The people's voice of reason

Balkanization Hits America

On the third Monday of most months a group of proud Americans meet at the Crump Center in Montgomery, stand and face our nation's banner and pledge their allegiance to a nation that many of them defended, but now can hardly recognize.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands,” they proudly proclaim, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” And so begins the monthly AARP meeting.

As youngsters they recited this pledge in school—it's probably forbidden in that domain today—and it was almost a given at any assemblage of loyal Americans—until lately.

We pledged our allegiance to our country and to its flag, and went on to qualify our allegiance even further by explaining that we Americans lived in “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

But around the middle of the last century a rather unpleasant and dangerous change in the course of our nation began to take place. We became “divisible,” as was first witnessed by the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that took place across our land.

At about the same time, we also had the integration effort, with all its liberal fanfare and promise, that separated our nation into black, or to use the newly-coined term: African-American—and white.

Then the Asian immigration began to further divide our country, and then the fences that separated our borders to the South became meaningless, and as we go into our second decade of the 21st Century, America is no longer the nation we pledged our allegiance to as youngsters; it has become Balkanized into five distinct segments, all of which seem to want to go their own way, speak their own language, and align themselves with a plethora of supreme beings—or none at all.

The term Balkanization is a geopolitical term that came into vogue sometime in the early 1900's and was generally used to describe the process of dividing a nation into a group of smaller states that were often hostile to one another.

Some of our older Americans were beginning to see their first light at about the time the term was aborning. It referred to the situation occurring in eastern Europe as the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and new states were emerging. And Balkanization continues to plague Europe and the Middle East. But now its coming home to roost.

The America to which we pledged our allegiance as youngsters, and fought to defend as adults, we must now watch fade from view. In America it began in the 1950's, first as the Black minority assumed a new identity as, what they like to be called, “African Americans.”

Then came the Asian Americans, followed by the Arab-Americans, and now the Hispanics, who view our border signs as a welcome mat.

To add another ingredient to the mix: many of these hyphenated Americans are here illegally—yet they want to enjoy the same treatment and benefits as do legal Americans.

And who do we have to thank for this? Mostly comfortable, well-to-do European Americans whose liberal education accompanied by a comfortable distance from their countrymen, equipped them with a lot of theory, but with little intimate knowledge or appreciation of the real world in which the remainder of their racial cohort lived and worked. They operated in a theoretical world where social issues are solved on paper, but seldom worked out in real life. Their theoretical solution to the segregation problem, for example, looked good on paper, but in reality, it was another story.

Now we have much the same problem at our border with Mexico. When migrant workers became a solution to the labor problem a few years ago, few, if any, of the theorists behind the effort, looked into the future. But now the future is today—and it isn't a pretty picture.

By the year 2050, it is estimated that the U.S. population will number about 400 million souls, few of whom will either know or care anything about “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The only “Americans” for whom this phrase will have any meaning are those attending their AARP meeting, and others huddled in the nursing homes, veterans' halls, or other places where the Greatest Generation go to remember: “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

For the rest, it's “every hyphenated American for himself—or herself.


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