Opinion: A history of hostile divisions

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

After one year of the Trump presidency, the divide in America is wider and angrier. In truth, there have always been two Americas. One inhabited by mostly Caucasian persons who were born here with parents who were born here. And then there are those whose skin is not white, or newly arrived who speak with an accent, or who are poor and unwashed but ready to work to improve their lives or for their children’s better future.

The two segments of America were often separated by law or circumstances. There was always an underlying tension between the haves and the aspiring.

The American ethos can be found on the inscription of the Statute of Liberty. The promise of America is written into our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and the policies articulated by every president interested in making this nation more inclusive and more pluralistic. A place where refugees would be protected and immigrants were welcomed and given an opportunity to succeed no matter their race, religion, national or cultural background. Those principles are what made America
exceptional in the history of nations.

Continue reading