More cauldron than melting pot

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BLACK LIVES MATTER: Demonstrations are occurring across the USA.

THERE seems to be a major problem brewing between black and white people in the USA which is being highlighted through a wave of protests caused by the shooting of various African Americans over the past few months.

The latest in Charlotte, North Carolina, is particularly poignant as the both the person shot and the police officer who did the shooting were black.

But, as a number of people have said, if you put on the blue (uniform) then you might as well be white!

This phrase suggests there is a form of inbred racism within the police forces throughout the USA and the demonstrations are not just about the shootings but represent an overall distrust of authority and hundreds of years of pent-up hatred for the very fact that so many black Americans can trace their arrival on the continent to ancestors who were transported as slaves.

Whilst the Civil War was fought ostensibly to free the slaves, it has to be remembered that for a hundred years after the war, the American south still implemented its own form of Apartheid and this was generally accepted across the nation, hence the fact that during the two world wars, black only regiments were formed but with white officers and even black nurses were only allowed to minister to black soldiers and German prisoners of war, who actually had more rights as prisoners than ‘free’ black soldiers.

The 1960s saw the freedom movement as promoted by Martin Luther King and a great deal was achieved during his short life but although the rights of black Americans were improved and many did break through the ‘glass ceiling,’ overall African Americans continued to be a significant part of a huge underclass which is looked down upon by many white Americans.

Supposedly America is a polyglot culture and there are huge numbers of new Americans from Africa and South America flowing into the country which, during times of recession, has helped to fuel animosity between the various ethnic groups.

It is quite interesting that Donald Trump has picked upon Mexicans and Moslems as his targets of interest and sensibly has said little about African Americans, many of whom can probably trace their American heritage further back than he can.

The USA is such an enormous country with such a large population of so many diverse backgrounds that it could be considered a number of different nations in one geographical area rather than a single nation under a common banner.

Unless it manages to recognise that skin colour does not denote a sub-species then the civil unrest seen during 2016 will not just continue but is likely to escalate.

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