EDITOR’S COLUMN: A Farewell to the USA — We’re Now the ‘Divided’ States of America

Protests continue against the election of Donald Trump, who now has appointed a reputed racist to a top White House post. /Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

You don’t have to look too far these days to spot familiar symbols of hatred or to get an earful of bigoted utterances from self-righteous separatists. From unprovoked attacks in which Muslims, gays and Blacks tend to be the desired targets to nooses dangling ominously in the wind right here in our nation’s capital or “alt-right” protests led by white Nationalists hell-bent on protecting iconic monuments of the Confederacy, hatred has gained a new life and energy in America.

But then, perhaps what we’re witnessing isn’t so much a resurgence of hatred but rather the belief that it’s now acceptable to express it without shame or remorse — like opening our closets after a very long winter so that our mothball-protected apparel can finally breathe again.

So when 50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan donned their white hoods to lead a march in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, the event barely registered on the country’s “Richter Scale of Vitriol” — save for about 1,000 counter-protesters who peacefully confronted Robin Hood and his Merry Men, then quickly ushered them on their way amidst shouts of “racists go home.”

America, this centuries-old experimental melting pot of humanity — this alleged “land of the free and home of the brave,” has become a place where minorities, particularly Muslims and immigrant communities, fear for their safety, wonder if their rights as citizens are surreptitiously being taken back and whether they can truly trust the police when and if they need help.

In this philosophical surge of “us vs. them,” a growing number of white Americans lament over how the country has changed, saying it’s become a place they no longer recognize and promising that they’re going to hold on to the “old ways of life” no matter what it takes — or who gets hurt in the process.

But unlike some of my colleagues, I refuse to blame this new reality on Donald Trump although it’s clear that the deep divisions that exist in America were part and parcel of the recent presidential election, evident at nearly every campaign rally he attended. No, I cannot give Mr. Trump the credit for the way America has devolved into the “Divided States of America” — where the ugly spectrum of hatred has been consciously moved from its hiding place along the margins to prime seat within the mainstream. In fact, I wonder, if this fast-moving train can even be stopped — if indeed the president chose to engage its brakes.

I fear what appears to be looming on the horizon. I fear many of my fellow Americans and the hatred that has overtaken them.

And what’s worse is … “they” behave as if they fear the staccato in my gait, the vernacular which punctuates my words, the booming timber of my voice and the sun-kissed gleam of my skin.

They seem to fear me.

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About D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor 165 Articles

Award-winning journalist, book editor, voice-over specialist and author with 17 years in the industry. Currently an education and religion beat reporter for The Washington Informer. But I also tackle local (D.C. and Maryland) politics, entertainment, business and health articles to maintain my edge.

Born and raised in Motown and a staunch Wolverine – that is a graduate of the University of Michigan, I left corporate America (IBM) to pursue my passion for writing, accepting a beat reporter’s gig under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. I continued to hone my craft at N’DIGO Magapaper, Windy City Times and The Wednesday Journal, all in Chicagoland; the Atlanta Voice and The Miami Times. I’ve been fortunate to be chosen twice as the Feature Writer of the Year by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. Later, as the senior editor of one of the country’s oldest Black-owned newspapers, The Miami Times, I helped my staff bring home the NNPA’s highest honor – Publication of the Year, 2001. That same year I picked up first and second place awards for news and feature writing, respectively, also from the NNPA.

Today I’m based in the nation’s capital where I’m honored to serve as the editor for The Washington Informer. Recognizing the importance of education, I’ve earned two master’s degrees from Emory University, Summa Cum Laude and Princeton Theological Seminary, majoring in theology and philosophy.

If I can slow down, I may actually complete and publish a collection of essays I’ve been working on for many years, “Growing up Motown,” sharing childhood memories of experiences with musical legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight and Take Six. My favorite foods: spinach, lasagna, pancakes and Oysters Rockefeller. My mom, 86, always my “best friend” and “cheerleader,” now lives with me and she brings me great joy. I’m a fiercely protective yet encouraging father and grandfather always down for traveling, shopping or celebrating the natural beauty of God’s world. I live by the following words: “Less is more” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

You can reach me on Twitter (@dkevinmcneir), Facebook (Kevin McNeir) or via e-mail, mcneirdk@washingtoninformer.com

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