And I Ask Myself, Well, How Did I Get Here?
We live in a world that has suddenly revealed to us all its toxic underbelly.
We live in a world where it is now considered acceptable to say and do the most outrageously unjust things, all in the name of being a patriot.
We live in a world where race is a precondition for the way we treat people. Still. Again. Maybe always.
People of Colour have known this for generations. White people, myself included, are waking up to the realization that prejudice did not go away while we dreamed we had slain the beast of bigotry, and made the world a just place. We were fools. We were wrong. It’s alive and thriving today. Shame on all of us for thinking otherwise.
See, the thing is, it’s supposed to be one of our noblest aspirations to make the world a better place for all people, regardless of race, creed or sex/gender. We know this. Every one of us knows this. But it’s been decades since people openly challenged this assumption, and did so bravely, thinking they are somehow exercising their ‘right’ to free speech when they insult and deride and otherwise injure someone or a people with less privilege, less power than white people. They now believe they are redressing the balance by putting people of colour back in their rightful place, which seems to be at the bottom of the totem pole.
White Privilege is real. We exercise it every day, regardless of whether we can see it through our rose coloured glasses or not. We complain about the privileges being exercised by people of colour, and find every excuse to dehumanize them and treat them as if they truly are inferiors. We. Still. Do. This. And it’s still wrong.
White Pride is NOT a thing. The white races of European descent have all been remembered for one thing over and above all else: our dominance and subjugation of virtually the entire planet (ourselves included). For centuries, it was done physically, with whips and chains. These days, it’s done financially, with much of the world’s wealth, prestige and influence concentrated in the hands of a remarkably small and callous segment of our own ‘tribe’, the rich white men. And I don’t want anyone trying to tell me it’s the Jews. I call bullshit. I know plenty of Jews who are NOT running the world’s economy, and I’m pretty sure that story is still just an old lie told by rich white men to keep Jews in their place as well, by turning us all against one another instaed of looking at the rich men with a critical eye.
Meryl Streep, one of my favourite actresses, spelled it out simply, explaining what we all know, daring to risk her place in the sun to actually say, out loud, in front of the world, what most of us have become afraid to say: the Emperor-Elect has no class. Of course she was ridiculed and insulted by the creep himself, as well as millions of his loyal and devoted subjects. You may be one of them. I wonder how you got here. I wonder how you sleep.
We, the white people of the world, are not losing our power.
We’re giving back the power that was never ours to take in the first place. We’re taking our rightful place beside our fellow man, taking up the yoke and pulling the plough like everyone else.
And all of this self-righteous bullshit we’ve been spewing, particularly in the last year or so, is the most vile, pig-headed, blind, stupid, offensive thing we’ve ever dared to say or do in a public place.
This is the only world we have at present that we can live on. We can’t keep ruining and poisoning and raping the world and its inhabitants indiscriminately. It WILL come back on us.
Perhaps the thing that’s needed is a fresh, innovative wave of people teaching the world the ethical reality of atheism. It seems to me that many if not most of the people who espouse the practice of institutionalized bigotry do so because they feel the innate sense of superiority that comes from believing they are the chosen people.
News Flash: There are no chosen people. There is no manifest destiny. There is no super race. Even if there is a high deity that created and oversees us, his or her or its moral compass probably (almost certainly) isn’t as skewed and as broken as ours.
We’ve been so Eurocentric for so long, we don’t even understand that the stories of heroism many of us celebrate to this day were built on the backs of exploited minorities and slave classes. Our greatest industrialists were exploiters of every ethnicity and disparate population that came into contact with them. White supremacy isn’t an economic boon, or a social equalizer, or a manifest right: it’s a virus, and we are all dying from it.
This world and its people deserve the respect and reverence that we demand for our so-called culture. The culture of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. The culture that reinforces the idea that other cultures are ludicrous and primitive. The culture that demands white actors play leading characters of colour. The culture of domination. This world. Our world.
I’ve been watching the television series ‘Planet Earth’ with David Attenborough, and it is a stunning piece of work. It’s showing and teaching me things about the world I had never known before. It’s also showing me indescribable beauty on our own home planet that will be lost for all time if we don’t cut this crap out and learn to live together in harmony. It’s not just a cheesy 80s pop song. It’s a small world, and we have to learn to make it work for all of us. Whether there is sentient life out there or not, we can’t really expect to go to space and not become the worst parasitic species imaginable if we can’t even learn to get along with our own kind. We will go to space with the same prejudices and moral certainties that damned this planet and its inhabitants to ruin. When it’s no longer our own world and peoples in question, it’ll only get worse. And we will probably be exterminated like the parasitic disease we have the potential to be, if we can’t learn to get along.
Please. Just think about it. Please.