If you are someone that believes hate doesn’t exist as an everyday part of America, click on the link above, skip the article, and go right down to the comments section. Although I couldn’t read this kind of gibberish on a regular basis, I think every once in awhile it serves as a reality check that there is still much to be done. These fools clearly believe that their magic America (A place that never existed in the first place) is being taken away from them by people who hold even less mainstream political power than they do. (And please don’t tell me because Obama is President that black people hold more political power than white people.)
So, let’s just deconstruct an argument. One of the arguments for racism is that black people are genetically or intellectually inferior. Some white people claim that whites are superior to black people and that this is why so many black people live in poverty or commit crime or what have you.
Lets say for the sake of argument that it is nature that shapes us and not nurture. We know, for a fact, that many white people’s ancestors whipped children. We know that they often took advantage of black women that they owned if not outright raped them. We also know that many white people went to the lynchings of blacks and treated the event like a picnic. Is it in white people’s nature to be savagely brutal? Is it in their nature as a people to torture children, to rape women, and to enjoy seeing people hanged? If so how can they be superior?
Yet we know that, while racism still exists in many parts of this country, most white people were able to leave the above behavior behind, even ones that still harbor racist sentiment. We even know that descendants of slave owners could be quite kind and moral people. The following is a story of the descendent of a slave owner trying to make amends with the the descendant of a slave:
So if we know that white people were able to transcend their background, how come some believe black people cannot? (And this is even without noting that slavery and reconstruction created the kind of systematic poverty that has kept certain black communities from reaching their full potential.) The racist system of slavery shaped the behavior of many of the white people of that time, people that in another time and place would have probably been decent. Society does not look upon their descendants as cursed. So next time someone tells you that white people are superior to anyone you can laugh in their face. Ask them if raping, whipping, and hanging are the hallmarks of a superior people.
We’re all just people that have been thrown into an ocean called life that we don’t understand. Most of us are trying to make the best of it. For better or worse we’re all in this thing together.
I am surprised at how much the media is covering the Ferguson case in Australia. I left the news on last night while reading and must have seen four or five different segments on it. I also read Officer Wilson’s testimony as well as Browns friend’s testimony as well this morning.
I am biased against the police from my own personal interactions with them. Also, the disparity in the accounts seems wide enough that I would have liked to have seen a trial. But this is all mere speculation. My dad is a lawyer and he has taught me that unless you have all of the facts one cannot really have more than a biased opinion about a case.
However, whether Wilson is guilty or not, I completely understand the anger of the black community. This does not mean that any kind of violence is warranted, only that if you know how the criminal justice system treats minorities, one can see how this case has taken on symbolic underpinnings.
If you have no idea why people are angry, I highly recommend reading Matt Taibbi’s The Divide for starters. He goes into depth in this book about how unjust our criminal justice system really is. Taibbi is an excellent writer who makes great use of language to highlight the absurdity that is part of everyday American life for many. What many people are put through would not seem out of place in a Kafka novel.
Hopefully the violence will cease soon, but that a close examination of our criminal justice system will go on for a long time, until we can approach something close to equal justice for all.
I describe the latest outburst of the GOP, the possible government shutdown, but really all of their recent insanity, as the “old white person death rattle.” Basically the world is changing. It is changing for the better and for the worse. It is changing for the better in that more people are being welcome to the party. People of different races and sexual orientation are now included at the table in ways in which they weren’t in the past. It is changing for the worse as the gap between the rich and poor is widening in this country.
For sake of argument let’s simplify and say that there are two kinds of old white people. There are rich ones and poor ones. The rich ones want everything they already have and want more. They don’t want anyone challenging their right to take, take, take. They are the ones that control things like Fox News and Wall Street. The other kind are the ones that are losing ground. Their jobs and pensions are disappearing. They also see the culture changing in ways that can’t understand. They are freaking the fuck out. The ones in power are fanning the flames and using the ones that are losing ground to achieve their means. “Hey don’t blame us because the pie is shrinking”, said the rich white people. “Blame the blacks and the Mexicans and the gays.”
The world that these old white people grew up in is forever gone, or at least it soon will be. Their world and culture is in its death throes. Be afraid. People are dangerous and stupid when they are clinging to the end. This may be a somewhat simplified fable of what is really going on. But I don’t believe I’m far off.