By Jim Carey
For seven consecutive Mondays, Occupy SMA will view both the PBS series, Divided States of America, and the five part series, America Divided, an EPIX Original Docu-series of eight stories produced by Norman Lear.
Meeting and Film
Divided States of America: Part 1
Mon, Apr 17, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15, Centro
Polarization has been described as “the essential characteristic of American politics that Obama didn’t understand,” said Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker. Watching PBS’ Divided States of America: Part 1, it’s clear that after eight years of Obama, we are radically polarized. There is no United States of America—rather a red America and a blue America. Jonathan Rothwell, a senior economist at Gallup, confirmed this when he looked at data from approximately 87,000 Trump red state voters. He cites the predominant characteristic as not economical but social; namely, those red state voters live in majority white zip codes and have little interaction with people of color and immigrants.
Here’s Salon’s Melanie McFarland review: “Divided States of America views this polarization as a result of a combination of factors stemming from the Republican leaders´ calculated decision to obstruct Obama’s efforts as the nation sped toward a financial cliff, the far-right’s fostering of nativism and the impossible choices faced by America’s first black president when racial tensions came to a head.”
“In narrowing its focus to the political, economic, and social flash points that intensified the electorate’s distrust of the federal government and shredded our “one nation” myth, Divided States of America cuts away the obfuscating headlines. In doing so, it shows us the splinters that led to the necrotizing infection weakening our government’s foundation.
Even the typical headline skimmer is aware of the maladies that brought us to where we are today: the terrifying financial crisis of 2008 that met Barack Obama as he came into office. The recession that dogged his first four years and the furor over the spending he championed to spark economic recovery. The Tea Party’s rise and the perpetuation of the birther lie (Trump led the pack.) The eruption of gun violence (16 mass shootings during his eight years), including the killing of Trayvon Martin and followed by the massacre of children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, that has prompted America to confront the hypocrisy of its leadership.”
Ta Nehisi Coates likes to say that despite the insidious rumors concocted to denigrate the first black White House, “his time in the White House had been an eight-year showcase of a healthy and successful black family spanning three generations, with two dogs to boot. In short, he became a symbol of black people’s every day, extraordinary Americanness.” That’s the good news. Trump is the bad news which calls us to RESIST. Join A.C.L.U., Indivisible, the Women’s March, and all the thousands of local groups awakening to the danger that he stands for. Join us Monday. It’s free.