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America: rapidly sliding into the depths of bigotry, racism, and xenophobia

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When in history have we ever seen such a degree of bigotry, racism, and xenophobia that is present in America today? And as bad as it is, there is no question but that it is growing ever worse. It's like a plague spreading across America and if it continues on its present course, with nothing being done about it, it will become irreversible.

Whatever happened to that nation that once was referred to as a melting pot, i.e., "a fusion of nationalities, cultures, and ethnicity?" Early in America's history a huge influx of immigrants came to this country from many different countries and cultures. Those immigrants were accepted into this country and tolerated because they were needed to do the difficult manual labor that built the foundations of this country such as the railroads, power lines , and other infrastructure.

Recall the words that are inscribed on a plaque on the grounds of the Statue of Liberty:

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"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Over the years these immigrants from other countries and their children came to this country and many of them easily assimilated into the American culture. That was a good thing but in truth most of them were never accepted as equals to the original immigrants, largely from England, especially if the color of their skin wasn't white and/or they weren't of the Christian faith.

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The general rule for immigrant assimilation was that they could enter into the American family if they accepted English as the national language and, if necessary, took steps to learn it as soon as possible. Next they were expected to adopt the "Protestant work ethic, and third they were also expected to become a part of America's culture and not cling to their own. As we know some did and some just refused to do so, and that made them a kind of second class American at best in the eyes of "true" Americans.

So if we look at the America of today we see a nation and people that have pretty much blended into one culture, with people who seem to share the same values and who generally follow the same principles of ethics and morality. And yet this is not what entirely the case for just below the surface there is a simmering discontent and bitterness felt by many Americans.

First there are those Americans who have been in this country all their lives but still feel like they are second class citizens because of the hatred they feel coming from some of their fellow Americans. Then we have those in this country, many of them white supremacists who hate other Americans because they are afraid that, in the future, they will become the minority in America. .

It could not be more evident that something is really wrong, that this country, over the decades, has become more divided than ever, that there is more suspicion and fear of others. That we live in a country in which we are not all pulling together for the same objectives. There is more hatred of others for various reasons that I have ever seen during my lifetime. These various elements of our society that are not white Caucasians, are in distinct danger of becoming an endangered species. They are targets for the haters.

So there are those who have no use for others not like themselves, especially illegal immigrants; but they still seem to like or tolerate the many things that these outcasts do for them, such as:

*harvesting the fruits and vegetables and other agricultural products they like in states like California, Florida, Colorado, and others.

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*when they work for very low wages in businesses, including Trump's, across America.

*when they wash cars, work as busboys and girls in restaurants, and do landscaping.

I've worked as a volunteer for many years at a hospital. I know for a fact that there are many doctors and technicians working in hospitals across America that are Muslims who are quite competent at what they do and are very friendly toward everyone. I'm sure Trump and his supporters want nothing to do with them.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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Michael Payne

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And one of those directions will be to continually emphasize that we are one nation and people, that we must all pull together or we will pull this country apart. We need to work very hard to remove this bigotry, racism, and xenophobia from our country before this condition becomes irreversible.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 4:19:35 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Across the world, we see the rise of racism, anti-Semitism and islamophobia, and its violent expression. In this, Donald Trump can no longer duck responsibility. When an American president speaks, the world listens.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 7:50:50 PM

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Reply to Lance Ciepiela:   New Content

I fully agree and let me add something that I have in my mind. I think most of the world listens in great fear at what comes out of his mouth. And those who are closely listening and totally agreeing are those who are supremacists of one kind or another who will not hesitate to bring terror upon others. Trump is fully responsible for the current rise in this form of violence.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 8:49:37 PM

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This is unhistorical nonsense.

There is less objective racism than ever - in jobs, lack of lynchings, lack of slavery, Civil Rights, a former black President and intermarriage.

And we don't have a Know Nothing party or exclusion of Chinese or Irish treated as expendable lives.

And whites? So hatred against a race - whites - is OK now?

This is ridiculous.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 8:46:45 PM

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Michael Payne

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Reply to Christopher Zell:   New Content

try to put together a rational observation of what this article says, if you can.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 11:01:16 PM

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Reply to Michael Payne:   New Content

Try and put together a rational.....FACTUAL article first! The points I made are unanswered.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 2:13:12 AM

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Reply to Christopher Zell:   New Content

I'm sorry my friend but to try to figure out what you said in these two sentences i would need to ask a linguist or some kind of interpreter. And I'm not just being sarcastic, it's like some kind pf strange new language I've never heard.

You said: "And we don't have a Know Nothing party or exclusion of Chinese or Irish treated as expendable lives."

"And whites? So hatred against a race - whites - is OK now?"

