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America is being divided, and it’s all part of the plan: the plan to program humans into robots that fight, protest, and stir up verbal arguments. The media thrives on it — creating fake news, decrying fake news, and reporting with few facts and plenty of bias.

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Critical thinking has become void. We are being told to be all-in, whether that be all-in for Trump or all-out for Trump. Anyone with the guts to go against the grain, that is, to take pieces of good from all sides and create a more meaningful outlook, is pushed away with the assumption that they aren’t educated enough, not interested enough to make real change — to stand up for their country.

And it seems the American people agree that division exists and thrives in America. Over the past 20-plus years, the public has perceived the nation as being more divided than united. And it’s only gotten worse. In 2012, 69% of Americans believed the nation was divided. As of 2016, that number has increased to 77%.

Blatant efforts to keep division exist in big ways.

Racism

To think that slavery was an accepted practice seems almost unfathomable given the way we live today. To think that in the 1960s, blacks and whites were so severely divided is alarming compared to now. But such comparisons only seem so far from each other when you think about them in their specific contexts. On a greater level, this unrighteous division lives on loud and clear, perhaps because it is being egged on.

For instance, in 2016, CNN clipped a statement from a black woman whose brother had been murdered by the police. Despite the woman having actually stated that black people shouldn’t burn down their own neighbourhoods, but should go to white neighbourhoods to protest, CNN made it seem as if she were pleading for peace.

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Boycotting

There’s a good reason to stand behind or refuse to support a company based on your ethics, be them political, social, environmental, etc., but when people are boycotting Starbucks for offering to hire 10,000 refugees, or are boycotting Budweiser because of an immigration-themed Super Bowl ad they believed to send an anti-Trump message, there is only more room for division, not unity.

It seems like everyone is boycotting someone these days. Businesses can’t stop taking sides and making public statements, and the ones who lay low are getting targeted, too, for not taking a stand. If you buy from a company or don’t buy from a company, you are accused of being a racist-fascist-leftist-Trumpist-socialist-communist…the list of social pressures and name-calling could go on forever.

Protesting

Let’s look at the recent Pepsi commercial. Though Pepsi claimed to have been trying to “project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding,” the backlash was enough to pull the ad. Featuring reality TV star Kendall Jenner, critics accused the soda giant of  appropriating a nationwide protest movement following police shootings of African Americans.

The reality of protests is nothing like what the Pepsi commercial envisioned. Though the company was trying to relay peace, the reality is that Pepsi can’t fix things. But that’s not even the point here. The point is actually that the backlash from the Pepsi commercial is just as upsetting as the commercial itself. Why? Because it sends a message that unity is just as wrong as division. It sends a message that no one can get it right.

Tolerance from the Left is called into question when violence is used to support a different opinion. At the University of Florida, for instance, students started a Leftist Fight Club that teaches people how to physically fight Trump supporters.

Just as disheartening as it is to think change can be made with a Pepsi, it is just as much so to think that violence is the answer.

Being all-in or all-out is a social pressure that begets division. If only we could take a deep breath and absorb more than we want to hear, how much more united could we actually be?


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