiding their inert racism behind a mask. Physical and geographic separation between the races is a norm in the US, especially in the Deep South.
That racism was always there. And this is where Mr. Trump is so valuable to American history. It took a man who fully subscribed to the US racist type to show the US for what it truly is. Mr. Trump, in his aggressive, racist and ignorant behaviour, allowed racists, especially blue-collar types, to feel comfortable in their own skin.
He enabled millions of whites in the Rust Belt who had grown very angry with a new world driven by a global elite — who they blame for taking away their way of life and livelihoods — to express their anger against an establishment they saw as the reason for their misfortune.
The war against slavery and segregation continues on in spite of over 240 years of American independence. It has been a slow climb up the mountain of freedom, justice and equity for blacks everywhere in the Americas.
And the final defeat of the remnants of the 1860s American Confederacy can already be witnessed in a new countervailing rainbow coalition. This is the evolution of an alternative base of political power that started from the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s and incorporates left wingers, progressives and centrists.
It is this centre-left coalition — arising from the Union that defeated the Confederacy in the Civil War — that delivered more than 80 million votes for Mr. Biden.
It is a political force made up of liberal and educated whites in Democratic and Democratic-leaning states; black women, who have always been a strong force for freedom in the US; and progressives and minorities who are unwilling to accept second-class status in the so-called land of the brave and free.
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