I remember learning in school that America was divided into three classes: the lower, middle and upper class. We all strived to get to the middle class, the signal that we had arrived, fulfilling the American dream.
We don't talk very much about classes any longer, and I don't miss that.
But, we do talk about the two Americas, and that hurts.
Our "Red States" and "Blue States" define the divide in basic primary colors.
In California, the maps of the counties that voted for and against Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage was as distinctive as the red and blue states, but most graphic portrayals were in black and white.
The really good America was in full force yesterday. Here in Los Angeles, I saw the wonderful "Father Dollar Bill," the loving name given to Reverend Maurice Chase, who hands out dollar bills (with inflation, now hundred dollars bills sometimes) to homeless and needy people in Downtown L.A. His benefactors range from those who used to need his donations to Bob and Ginny Newhart, Dolores Hope, Barbara Sinatra and Eli Broad. Right nearby are the Skid Row missions and shelters, which serve thousands of healthy Thanksgiving meals to anyone who needs them. The expressions on the faces on the children, senior citizens and everyone else are priceless. It was also encouraging to hear that there were more volunteers than ever before donating their time to prepare and serve the meals.
And, then, this morning, on the aptly named Black Friday, the first national story of the day was that an employee at a Walmart in Valley Stream, New York, was, as CNN told me, "trampled by a mob of morning shoppers." There were also reports of shoppers being injured.
I understand political differences. I worship those who donate their time and money to help others. I have no words for the concept of shoppers trampling a store employee and fellow shoppers to make the most of Black Friday.