It’s not them, it’s you.
You see people who don’t look like you, and you think that they are taking something that belongs to you. You feel threatened with the change that is happening all around us. There are people with dark skin who are working and studying and saving and building, and that seems like a threat, especially when you feel that opportunities have been taken from you. There are people whose ancestors were slaves that are now saying that Black Lives Matter, and that upsets you. There are people who wear religious head scarves who are starting small businesses, earning degrees, and enjoying the fruits of our wonderful country, the melting pot. There are people who are speaking in different languages all around us, and that scares you.
Your ancestors were once those people.
When your people came to the United States, they saw an opportunity to work hard, to become educated, to have religious freedom, and to make a better life for their families. They understood hard work, and the earliest ones still remembered what it was like being hungry or oppressed because of what they believed.
The people who don’t look like you are still hungry to make a better life for themselves and their families.
You think they are taking jobs away from you, but you aren’t willing to do the work that many of them are doing. It is below you. They still recognize opportunity, but you have been comfortable for too many years, and you have forgotten how to feed yourself. You think that other people have taken away your jobs in coal mines or steel plants or other places where white men could make a living without needing an education.
The world has changed.
Many of the dark people that you fear the most are here earning degrees in the technologies that have replaced the coal mines as a good source of income. They recognize that to get ahead today, they need to learn how to program computers, build robots, discover new ways to cure human disease, or develop technologies that will allow world to survive with limited resources and many people, most of whom don’t look like you.
Don’t be fooled by our President.
Not only does he not have your interests in mind, he is promising a world that no longer exists. Maybe he will start a few new coal mines, but the people you fear will be the engineers designing it and making the robots to work it. There may be a few jobs for you and your friends, but they won’t be like the one that killed your grandfather at an early age. Without the education that you don’t yet recognize you need and are not prepared to get, you will be pushing the buttons on the robots but won’t understand how they work. Maybe our President will build more pipelines that carry oil, but most people will be soon driving cars that run on batteries or other technology that the hungry foreign people are learning to build.