America is a great country to live in as long as you’re not old, sick, black or poor. This was the reality in the 1960s, when I immigrated from the United States to Canada, and very little has changed since.
To my mind, America’s failure to provide a more level playing field for its people redefines “American exceptionalism.” The United States is the richest country in the world, but has an underclass of at least 100 million people, the size of a Third World country, who are disenfranchised economically, educationally, socially and medically.
It’s a virtual “Brazil,” with wealthier citizens living behind gates, security guards or in suburbs, away from poor neighbourhoods and their teeming populations of impoverished people.
This is partly what the riots currently sweeping across the U.S., as they did two generations ago, are about, not just racism.
The street uprisings were sparked by a cellphone video that captured four Minneapolis policemen attacking, and ultimately killing, a black man who was arrested for a non-violent crime and not resisting arrest.
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