Before talking about the imaginary problems the United States Council on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) perceives in India, let’s talk about the problems that exist within the confines of this country of ours!!

Debates have been happening for years on why the number of African Americans and Hispanic people are more when counting inhabitants of a jail. Many articles have been written about the economic situation of these people and attributing this as the main cause! No arguments there! I concur! That being said, who said the numbers reflect the truth? When a commercial for a toothpaste says 80% of the dentists surveyed, recommend XYZ as the brand to use, the first question that should come to mind is “how many dentists were surveyed?” If 5 of them were surveyed and 4 said XYZ, then this is misrepresenting the truth! Yes, it’s 80% but the sample size was too small to be significant! That we don’t count the number of people who are in jail due to reasons caused by an economic deprivation is in itself a travesty!!! Doesn’t need a nuclear scientist to figure this one out!

Economic deprivation and crime don’t look for race, color or political affiliation! It has to do with formal education as this society believes in that, as the benchmark for employment! Employment is also not always the best measure! White-collar crimes are testament to that, and that’s a fact! Downtowns in many major cities are inhabited by the lower middle class that can ill afford transportation to and from work. To circumvent this problem, people either use public transportation or live in downtown areas. When you walk in the neighborhoods there, and as students, back in the late 80s and early 90s when the economy sucked, at Cleveland State Univ my cousins and I had many occasions to catch buses from school back home, you found NOT just black or Hispanic people but white people too! It’s always about values and ethics!

The fact that many of the poor white people are Republicans is lost on most of us! Not all republicans are rich wealthy white people and, democrats the poor underprivileged people who are criminals at heart! By the same token, not all republicans are bad and not all democrats are good! John McCain and Jimmy Carter, two of my idols, were/are the most decent human beings from different political ideologies! It’s all about the values and character of the person.

Given the propensity, of people, to assume the African American population is uneducated, unemployed and prone to violence is as wrong as thinking all Indians are educated, rich and followers of Gandhi! While there maybe a tiny element of truth to this, one has to examine the reasons for such a disparity in society. No, I’m not here to propogate socialism! Far from it, the socio-economic status (known as SES in academia) is what I’m referring to.

Today’s youth, of all colors and creed, are beginning to realize the need for an education that grants them entry into whatever profession they choose. Universities around the country stand proof to this!

However, I have a question: rather than question different communities and their contribution to this beautiful country of OURS, why don’t we strive to see a country collectively grow? Why do we need to see such a disparity between the ultra-rich and the extremely poor? Rather than focus on a particular community’s upliftment, we should focus on the skills development of a people that are largely neglected, whatever their color or creed! The money is there but is grossly mismanaged. No, this didn’t start only in 2016 but has been there for decades prior!

I know of a couple of very well to do immigrants who brought their parents to the USA, as green card holders. The parents had NEVER worked a day in their lives in the USA, and yet were being given social security checks that the ordinary hard-working citizen pays for! For this ready to jump on the current administration, this again didn’t start in 2016 but, I am fairly sure, is still continuing! Isn’t it time we stopped this gross misuse of public funds and start using it to get these neglected people the education they so deserve? What gives us the right to deprive them of this?

When a country, like the USA, fails to recognize these deprived people, that spells doom for the entire system! Please, before we start discussing the imaginary problems that the USCIRF sees in other countries, let the state departments start seeing the real issues within the USA that threatens the very lives of these, seemingly ignored, citizens!

God bless the USA.

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