A mess in Texas

There has been robust discussion about America coming apart at the seams since the images emerged from McKinney, Texas of a police officer manhandling teenagers at a pool party gone bad.

When something as simple as an end of year pool party becomes a national disgrace because a few middle aged white women didn’t like the site of black bodies at their private pool, something is terribly wrong with our country.

Americans are increasingly dividing themselves into camps, it seems, based on one factor or another. But we’ve begun to wonder if the prevalence of social media, especially a social media that reinforces your already held views, might be contributing to the deterioration of commonality among American citizens.

On the computer we are divided, often tragically, one from another based on race, religion, economic status, just to name a few. But get out and about in our cities and one sees a multiethnic melting pot of people going about their daily business in peace.

We’re specifically thinking about local events like Ethnosh, Faith Action’s Stranger to Neighbor program, and past events like the popular Mosaic Festival that brought so much life to Downtown Greensboro.

We can get along if we try. Often the problem is that Americans are unwilling.

Many of us grew up after desegregation going to municipal pools and swimming with children whose skin color might have been different from ours. We are better for it, and hopefully we made lasting friendships because of the time spent together.

Those who wall themselves off in private pools and all-white clubs (like the Elks Lodge remains in many parts of North Carolina) reinforce the us and them attitude that grips the American body politic by the throat.

Get out and meet somebody different from you. We promise it will not hurt and you might gain a wonderful insight into your neighbor’s way of life. !

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The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration .