The TIPP Unity Index increased by 0.6 points (1.7 percent) in June, rising to 34.9 from 34.3 in May.
A whopping 65% believe the country is divided, while only 30% believe it is united.
The Unity Index
In keeping with its innovative tradition, TechnoMetrica developed the Unity Index, a barometer of the country's unity based on the question:
In general, would you say the United States is Very United, Somewhat United, Somewhat Divided, or Very Divided?
The chart shows the answers to the question.
We converted the raw responses to a compact index to compare demographic segments and track unity over time.
The index ranges from 0 to 100. Higher numbers indicate greater unity, while lower numbers indicate decreased unity. 50 is a neutral value. Above 50 indicates unity, while below 50 indicates division.
This month marks the third month of the index's tracking.
Following the contentious 2020 election, Americans are deeply divided on multiple fronts. Here are some areas of discord:
- Immigration: border wall, sanctuary cities, border control, and security
- Law and order (defund police)
- 2020 election results: vote recount/audit, Jan 6 events
- Voting rights
- Vaccine use/coronavirus-related issues (origin, mask use, etc.)
- Gun rights
- Green new deal
- Abortion rights
- Critical race theory
- Gender rights
Racial tensions are at an all-time high as a result of tragic deaths that have fueled further division.
As the country comes out of the pandemic restrictions, real unity can be a catalyst in forging ahead. While President Biden frequently mentions the importance of unity and coming together in his speeches, he has yet to find an effective way to get the American public to share these values.
Behind The Numbers
In June, 35 of the 36 demographic groups we track believe that we live in a divided country. The only exception was the 25 to 44 age group which posted 51.8. Eighteen groups improved on the unity index in June, and eight groups decreased.
The groups that feel extreme division in the country are 65 or older, Independents, those with some college education, white women, Republicans, and rural residents.
The United States requires greater unity now more than ever, and our leaders' actions must go beyond mere words to truly benefit society.
As the country recovers from the pandemic, genuine unity can serve as a driving force in moving forward.
While politicians and the television pundit class endlessly yap and divide the country, consider the inspiring example of a regular citizen, Ann Morton, an Arizona artist. She led a non-radical "Violet Protest" against polarization. NPR recently did a segment on her.
"Violet is that combination of red and blue on the color wheel," Morton explained. "And what I like about that word, it's one letter away from violent."
Ann Morton issued a social media call in January 2020, asking people to make 8-inch-by-8-inch textile squares with equal parts red and blue. Eschewing polarizing political positions, the individual squares and the final artwork stand for a set of solid values: respect for each other, citizenship, compromise, country over party and corporate influence, courage, candor, compassion, and creativity. Over 2,000 people from across the country responded. They created and submitted nearly 10,000 squares, which are now on display at the Phoenix Art Museum. The cover picture of this story is a partial shot of the display.
"As you can see, there's just a multitude of creativity here," Morton said, standing before the work of her contributors." But within that framework, it all fits into the larger picture. ... That's how democracy works."
There are a couple of takeaways from Ann Morton that our political class can learn from. First, Americans want unity, and they respond to positive leadership. Our elected leaders, past and present, can learn a lesson from her.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made headlines in Ukraine when he submitted a new bill to parliament that he claims will target oligarchs.
It takes aim at Ukrainian oligarchs who built 'political, economic, and media influence.' The president wants to create an official list of the country's oligarchs and, among other things, ban them from donating either directly or indirectly to political parties.
Any person fitting three of the four following criteria will be on the list if the bill passes:
- Ownership of assets exceeding 2.2 billion hryvnias ($81 million)
- involvement in political activities
- Considerable media influence
- Being a beneficiary of monopolies
The move could help Ukraine in its effort to join NATO, with President Joe Biden commenting last week that corruption was a specific "stumbling block" to Kyiv joining the alliance.
Several countries in Southeast Asia have been facing a resurgence of infections and are trying to procure enough doses for their populations.
The numbers were compiled based on data from Gavi, an alliance of governments, international organizations, companies, and charities that promote the COVAX program in cooperation with the World Health Organization and from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations governments.
The tally also showed Cambodia and Indonesia secured over 90 percent of their vaccine doses from China. Laos secured around 89 percent of its doses from China and the Philippines over 60 percent.
China has supplied or plans to supply 120 million coronavirus vaccine doses to ASEAN members, around 4.8 times the number allocated for the region by the United States and European countries.
China's Sinopharm vaccine will be supplied to developing countries through COVAX but not among ASEAN countries.
The Saudi foreign minister says he was 'very concerned about unanswered questions on Iran’s nuclear program.
Saudi Arabia opposes the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that Tehran and Washington are trying to revive in indirect talks. Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies continue to pressure Iran over its nuclear program.
“From our perspective, foreign policy in Iran is in any case run by the supreme leader and therefore we base our interactions and our approach to Iran on the reality on the ground, and that is what we will judge the new government on, regardless of who is in charge,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
In a bid to contain tensions between them, Saudi Arabia and Iran began direct talks in April in the Iraqi capital Baghdad to address several points of contention.
Ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia were cut in 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions following the kingdom’s execution of a revered Muslim Shia scholar.
Muslim Rights Group Demands Hilton Stop Building Hotel On Site of Demolished Mosque In China’s Xinjiang
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is unacceptable for a U.S. company to build a hotel in a location of an ongoing genocide.
Recent reports revealed that Chinese authorities had torn down the mosque in the city of Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) and were planning to replace it with a large shopping center, including a Hampton, a hotel brand owned by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
Huan Peng Hotel Management Company, Ltd. said the land on which the hotel is being built was purchased at a public auction by a local landowner in 2019.
Contacted by RFA’s Uyghur Service, a spokesperson for the hotel chain, who declined to be identified by name, said: “We are aware of the controversy, but I’m not able to give you a statement at this time.”
Robert S. McCaw, CAIR’s (Center of American-Islamic Relations) government affairs director, said that Hilton would be helping to cover up genocide if it does not stop the project. He also said that the U.S. government should investigate whether Hilton has violated the law.
As part of the process of wiping out Uyghur culture and religious identity, the Chinese state has destroyed or damaged about 16,000 of the more than 24,000 mosques.
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