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 3:16:25 AM

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Reply to Michael Payne:   New Content
" A rational observation ? " Here goes. FACT, the racisism you mention in your article, has ALWAYS been there, it's not something that has risen it's head just because Trumph has stuck up his head. The only thing that can be said for your article, is that your President is PLAYING with an already deeply embedded phsycosis within the American mentality. Mention has already been made of the lynchings, which may I remind you, were not that long ago. There is also the Civil war wherein similar behaviour was also rampant, and there was no Trump around then, so who would you blame for that ???

Trump, as much as many people may like to point the finger at and lay at his feet everything that's gone wrong in the U.S. AND the World, was happening a long time BEFORE Trump ever entered the scene. So why not deal with that historical FACT, then simply trying to blame Trump ??????? The sooner Americans CEASE trying to blame Trump for all their ills, the sooner you'll find a solution to fix the problem.

B.T.W. since the Mueller report has been released and PROVES beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Russians had nothing to do with Trumps being elected, the whole narrative must now be changed to reflect the REALITIES of the REAL events. Will an apology be forthcoming from the crowd who for TWO years beat the drum claiming such collusion was FACT, despite never, ever being able to produce one tiny shred of evidance to sustain their claims. These people are Trump's opposition, an dthey are responsible for driving the hatred against the Russians to sustain their FALSE claims. No doubt, Trump will be held accountable for that as well, what ??????????? Some folks need to take a good long hard look in a mirror to find the folks responsible for this hatred that they themselves are deliberatley spreading.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 7:24:51 AM

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Reply to Eddy Schmid:   New Content

The Russians must have got to Mueller. ;/

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 1:03:51 PM

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They put worms in his brain and they inject brain worm eggs in all our boxes of breakfast cereal.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 5:22:16 PM

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Reply to Eddy Schmid:   New Content

hen you say "B.T.W. since the Mueller report has been released and PROVES beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Russians had nothing to do with Trumps being elected", you are showing that you have no credibility whatsoever. Neither you nor anyone else knows for sure what that report says. Your Wishful thinking may be true but I will bet that you are wrong, wrong and wrong.


Now in my life, except in the past decade or more such violence as bombing of churches and other violence in our society. African Americans have gained some respect in our society but they are still targets of extreme hatred. Muslims are afraid to walk the streets. We have a psycho president who is constantly fanning the flames of hatred. He dan't stop condemning immigrants seeking asylum, calling them invaders, rapists, murderers, and a danger to America.


And you, as a staunch defender of Trump what does that make you; one who agrees with what he does, that you have no problem with his constant message of hatred and venom against others of different races, ethnicities, or are not caucasions.


Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 3:26:20 PM

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W.T.F. ?????????????? Quote, " and you, as a staunch defender of Trump what does that make you".Unquote Seriously, making such a stupid statement clearly demonstrates that you are not COMPREHENDING what I'm saying, or simply denying the realities to fit your agenda. Firstly, for the record and yourself, I'm not even American nor do I live in America and I believe Trump is an IDIOT ! Mind you, it appears there's more of them in the U.S. today, then ever before going by the crap we see posted on sites such as this.

You lay all of America's issues at the feet of Trump, and DENY what's staring you in the face. EVERYONE of these issues was generated long before Trump arrived on the scene, and to blame him for them, is simply stupid. May I point out to you these web sites that verify what I'm saying, but then I believe you are very much AWARE of the realities, but simply IGNORE what doesn't fit your narrative.

Check these out, will tell you exactly how things are in the U.S. well beforew Trump arrived on the scene, and who's to blame for allowing things in the U.S. to degrade to this level ????? Every adult American needs to look in the mirror, there they will find the culprit, and that INCLUDES Trump further down the track.


click here


Submitted on Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 5:17:04 AM

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While it is most definitely true that Trump did not create any of the issues, he embodies them like no other US President, and uses these imperial rule tools openly.

This has made him the "cause". We live in a managed inverted totalitarian society. Controlled by the media with targeted violence against vulnerable oppressed groups.

Other presidents have been much more clever about how they go about this.

This is and needs to be a class struggle if any semblence of freedom and tackling of capitalist derived catastrophes such as nuclear war and climate extinction can occur.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 12:28:01 PM

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Racism and racists very much exist. Racism is a social construct to sustain divide and control/rule. It's an imperial "management" tool. Color helps to make the distinction clear.

Racists did not create racism. These are pawns in the power structure. This construct is used by both parties...the Democrats have employed identity politics to some effect. Both parties are playing the same game.

This construct has evolved and adapted to changes. So Slavery was replaced by Jim Crow/lynching which was replaced by the New Jim Crow/mass incarceration. The police, particularly in urban environments, are clearly there to protect property rights.

