With Brett Kavanaugh sworn in today the division in America is not just real – it has left a bitter taste. White Americans are faced with the prospect of becoming a minority in their “own country.” While many in our multicultural cities may well celebrate the “browning of America” as a welcome step away from “white supremacy”, it’s safe to say that large numbers of American whites are more anxious about this phenomenon, whether they admit it or not. A 2012 study showed that more than half of white Americans believe that “whites have replaced blacks as the ‘primary victims of discrimination’.”
Meanwhile, the coming demographic shift has done little to allay minority concerns about discrimination. A recent survey found that 43% of black Americans do not believe America will ever make the changes necessary to give blacks equal rights. Most disconcertingly, hate crimes have increased 20% in the wake of the 2016 election.
When groups feel threatened, they retreat into tribalism. When groups feel mistreated and disrespected, they close ranks and become more insular, more defensive, more punitive, more us-versus-them.
In America today, every group feels this way to some extent. Whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, straight people and gay people, liberals and conservatives – all feel their groups are being attacked, bullied, persecuted, discriminated against.
Its a sad day – hoping things would improve and by some miracle at least some of us unite. The current presidency has surely emboldened those who feared the browning of America. Hopeful that women now make a huge difference in our society.