The election of the Republican candidate Donald Trump has really screwed the American society up.   The 45th POTUS whose actions and policies that can only be described as ignorant ineptitude has brought the United States to the brink of a major societal schism between a substantial group of alienated, antediluvian, racist white nationalists and those who believe in a heterogeneous, pluralistic society.

Anyone remotely familiar with the workings of American society knows that race and racism play a major role in shaping how cultural and social decisions are made.   What has been, until recently, described as the undercurrent of systemic racism in the US now dominates the front pages of the various US media conglomerates.

Demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, along with the associated violence, are cropping up from coast to coast in the US.  The racism that had been just below the surface in US society has arisen to dominate the news cycle and has taken hold  in the American societal consciousness.   This resurgence of this overtly racist behaviour stems directly from the current republican administration’s seemingly tacit endorsement of white nationalism/white supremacist attitudes and opinions.  This support/lack of censure from the White House has emboldened the once submerged racist elements in US society to once again walk in the sunlight and publicly make their point of view known.

That people somehow believe that the colour of their skin makes them special somehow in this day and age is quite beyond me, yet the racism that informs the current white supremacist movement is the very same racism that has been woven into the fabric of our societies.  The current turmoil in the US is a testament to the lack of effective measures against the systemic racism in society.  Oh, one most certainly acknowledge that there are laws now and many a policy that are meant to address racism and, of course, are moves in the right direction.   But, marginal moves in the right direction are not enough.  Not addressing the root causes of the racism that infects US (and Canadian) society will only ensure continued conflict over the issue of race in society.

The solutions for tackling racism in society are quite beyond the scope of a short essay, but I do want to offer one insight that might help in tackling the racism problem our societies face.  What I’d like to highlight is the divide and conquer strategy that has been used by the elites in society from pretty much time immemorial till the present to keep the poor classes fighting amongst themselves.  Poor whites and poor blacks inhabit the same economic class, yet the poor whites in the US have been given structural societal benefits to ever so slightly improve their lot in life, and of course with their ‘improved’ lot they have also been given a scapegoat/bogeyman  (the poor black population) to blame for their problems and to be afraid of.

Thus, the poor fight themselves, and not the actual root of the problem – the rich elites who have crafted this inherently unequal society – so the system that feeds and encourages structural racism can continue unabated while the ‘poors’ cut their own throats for the scraps that the wealthy leave behind (and of course the boons of society continue to go to the ‘correct’ classes).

Of course we must continue to confront and fight the current racism that has raised its ugly head in society, but I think we should also be looking for the root causes of these divisions, such as the elite’s divide and conquer strategy, and address those issues as well.

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