All you need to do to get two different takes on American society today is ask two different people.
Evan Tanner is a pastor at a church in Greensboro and when he was asked if he sees something of a new America with the new Biden administration installed, he said:
“I don’t. In fact, I see the same – and this is not talking of the presidency but the way society acts. I’m seeing the same cycles that happen every four or eight years. And I saw someone put out a meme that said something like, ‘Hold up, Biden, you’ve got four years to ruin our country, you don’t have to do it in the first two weeks.’ And everybody jumped on board, ‘He’s ruining our country!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but four years ago, all y’all said this about Trump.’”
Meanwhile, Angela Smith puts it succinctly when asked if she’s seen changes since January.
“It’s gone crazy,” she says. Angela isn’t talking about President Joe Biden but about the reactions of some fellow citizens who may not like what someone supports or stands for. “I’m going to respect whoever is president – whoever is there, whether I voted for him or not. Everybody has their own opinion and you should be able to voice your opinion, no matter what anybody else says, as long as you respect the other person.”
Algenon Cash is political in the sense that he follows politics closely, stays informed and gets involved in policy issues when it makes sense to. And, although he’s not a Democrat, he sees things to like about what Biden has proposed so far.
“One thing that he’s already announced that I really love is immigration reform and I mean not just needling around the edges – he wants to go after comprehensive immigration reform and I think that’s just so important,” says Algenon. “George Bush tried it in 2006, 2007; Barack Obama tried it in 2013 and I think it’s needed. We’ve got 11 million people that are living here in the country – keep in mind that just over half of those 11 million undocumented immigrants actually work in what we call essential services so, restaurants, hospitality and so forth so it’s essential that we find some sort of pathway to bring them out of the shadows.”
Flavia Nazareth and her husband are naturalized American citizens who grew up in Brazil, and she sees parallels between the two countries.
“I think one thing that became really clear for me and I see it both here in the US and Brazil, I think we have the same type of situation with (Brazilian President Jair) Bolsonaro being very similar to what Trump was to the United States,” Flavia says. “People are starting to realize that the federal government can do a lot but our lives don’t change that much – that’s, at least, how I see it. The silver lining of everything that happened the last four or five years or so is that we have a lot more in common than the things that can divide us.”
See more on this from the subjects of our Project 2021 in this report.
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