Humans naturally create ‘us’ verses ‘them’ by default. We will protect, help, understand and sympathize with our ‘us’. But the ‘them’? They are barely human and we don’t even consider them. We’re even worse if they look different or speak a different language. We’re wired for our own groups.
The most powerful empires in history always EXPAND with what is ‘us’. The Persian King Cyrus was the king of all his subjects, not just of Persians, he created a larger ‘us’. Romans made the subjugated Roman citizens, benefiting more ‘us’. The United States allowed people to become Citizens by birth, setting those born here on a path to ‘us’
We struggle with our natures but are at our best when we expand the ‘us’. Making a bigger ‘us’ allows culture to spread and unity to work. It is hard and can take years even hundreds of years before a ‘them’ becomes and ‘us’
It is the United States best trait that despite it’s periods of nativist or xenophobia or racism, we do let people assimilate. By having a built in system to make more of ‘us’ and less of ‘them’ we historically have bent the will of history in our direction.
We have to keep that system going. And keep making more of ‘us’. Unfortunately right now we are taking the folks already an ‘us’ and splitting it into ‘them’.
Let’s make sure we recognize our shared history, or shared struggles and our shared loves! Shit, I’d accept our shared television! But we have to get out the us and them mentality or we’re doomed.