COMMENTARY

Is United States Divided?

President Obama — “Not As Divided As Some Folks Try To Insist”

President Obama in his weekly address said, “The shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge; the protests; the targeting and murder of police officers in Dallas – it’s left all of us struggling to make sense of things at times.  Now, I know that for many, it can feel like the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, and even widened.”

Photo Credit: The White House.
Photo Credit: The White House.

The President noted, however, that although there were challenges, the country is not as divided as some people seek to make it out to be.

“But the America I know – the America I saw this week – is just not as divided as some folks try to insist.”

He justified his claim by pointing to his observation and the discussion he has had over the course of the last week with police officers, Black Lives Matter activists, state and local leaders.

“These conversations were candid, challenging, even uncomfortable at times.  But that’s the point.  We have to be able to talk about these things, honestly and openly, not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with folks who look differently and think differently than we do.  Otherwise, we’ll never break this dangerous cycle.  And that’s what America’s all about.  Not just finding policies that work – but forging consensus, fighting cynicism, and finding the political will to keep changing this country for the better,” explained the President.

Furthermore, he said that the country has given people the capacity to change.

“It won’t happen overnight.  The issues we’re grappling with go back decades, even centuries.  But if we can open our hearts to try and see ourselves in one another; if we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right, as equal parts of one American family – then I’m confident that together, we will lead our country to a better day,” declared the President.

Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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