Celeste Headlee – TRANSCRIPT
So I am not here to sugarcoat anything for you. I’ve been a journalist for nearly 20 years, and quite frankly I can tell you there’s no way to downplay the serious situation that we’re in as a nation. 26.4% of voters chose Clinton, 26.2% chose Trump, 42% decided not to vote at all. There are protests in cities all over the country. The number of hate crimes against Muslims has never been this high since 9/11. Nazi graffiti has shown up on buildings. A group of kids in Michigan chanted “Build the wall” while their Latino classmates wept. It’s a really serious situation.
On the other hand, I am not here to help you wallow in despair. I am not here to support either candidate. I’m not going to complain about the Electoral College. I’m not going to tell Clinton supporters to get behind their new president. Because all of this goes way beyond politics. I would really like to show us the way to hope, and I’d like to show us the way forward, but to do that we have to understand how we got here. If you’re feeling pretty good about your own choices, maybe deploring the behavior of other people, you’re maybe blaming all of this on the other side, whatever side that is, you might have missed the point.
We hate each other because we don’t know each other. We don’t see each other as worthy of respect. We view people who disagree with us not as human beings, but as enemies. And we have separated ourselves into tribes, and now we are warring tribes. 75% of white Americans have no non-white friends. 65% of African Americans have an all-black social network. Our schools are as segregated now as they were during the days of Jim Crow. Half of us say that most of our friends share our political views. And 1 in 5 would be unhappy if someone from the other political party married into our family.