By Jesse Lopez
After Christopher Columbus accidentally landed in the Americas and not in India like planned, the rest of the world became obsessed with the concept and idea of "The New World." Just the sheer thought of a fresh new start, free of ridicule and persecution, caused thousands of people to pack up, sell everything they owned, and come running to "The New World" excited for a new beginning. Similar to how we see people acting today towards the idea of living on the moon. After arriving at "The New World," these hopeful new Americans would find out there were no roads paved with gold and no fountain of youth. The dream of becoming rich and successful quickly faded. The reality of the "New World" was an undeveloped country that would require endless amounts of hard work with nearly unlivable conditions. I wonder if the moon's futuristic downfall will resemble every failed human social experiment that once took place here on earth? But I digress.
Imagine being one of those hopeful, uneducated, and disenfranchised humans looking for a place where the king's military won't come knocking at your door, demanding you pay taxes. If you didn't have the money or crops to offer these soldiers, they were at liberty to take whatever they wanted from you or your family. Meaning if you were weak or had a bad crop, and as a result, no income, a soldier could rape your wife or daughter and call it even for the funds you were insufficient. Soldiers heavily enforced the rule of law, and most lower-class citizens were their target and prey. This reality made it easy for those hopefuls to imagine how much better life could be in a different place. A place perceived to be free from prejudice and ridicule. A place like "The New World."
This country was founded on lies and slavery by men who ran away from their old world problems to arrive here and take advantage of every possible person they could. Let's imagine again; you are hopefuls traveling over the ocean for weeks to bring your family to "The New World." You have just sold everything you own except your jewelry, your most essential belongings, and a few outfits packed away in a suitcase. You, your family, and a pocket full of silver coins made from liquidating all your belongings are on your way to riches and freedom. On week two, you contract influenza, and on week three, you die.
At this time in history, men and only men conducted business, and women tended to the home and family. A woman could not buy a house or have a bank account unless her husband represented her. Meaning if you died on the way to your new life in "The New World," the ship's owner and crew would confiscate all your belongings, including your family. They would sell your wife to a wealthy family as a white house servant, and your children would be separated and sold based on their gender, age, and size. Think about how many people died on their way to America.
Those who did make it through those unimaginable conditions were brought to undeveloped land, handed primitive tools, and told to work. Cleaning fields with horse and ox lead plows, chopping down trees for lumber, and hunting game to eat. This new life was painful and exhausting—queue the slaves. I mean, why do it yourself when you can make someone do the work for you, right? Isn't that, and hasn't that always been the American way? They tried with the indigenous people and found out the hard way that they wouldn't go down without a fight. Fights that took so many lives by the hands of people who believed it was God's will to own this land. So, off to Africa they went; in search of a hardworking nonviolent tribe once written about by a well-regarded British explorer. Once establishing the slave trade, "The New World" could finally start paying Europe back and make enough revenue to create the world they had been lying about for so long. It was potentially the first Ponzi scheme.
Imagine now being a business owner that has 20-25 employees that work 16-18-hour days. These employees work every day of the week, entirely for free, with no benefits. The only benefit these workers received is being left to live, work, and pray to a god that doesn't recognize them as a human. You can beat these employees if you feel they step out of line, you can starve these employees if you don't have the money for food, and you can sell or trade their offspring if you see fit. A white person could save up five to eight dollars and buy themselves a slave to work nonstop, making them more money so they could save for more slaves. These slaves have to call you "Master" and worship you like a higher power. That kind of power is intoxicating and creates a disillusioned reality. These slave owners then taught and passed this thinking on to their descendants.
Now, here we are two hundred and forty-four years after the Declaration of Independence was written. We still see lies about this supposedly great country and the still enduring demand and desire for modern-day restricted slavery. Think about all the successful business owners you know. Do any of those people do the company's entry-level work? A high percentage of our country's entry-level employees are part of our diverse ethnic population. Today we see CEOs of all genders, cultures, and ethnicities, but the large majority of these executive position holders are white males. And these men rule just about every industry. Folks, this is what is known as systemic racism.
I always thought good, overcame evil. I always felt like there were more good people than bad ones. When applying for a job and taking an aptitude test, I'd commonly answer that most people are good, and few people are intentionally bad because I thought that to be true. After the 2020 election, I was blown away by how many people willing showed how much racism lives in our home country today.
Seventy-one million Americans openly supported a man who has pending sexual assault charges. A man who is under investigation for tax fraud. A man who has failed over and over with every company he has run. Only when he licenses his last name (TRUMP) have businesses of "his" done well. These companies do not let him have anything to do with company decisions or daily operations, just like a channel paid him to use his name in a fake reality TV show where he had nothing to do except play the main character. This is the guy that so many Americans openly supported.
I have always registered as an Independent that strongly leans Republican. In fact, this election was the first time in my life I ever voted for the Democratic candidate. Not only did I vote against the party I've always been so comfortable with, but I also worked as a staffer on Andrew Yang's 2020 campaign. I have a ton of respect for The Lincoln Project and other Republican groups that stood up for our democracy and helped the American people understand the web of lies that the Republican party became entangled with through advancing the Trump regime. Our country has never been perfect, and recently we have gone through some intense and emotional growing pains.
The past four years have been so painful and divisive for all of us. Families are fighting and being destroyed over this election, while friends have stopped speaking. Facebook and Instagram followers have decreased. Hate crimes and hate, in general, has been on the rise. Racism is back, and it's angrier than ever. This country has changed so much in just four years, and dare I say the USA is failing.
Our children and youth are watching this going on, and it's all over one man, Donald J. Trump. Many people still believe that the grass is always greener on the other side, but the reality is that the grass is always greener where you water it. If we keep running from our problems instead of facing them, we will never help each other heal this nation.