The United States has hit a wall and quite frankly, we’ve brought ourselves here. Centuries of oppressive systems have created a world where scientific study and personal experience reveals new information about the world and a basket of people begins screaming to stop it. How did we get here exactly? How did we become a nation so far removed from the march of progress in all areas of life?
There are many, many things that have brought us here. Now, I don’t mean to suggest that suddenly now the United States is derelict of needed progressivism. After all, we were the nation that formed with the ideal of “liberty and justice for all” and then proceeded to continue owning people. That is at the center of our country. I’m sure there are people who would purport that the Founding Fathers simply didn’t know it was wrong or that it was simply the practice of the time. This is just not true. The Founding Fathers knew that slavery was wrong. Many of their compatriots campaigned for liberation of African slaves in the Colonies at the time but obviously that did not succeed.
In the modern day, pretty much every system that brushes up against various social issues prioritizes older values, purely for the reason that it’s much easier to base practice off of older knowledge rather than current knowledge. That’s why most people grow up thinking that Christopher Columbus discovered North America and didn’t murder an extraordinary amount of people and in some history classes, the emphasis on the Civil War is not slavery but “economic freedom” and “states’ rights.” A ludicrous position. Columbus was a murderer and we should teach that. The Civil War was about slavery. It was about the Confederacy’s desire to continue using human people as unpaid workers. That’s not up for debate. Education is the first step in bringing our society forward. Through changing the way public education is operated, we can march once again towards progress.
Usually what happens when anyone says that things are not as good as they could be in the United States is people begin shouting that the person doing the criticism either “hates America” or that they should “go somewhere else if they don’t like it.” I, personally, find this position missing the point. The point of suggesting another way of doing things is not to say throw everything out but to examine everything and see what works for all and what doesn’t. That being said, there are a lot of things we need to throw out of this metaphorical apple basket.
To name a small example, we as a society have to move past the idea of static gender and sex binaries. It’s just not how it works. Sociological study and personal testimony have proven that there are more than two genders (man and woman), and biological study has proven time and time again that there are more than two sexes even (male and female). Intersex people exist as well as a diverse selection of genders. We need to divorce our society from the restrictive idea of gender as we know it. Remember, much like money, borders, and language, gender is made up. It’s a social construct. That doesn’t mean it isn’t useful but if we can’t describe everyone in our society and make everyone a part of our society with the current construct, then it only stands to reason that we should tear it down and reevaluate.