Whatever perceived consensus might have once existed in this country about the sort of place “we” wanted it to be is now gone.
There was a broad mythical narrative that a large majority basically bought into — and most of those people were white. Because black and brown people didn’t have political power and were vastly underrepresented in media, the perception existed that the mainstream white culture was “the American culture.”
This broad white culture was seen by most as what the country “ought to be.”
Although there was vigorous competition within that white culture for power and control, the cultural consensus was fairly well accepted. Other groups were considered tiny players in the political and social sense.
Today, the large white culture is breaking apart into more and more pieces. This process is being accelerated by social media and the advent of mass which address smaller and smaller slices of the market.
Black and Hispanic groups are gaining enough power — socially, economically and politically — that there is genuine conflict about a cultural narrative. And this is leading to a lot of anger and resentment on all sides.
For all the happy talk about the joys of living in a multicultural society, the truth is that we are entering into a dangerous time. When there is one dominant narrative in a culture, there are always minorities which are underrepresented, but because power is overwhelmingly in the hands of one group, there is relative peace.
As various groups gain enough power to contend for control, conflict rises. This means we are going to see more and more group conflict in the years to come — as cultural and political power shifts away from the more conservative white group which clings to its traditional narrative.
White people are already a minority in this country among young people — teens and younger — and will be an overall minority soon. Group conflicts will get worse.
This isn’t intended as a judgment about how things ought to be. It’s not intended as commentary on the good or bad of any group. It’s simply hard and difficult analysis of what happens in a country when a dominant group loses its virtual monopoly on power and different groups (formerly locked out of the dominant narrative) compete for control.
The relative peace and consensus that many have enjoyed — and which has outraged others who were in a minority — is going to give way to increasing group violence. The coming decades are going to involve a dangerous transition in group power for this country.
It’s not going to be a pleasant ride for many individuals, and I see no way around this.