There is a systemic problem in this country built upon our unique democratic origins wherein specific ‘human rights’ were granted to citizens as a constitutional right (upheld by law)—but citizenship was reserved only for white males. The devastation that is now threatening to engulf our nation has its origin in the institutional enslavement of humans to work and build this nation to world prominence (primarily in the South). Imported mainly from Africa, the enslaved were deemed ‘property’, denied rights—even denied the recognition of full humanity. White American males were ‘in control’ and automatically believed in their ‘superiority’. It became an embedded belief. A belief leads to assumptions which dictates behavior, producing habits which finally become entrenched. That superiority belief has its roots in the law of the jungle—‘Might Means Right’.
Slavery was abolished and laws were changed . . . but the systematic acceptance of superiority and dominance did not. Blacks were given voting rights with the fantasy of equality, but widespread discrimination was the norm—and the myth of white supremacy in the minds of many men continued.
[a side note that is relevant: Women also were considered property, inferior and denied rights. Only in the 20th Century, after years of struggling for change, women for the first time were ‘given’ the right to vote and the appearance of equality but continued to be controlled by the illusion of their ‘privileged position of wife’. . . They didn’t need to be ‘out in the world’ they were being ‘protected’ by husband. To this day women are still denied full pay and equal authority.]
What I’m saying is that a deeply imbedded attitude is largely unseen and often unrealized. Attitudes permeate cultures and take many generations to dislodge.
There is just cause for the anger, rage, and pain in the black community. I support demonstrations, and while the majority of protestors are concerned citizens, these events are opportunities for outsiders to create mayhem which degenerates into riots. In this particular crusade too many rallies become destructive. There is never a just cause that can validate violence. The violence only justifies in the minds of white bigots that they are right to oppress and call in lethal weapons . . . and everything escalates until damage, destruction and death follows; obscuring the valid accusations of injustice. Violence cannot be used as a tool against injustice because it also is unjust.
The killing of black men in the name of law enforcement is a travesty—and it truly happens. All reasonable people will agree. But to turn a demonstration into burning, smashing, destroying and an orgy of looting is equally despicable.
Our dictator; excuse me, our president who clearly thinks he is the lawfully appointed ultimate example of the Supreme white supremacist has chosen to militarize the streets of our cities in response—this is a cycle in which there are no winners!
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and the Suffragettes knew that the only formula for success in the fight against injustice is to put the self at risk in front of the offending party and be willing to pay the price, whatever it is. –as did Jesus
I refer you to a prayer from Teilhard de Chardin: ‘Trust in the Slow Work of God’ (see google)
Your insight - that the only formula for success is to put the self at risk in front of the offending party - is correct and difficult. It doesn't satisfy a sense of "fairness" because it is not fair... but it is the way that the arc of history is bent towards justice. (And that arc doesn't bend itself)ReplyDelete
I responded but my response was lost. Rather than just repeat it, I've used it for the intro to the July post.ReplyDelete