Intersectionality has been an attempt to connect various movements in a form of solidarity against capital (which is the bottom line). Class struggle is THE underlying fabric which is essential to getting passed this never ending tension between various Capitalist victims of oppression. Bernie Sanders had it right, but he was made to feel, as a privileged white person, he was not connecting with the African American population.

Civil rights didn't change the underlying system that created the construct. It's simply a way of adapting and protecting what has been since the inception of the US nation state.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 8:23:25 PM

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Amen and Amen.

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 9:46:33 PM

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I have to guess the blinders are permanently installed.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 5:56:23 AM

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Reply to Christopher Zell:   New Content

You are ridiculous.

Who said that hatred against whites is OK?

And where did anybody say it recently?

"Lack of lynchings" is your proof?

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 at 7:01:01 PM

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The author seems genuinely concerned about "bigotry, racism, and xenophobia", which are things we all should obviously be against.

However, I'm not sure how helpful it is to portray the current state of the country regarding these issues, like this:

"When in history have we ever seen such a degree of bigotry, racism, and xenophobia that is present in America today? And as bad as it is, there is no question but that it is growing ever worse. It's like a plague spreading across America and if it continues on its present course, with nothing being done about it, it will become irreversible."

That depiction is so flat wrong. The country today compared to a time not all that long ago is virtually unrecognizable in terms of race relations. For example, and it's quite a telling one, the country has evolved from 4% to 90% approval of interracial marriage from 1958 to today. Back then, it was an oddity to see black or hispanic characters on TV shows. Today, it's pervasive, and nobody thinks hardly a thing about it. Even in the mid-1980s, the Cosby Show was considered ground breaking. 35 years later, black and/or hispanic actor dominated shows are everywhere. Awards shows have gone from nearly all white to in some cases nearly all black.

So considering the incredible evolution on racial attitudes this country has made in just my personal lifetime, which would include overcoming the stubborn bitter racism of mostly southern congressmen in the 60s, why are we in 2019 working to influence minds into thinking we're still in the 50s? How can that possibly be a healthy approach?


Submitted on Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 6:44:51 PM

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Apparently you have totally missed all the many times black men, mostly young ones, who have been shot when they had no gun and were running away and some white cop shot them in the back; one in Chicago was shot 17 times. So often these cops go to trial and are found innocent or get light sentences. Did you happen to notice how many black churches have been bombed?


You are concentrating on blacks but I'm talking about far more than that. There is so much bigotry, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of hatred in this country that it is getting out of control. It's amazing to me that when I write articles that talk about this massive problem and other problems like the damage that Trump is doing to this country as well as others I get so very many comments that try to minimize or totally dismiss the problem. It is absolutely incomprehensible.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 10:21:03 PM

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When you can't make solid economic arguments in favor of mass immigration, what do you do? You accuse people who disagree with you of "bigotry, racism, and xenophobia".

Most of all you can't articulate your true motives: Chamber of Commerce Republicans want excesses of cheap labor and Neo-Liberal Democrats want to replace the traditional American majority with a new people.

Oh, you forgot 'nativist'.

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 1:26:43 AM

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Is there a constructive difference between "racism" and "white supremacy?"

One that justifies using a discriminatory phrase that singles out "white" whatever that might or might not mean?

I know there is a non-constructive difference. "White supremacy" is already a rhetorical tool/weapon in an identity-politics conflict. People seeking humanitarianism and justice will wisely use the generic, non-discriminatory form - "racism." If specificity is necessary it can be described more correctly such as: "racism giving preference to whiter skin color".

For the most part it isn't necessary to use racist terminology to defuse racism. It might even be counterproductive.

"White supremacy" is already a fighting stereotype seeking the same undeserved rhetorical impact as the disastrously malformed and embarrassing phrase "a-s" - the one based on the presumption there is something meaningful about being a "Semite."

Other than "white", throughout the article Michael Payne avoids using such identity-specific phrases and remarkably sticks to "racism" "bigotry" and "xenophobia." Three cheers (or more) for that.

When we use syntactically discriminatory phrases that are culturally loaded, we are probably not part of the solution.

On the other hand, we don't have to agree that racism is necessarily bad either. Discrimination can have positive effect. Not all identity policy results in a zero sum outcome. Sometimes there isn't harm to a competing identity.

While we can't effectively measure and compare racism or bigotry or xenophobia across decades and cultures, although the author attempts to, we can measure use of racist terminology in accessible electronic media. I'm sure without looking that racist terms are enjoying increasing popularity - probably self-justified by the presumption that discriminating terms are being used to reduce racism. But are they and do they?

The choice of words matters.

Submitted on Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 3:54:42 PM

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