Twenty-five years ago, I taught an English class for adults in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. In a conversational class, a Slovak woman spoke of a trip to Canada and into the United States. She reported that as soon as she crossed the boundary, she became afraid. When I asked her why, she replied, “Because of all the violence in the United States.” I asked her if she found any, and she said no. I told that was because there wasn’t any.
I couldn’t make the same claim today. Something has been lost in our sense of the common humanity of all Americans. And we need to do something about it.