Past Edition 124
Edition 124-April 4, 2015
Is Civil War in America inevitable?
U.S. appears to be in a head-on collision with itself
By Thomas Terrio

The recent police incident in New York City involving a police detective in an unmarked vehicle who pulled over an Uber taxi driver for honking at him while attempting to parallel park, has once again revealed the racist tendencies and lack of good judgment of law enforcement in America.

Detective Patrick Cherry says he was “aggravated” but not angry when he went into an abusive tirade at a driver from a visible minority who had no way of knowing he was honking at a police officer. If you've ever driven in New York City, you know horn honking is as common as breathing. Two passengers who were sitting in the cab videotaped the encounter, which has now gone viral on the Internet.

In my view, the United States of America appears to be in a head-on collision with itself; an event that could lead to social disruption, minority backlash, civil disobedience, or even a second civil war. Yes, civil war. The catalyst was the death in Ferguson, Missouri of teenager Michael Brown and subsequent federal investigation which revealed systemic discrimination of minorities in the City of Ferguson; discrimination which included racist police e-mails and hefty court fines for blacks, who were purposely targeted by police because of race.

Much work needs to be done to avoid the inevitable racial clash, which appears to be coming to the surface in the streets of American cities. An example of this is the lone white man on the St. Louis Metrolink train who was violently assaulted by a group of black men, because he would not let them use his cell phone and refused to answer when asked what he thought about the incident in Ferguson, Missouri. Political leaders in Washington who should be an example of tolerance, specifically the GOP, have done more than their fair share to damage race relations in the U.S. by ostracizing America’s first black president Barack Obama.

Obama himself has endured much abuse since first elected in 2008. He was called a liar by Republican Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina in his first State of the Union address; he has had his citizenship put into question by people like real estate mogul Donald Trump, and has recently been completely ignored and disrespected by the Republican leadership, who invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak in Congress. This top-down discrimination has not gone unnoticed by the non-white minority in America.

There are no easy answers in solving the racial divide which exists on the streets and in the legislatures of the United States. The divide includes everyone, and everyone includes the gay and lesbian community who have recently come forward to demand change to a new racist religious freedom law, proposed in the State of Indiana.

The word “Stop” is sometimes used when someone has crossed a boundary, broken a law, or abused a privilege. Indeed, America must “Stop” racism and it must stop it now. Such a racial divide in a country where guns outnumber people, and the right to bear arms is absolute, is an equation that can only end in ultra-violence. America must recognize the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights are not there only for the majority of Americans, but are also there to guarantee the rights of its minorities. Indeed, a country is judged in the global community by the way it respects its minorities. These documents must be more than words on a page: they must be reflected in the way law enforcement carry-out their daily duties, in the way legislatures and municipal councils carry forward business, and in the way citizens carry-on with their daily lives. If not, the alternative to peaceful co-existence in the streets of America will be anarchy.

Some pundits claim America has come a long way since the 1960s, I disagree. America has quite obviously not come far enough. And now is the time to act in this the 21st century. Now is the time to “Stop” racism and discrimination in America, because the consequences will be too disheartening to bear. For in the near future, today’s privileged white majority may soon find itself in the position of a minority, and henceforth will expect the same rights and privileges they enjoy today; the same rights, privileges, and respect denied today to those in the non-white minority.

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