Welcome to We the People, a column featuring stories and profiles of your fellow Americans because we the people of the United States need to meet one another.
We Americans make a lot of assumptions about “the other.” Even though it is truly impossible to understand what every person in this country is like, we continue to operate under the idea that we can group ourselves into categories like liberal and conservative or Christian and Muslim or black and white and suddenly make sense out of everything. But really, these labels and assumptions have not helped us make sense out of anything. Instead, they’ve brought us to a present reality filled with extreme division, anger and violence.
Part of the problem is that we just don’t know each other. It’s easy to develop false ideas about people you’ve never actually seen or heard. But if we want anything to change, then we have to let go of old stereotypes and learn for ourselves what the people of this country are actually like. Of course we’ll have our differences, but we shouldn’t be afraid of them, we shouldn’t avoid them. Instead, we should find our commonalities and celebrate our shared humanness while also embracing and relishing in our differences. We are all people made of flesh and bones and hearts and brains, feelings and thoughts, dreams and struggles. It’s time to conquer our collective fear and accept one another for who we are: equal citizens of a huge, beautiful and diverse country named for its unity. So please, allow me to introduce you.
Meet Nozim, a talented artist who ran into some difficulties when he first arrived in NYC.
Meet Alma, an elderly Kentuckian reminiscing about working the “tabacca” farm, killing chickens, and going to her first Bill Monroe concert.
Meet Whitney, an aspiring vet in Alabama who knows an awful lot about African rodents, suicide prevention, and cows.
Meet Kelsey, a vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and father who gives a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a working musician in Brooklyn in this special Q&A.