A Nation Divided

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					A Nation Divided
On the Great Seal of the United States the Latin words 'E Pluribus Unum'
is written. Accurately translated they mean "Out of many, one". Although
the motto refers to the union between the states and federal government,
it symbolizes the make up of people from different countries, cultures,
and backgrounds coming together and sharing in the same basic beliefs and
forming a nation.
The many have had to come together as one throughout our history. Every
conflict, the Depression, many natural disasters called for sacrifice and
unity as a nation. The only exception would be the Civil War; we were not
focused as one during that period of time.
Immigrants from all over the world came here to be Americans. They still
come, millions illegally, but they come to be hyphenated Americans, or
dash Americans.
Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States said: "A man who
thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America
has not yet become an American, and the man who goes among you to trade
is not a worthy son to live under the Stars and Stripes".
Things have gotten worse since President Wilson's era, especially with
the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Race, color, religion, sex,
and national origin provided us ample opportunity to segregate ourselves.
The pollsters and media consistently use the division by dash, through
polls and news stories. They call it demographics.
Throughout the United States there are many borderless dash Americas.
There is Africa-America, Mexican-America, Hispanic-America, Asia-America,
etc. There are even color coded Americas. The list of separation is as
long as the population is diverse.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of ones heritage and culture, but
where does the loyalty lie? This is an honest question, since the America
part of the equation falls after the dash. If you call yourself African-
American, are you loyal to Africa first? The same is asked of anybody
else who wants to be known as a dash American.
The terrorists who attack us are not targeting dash Americans. They
simply want to kill Americans. When traveling overseas, a local person
will not ask if you if you're a dash American. After they hear you speak,
they simply ask if you're American. In both instances they don't care
what dash group you or the press has categorized you in.
When discussing heritage once, I said to a friend who is of Japanese
decent, "So, you're Japanese-American?" "No", he replied rather sternly,
"American-Japanese, always American first." I remember saying to him,
"Wow somebody else understands where the America part belongs. Too bad
more people don't."
Race, color, religion, sex, and national origin have become our great
dividers. We have become a Divided States of America. Perhaps the Great
Seal should say in Latin - From one into a bunch.
Rob Devoll is retired from the military and a retired diesel mechanic. He
currently is co-owner of a local website
in Charleston, South Carolina.