Harnessing Fully Our Diverse Ethnicity Can Show How Our Democracy’s Success Can Help Others Worldwide

By Donald A. Collins | 10 January 2023
Church and State

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That we are a nation of immigrants needs no reminders from Plymouth (1619) to Jamestown (1607) but the criteria for immigrants’ entry is still in serious dispute.

As we watch the sad unresolved Mexican border situation, created by years of bi-partisan failure to address a permanent fair legal basis for admitting immigrants, there are constant reports of labor shortages in many businesses.

Both parties are to blame for this impasse which has allowed each to level charges at each other while not coming to legislative solutions about who, how many, and what is the correct process for admission.

Lurking below but hugely impacting this problem is the worldwide growth of human numbers from 2 billion to 8 in my 91-year lifetime.

Worldwide migration to nations offering freedom and a safe habitable life brings potentially billions to the USA and Europe, as few migrants find China or Russia and other dictatorships appealing.

However, we are undoubtedly the largest nation with the highest level of ethnic diversity in the world.

This diversity has been used politically by many racists in our entire history and recently by Trump’s GOP to attack our democracy by fear mongering about white replacement.

This fear got Trump elected and his MAGA supporters bought his lies even after his claims of 2020 election fraud were conclusively proven false.

The George Floyd murder and many other racist killings illuminated the racism issue for many white liberals who began to realize how many brave, talented, successful African Americans and other minorities had risen to prominence in our democratic system which hads for too long relentlessly inhibited their progress.

Our ability over time to keep our fragile democracy alive was nearly destroyed by our Civil War, only surviving by bloodshed and the evolving prescience of Lincoln to his final anti-slavery embrace influenced by white and black advocates such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglas.

After the failed extension of Reconstruction in 1876, Southern racism in Jim Crow America filtered down to flash points with Bull Conners (1963) and George Wallace (in 1972) to the heroic changes brought by Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, and many others.

However, political change was not broad enough in numbers of us to avoid Trump whose election and January 6th attempted coup could have succeeded.

Now with illumination of that history, a past history of a 2-term black President, a black female Vice President (with a white husband) and countless other minorities rising to abet fully the unique 1791 tenets of our Founding Fathers, I rest my argument that the full freedoms for women to choose or reject motherhood and the sexual status of the LBGTQ community could be further enhanced by recognizing the full potential and opportunities for everyone. Much work is left to be done.

Education, health care and other basic needs for many of us are wanting, but the wealth gap grows! Yes, national defense in vital as Ukraine proves.

However, we already, even with all our imperfections, have set a world standard for welcoming in our history many racial, religious and political minorities, which have all contributed to our success. All our present numbers could be influential as examples to citizens in many other nations already agitating for freedom in so many authoritarian countries.

Freedom can give governments options for improving climate, choice, and security which dictatorships are often seemingly loath to offer.

Democracy as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy so eloquently expressed in his 12/21 oration to a joint session of our Congress needs expanded Worldwide and his war has become our war for freedom vs repression!

I encourage everyone to look around and see the presence, not yet as ample as it will be, of persons, male and female, gay and straight, of every race, color and creed in powerful places in our democracy.

Now we must address the kind of destructive hate mongering from the Trump GOP’s extreme right wing members of the present US House of Representatives if we are to move forward to maximize the potential of all citizens in our democracy.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

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