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Conglomeration of Entities or United States of America – Which One Will It Be?


What is a conglomerate or conglomeration? Oxford Dictionary defines Conglomerates as “a number of different things or parts that are put or grouped together to form a whole but remain distinct entities.[1] Typically, this term is used for companies like Facebook and Amazon. For example, Facebook began at Harvard University in 2003 as Facemash, an online service for students to judge the attractiveness of their fellow students.[2] Jeff Bezos quit his job at an investment bank in 1994 to open a virtual bookstore, working out of his garage with a handful of employees, sold its first book in 1995[3] and today is called Amazon, “The Everything Store.”


The Cambridge Dictionary explains a conglomeration this way: a large group or mass of different things all collected together in a messy or unusual way.[4] For purposes of this essay, the Cambridge definition provides one of the best explanations for a conglomeration in terms of how the United States of America as a country could be considered. What started out as one colony turned into thirteen different things all collected together in a rather messy way: by theft of land from the indigenous people either through violence or coercion or both. Just like Cambridge, Oxford’s definition offers one of the best explanations as well, since each state can be considered a different part or thing that is grouped together to form a whole but still remains a distinct entity. Indeed, each state is its own entity, with its own laws, regulations, covenants, government, and governing body, but it is the United States of America or the Union of States.


There are certainly good examples of the United States as a conglomeration provided above, however, neither explanation of conglomeration mentions United or Union. Neither is represented as united, but rather distinct and sometimes unrelated. Within the context of a conglomeration, the question becomes, is the United States really United? Is it a Union of States as described by Abraham Lincoln during and after the Civil War?


Relying once again on Oxford, a Union is an action or fact of joining or being joined, especially in a political context[5]. Dictionary.com defines a Union as (1) the act of uniting two or more things, and (2) the state of being united.[6] As part of the framework of this essay, Dictionary.com presents the best explanation of the use of the word Union, since it incorporates the word United as part of its definition.


From the Pilgrim Code Law of 1636 to ratification of the Articles of the Confederation in 1781, all the way to the creation of the Federal government through ratification of the Constitution of the United States in 1787, it is apparent that the Federal government is the glue that joins these distinct entities, uniting them as one whole country. However, based on the deep divisions in this country in terms of Race, the question must be asked again:



Is the United States more a conglomerate or an actual Union of States, United as one body? Frankly, it would appear white supremacists think of this country as a conglomeration of states and certainly not a Union of States. This thinking may have roots in the secession of the Southern states, forming themselves as The Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy in 1860–61 during the Civil War, ending when the Confederates lost the war and the Enslaved were emancipated. As the individual states used Black Codes and subsequently the systemic use of Racism against the Black population, the Federal government became the primary source of whatever form of democracy Black people could receive since the Federal law took precedence over state law. Nevertheless, state lawmakers were perceived as secondary and not considered as important as the Federal political landscape, allowing the same white supremacists through the years to quietly design new ways to oppress.


Today, Black people are being suppressed from the franchise in many states. Still more are banning Books by Black authors. Some states are even changing the history curricula in schools to describe The Enslavement as beneficial to the enslaved. The divide has widened and deepened to the extent individual states are more and more authoritarian and Racist looking like separate countries rather than a united, union of states.


What if these individual state entities decide they will not be governed by the Federal, Union, or United States Constitution? Too many questions. Not enough answers, and yet it looks like this nation is headed toward a conglomeration of individual authoritarian countries and democracies, depending on which side of the ideology on either side of the divide.


The Federal government appears to be losing much of its power to govern these individual, distinct state entities, and it is feared that if states’ rights continue to hold sway over Federal rights, democracy itself may not survive. Many legislators whose side of the divide depends upon generational animosity for Black people have acquired a great deal of ground over the years which may be why they don’t hold very much credence in Federal law, Federal regulations, the Constitution, or the president. The White Supremacists appear to be winning even as the Federal government tries to assure the nation it is still United, still a Union. If history is any indication of the future, then we will need to brace ourselves for what is likely to come.

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