Strength of a Nation
by Dan Schafer
Must we be divided?
The United States faces a time when our population is divided in many ways. Politically many Facebook posts assemble all the people who are conservative in outlook or liberal in outlook into an enemy camp and find it hard to say anything mildly approving about a government leader who belongs to the wrong camp.
The news has splashed before us that policing needs restraint. Policing is meant to maintain order, and there are hundreds of thousands of police that take their jobs seriously and know when they should step in and when they need not. But for all sorts of reasons black males face a culture of their color influencing police reaction. The NAACP reports that “One out of every three Black boys born today can expect to be sentenced to prison, compared to 1 out 6 Latino boys; one out of 17 white boys.”
Could we become color blind?
It is very difficult to undo 200+ years of race discrimination. But one thing we know in a racially diverse country is that our children are colorblind. Jimmy Carter in his book titled “Faith, a Journey for All,” said, “When I was a child, all my friends and playmates were African American.”
Unfortunately, the broader society of adults have all –well mostly--learned that we aren’t equal: not equal in the neighborhoods we grow up in, often not equal in the number of parents at home, and consequently in the time available for that adult to take time to help children with their homework, and to make sure they aren’t tempted to get involved in drugs. Although governments and higher learning institutions have tried to level the playing field for admission to their colleges or universities the percentage for blacks that actually get a college degree is just over 17% compared with almost 50% of Asian Americans or 30% of White Americans.
Are we diverse but accommodating?
As a society we do our best to make sure that everyone is treated equally before the law and in public places generally. Of course our shopping centers, restaurants, and grocery stores have a great incentive to welcome every customer, because every customer is part of the purchasing public whom we want to “hurry back” and keep business booming. In fact, by and large, the employees at that store are a diverse lot as well.
The good news is that each one of us is important. We can say that in a hopeful way and look forward to some grand day when others see us as important. But the truth goes far beyond that. Way back before the universe came into existence the One who made it all knew you; and not only knew you but had a plan for each day of your life.