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Who Are We? (Article 1 of 2)

Ray Blain is a retired pediatrician and medical consultant, and author of a forthcoming autobiography Becoming A Doctor; My Dreams and Nightmares.

When I was in elementary school children were still being taught that "E Pluribus Unum" meant "One From Many" with an implication that the phrase was supposed to mean that we as Americans had a society and culture derived from many diverse races, religions, cultures, languages, political structures, and languages. When that Latin phrase was adopted as our national motto it was meant to convey that we are one nation formed by thirteen former colonies at a time when the property and franchise of our population was predominantly white, European ancestry, and spoke primarily English or German.

My generation was also taught that the United States was a "melting pot" of the world's diversity forming a stronger, more equal political alloy; that was designed to promote equality of opportunity to achieve economic success, and happy daily lives; ability to have diverse beliefs and the right to peacefully advocate and debate the differences; for all citizens to exercise the voting franchise; and police, justice and court structures to promote fairness and equality. That was the narrative we were supposed to believe.

What recent history has revealed and emphasized, especially over the last few decades is that these ideas are still only goals and not reality. We are more like a marble cake made from many recipes, rather than a metal alloy. The colors of the result are not blended but mixed in a persistent array of bands of different widths and depths of reality and strength, no matter how much we would like to believe our own propaganda.

Our rights, opportunities, everyday experiences and degrees of quality of life and liberty are far from equal for everyone. It is only in the later decades of my long life that I began to realize how much the scales were tilted to favor me as a white man.

My awakening began when I realized that my sisters were not encouraged, nor given the same opportunities, to develop their wonderful talents as we boys were. Then came the realization that few people of color lived in the city where I came into this world. Even fewer were to be found in the college town where I went to secondary school.

During my adult years I became more aware of the racial, sexual, religious and voting bias as more people of differing attributes entered my environment. These people could serve in segregated military units, fight, be mutilated, and die for my rights but still be restricted to lesser citizenship.


So who are we, America? Who do we want to become? We are at a place where the road diversifies. Some want to move us toward a road of conspiracy theories, repetitive lies, violence and mob anarchy, resulting in political movement toward fascism and dictatorship.

Many Americans may not be aware that Hitler lost an election before he gained control of Germany. Brown-shirt gang violence in the name of white supremacy without Jews, suppression of the free press, and a mirage of what people thought would be long term economic prosperity as Hitler's administration built the German military to be the largest and best fighting force in the world.

Appeasement by other governments that falsely believed that the next Hitler demand would be the end of his bad behavior, to the contrary, built his popularity and boldness in promoting a succession of power moves until he ultimately led the German people to sanction the extermination of six million Jews, ignore the destruction of the free press, and murder of three million political, religious and non-aryan special needs people, even Germans.

Eventually German was utterly destroyed and a generation of young people killed and maimed in World War II because of Hitler's fantasies and quest for empire and dictatorial controls. He too believed he was smarter than his generals.

Another difficult road we can chose is to fix the weaknesses discovered in the Constitution that established our political structure. Too much depends on moral politicians adhering to unwritten traditions. These rules must be codified in laws.

We must also eventually fix the ugly underbelly that has existed since our beginning regarding racism, and domestic unlawful gangs that try to legitimatize themselves by falsely proclaiming themselves to be "militias". The only true legal militias under the Constitution are National Guard units established and controlled by elected officials in each state. Armed mobs who rise in attempts to control or change our society and its governing bodies, are just that: armed illegal mobs and domestic terrorists.

I hope to write additional articles on solutions being proposed and to be considered as we travel these necessary journeys. We have no choice, extremists are forcing us to make these choices.

~ Raymond Leo Blain














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