Is the American Dream Fading Away?
Are Intrinsic Racism and Deep Polarizations Leading to a Disturbed Society Making America Successively Unattractive for Immigrants?
Immigrants love the United States for its custom of inclusivity and reception. For a lot of people settling in America is a noteworthy achievement. It’s nothing short of accomplishing one of their most gratifying wishes about which they can boast with pride in their homeland. And, rightly so. However, a country that’s failing its own citizens with intrinsic racism, ugly polarization, Trumpism, and its aftereffects, is losing its charm for many.
The question is for how long America can preserve the democratic and unrestricted flavor that it still has to itself if it keeps undergoing the political turmoil it is facing. It has to stop, and solidarity has to set in, for that sets precedence for more remarkable societal growth. Immigrants don’t come to America alone for the booming economy; they are, in fact, escaping the societal evils in their countries. If America has nothing better to offer on that front, the chances are that we’ll see a profound change in America’s image in the coming years.
The poor handling of coronavirus and marginal win for Biden in election 2020 point towards greater danger in the future. They served as the final nail in the coffin, particularly after watching America go through an upheaval during the #Black Lives Matter movement and their general battle against Trump for four years, probably the most extended four years for countless Americans.
Immigrants, like citizens, fear instability too. America's current political environment threatens their identity and blocks their chances of equitable opportunities, and therefore I say the American Dream is slowly melting away. Especially in the eyes of those who look for calmer abodes as compared to what their countries offer. Less racially motivated politics, a clean environment, or at least an acceptable policy pertaining to the same, and less income inequality are just some of the factors they look for. America, unfortunately, is not conveying any of the above to the world. Quite the opposite policies are instead designed to keep the nation divided.
One of the most frightening vices of American society is its increasingly divided populace. Extremely divided people often foster immoral and inappropriate behavior. It’s discernible as we watch the unfolding of un-Americanness of the American people before us. America has always been a racially divided nation; Trump has only taken advantage of the already existent sentiment. Societies so stratified by race, color, and religion instead facilitate the task for future repressors to exploit them further.
“The public relations industry doesn’t spend billions of dollars just for the fun of it. They do it for reasons, and those reasons are to instill certain imagery, and to impose certain means of social control. And one of the best means of controlling people has always been induced fear: for Hitler, it was Jews and homosexuals and Gypsies; here it’s blacks.” observes Noam Chomsky in his book Understanding Power.
It frequently occurs to me that fear is too powerful an emotion. It not only blurs our vision and perspective but also unwraps other disparaging emotions like anger and anxiety.
Is our fear regarding those who are different from us or have a contradicting ideology from ours more often than not baseless? Do we positively stereotype ourselves and negatively those on the other side of the debate — be it the politically incompatible bunch or people of a different race and religion. In my sound mind, the answer to all of the above questions is yes. However, sanity doesn’t always prevail. Thousands of thoughts unconsciously cross our minds throughout the day, and some of them do push us to think in the direction we are manipulatively directed to. The solution to this is far from simple. At a micro level, we can consciously make an effort not to fall into the trap laid out to divide us by arousing hatred amongst us.
Bitterly divided society hampers cooperation for the prospective tomorrow. Martha C. Nussbaum, in her book The Monarchy of Fear, illuminates that “fear leads to “othering strategies rather than to useful analysis.”
All this makes me anxious about the future of democracy. Simultaneously, with that, the future of an interconnected world, both within a country and other nations—all due to deep unmanageable polarization in our society. I cannot help but think that conservatives need to shape their vision more than others for us to move forward on the divided plains we today find ourselves at. Is it fair-minded to think like that? Probably yes.
What we require to do is separate the evil from evildoers. Denouncing an act is totally different from treating its doer as irreparable. Showing unreasonable social aversion is not socially constructive and defeats the whole purpose of trying to change people’s perspectives. It instead begets bigger problems.
We now need to undo what already has been done and prevent nativism from further jeopardizing people’s lives. We need to humanize radical white extremists and avert them from demonizing immigrants, people of color, and generally anybody who lies on the other side of the debate.