Tag Archives: oppression

My Student Claims That They’re Racists

How could I dispute his claim. I too have walked that road. It wasn’t pleasant. Instead of argue with him, I embraced his claim. I shared my story. I encouraged him to prove them wrong. I explained that we have a responsibility to ourselves to reject their projection. We have a responsibility to ourselves to succeed in spite of their prediction. They made the rules. We will fight their rules. We will claim what is ours! We will rule instead.

It is likely that by the end of this story, we will coexist. But not until there is a shift in power. Not until we have made the same mistake (unfortunately). And not until we know the responsibility of carrying society. Not until they’ve experienced our pain. My hope is that it will not take four hundred years for us to recognize that the burden of power has a price tag far too high. That power will corrupt us too (absolutely). Are we no wiser? Can we not learn from their mistake? Can we learn before it’s too late? We waited too long to cry “racist!” They see it coming and are already prepared to fight for what they perceive is their’s–what was always their’s. “We’re losing!” they claim. Well, who’s winning?tumblr_nd3nn3nGRZ1r7m9kyo1_1280

The face of America is changing.  It’s not at all how we predicted.  We’ve been wrong so many times, and yet we insist on being right this time.  If ignorance is bliss, are we living in a state of constant euphoria?  It’s been suggested that to move ahead, we must look back to where we’ve been.  It’s not a good look.  It’s not getting any better either.  If the future is an arrival on this road we’re traveling now, we may have already experienced the best that society has to offer.  Not to put too fine a point on it, we’re fucked!

Not because of the face of change, but because of what was lost in the struggle.  We fought for the wrong thing.  What we have won is the prize that we currently have–a culture of misfits.  We are free now.  Free from what?  Tyranny?  Free from oppression?  Do we now posses a freedom to act?  To react?  Overact?  Fact?  Fiction?   Where are we???

We are in a new state of consciousness.  Taking a positive position, we have arrived at a place in time that allows us to reflect and predict simultaneously.  We don’t like what we see, and our predictions are vague.  We reserve the right to change our destiny.  Like so many science fiction tales that warn of mankind’s demise if we do not change course, we are on the cusp of greatness.  Our ability to communicate is paramount and on par with our willingness to share ideas   Yes, we are on the cusp of greatness.  And we are about to fall off the edge…

The story of racism has now transformed itself into yet another rant of where we are as a nation.  My student’s claim is no less important than my own realization that a role reversal has occurred.  The teacher has become the student.  He doesn’t need me to educate him on the principals of “us verses them.”  His experience is no more limited than my own.   They ARE us.  The shift occurred, but the condition has not changed.  Human suffering is human suffering.  When we become them, there will still be suffering.  Meanwhile, instead of becoming wiser, we are becoming resilient.

Positively Negative

polarity

Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cries?” –Danielle Williams, Baltimore protester.

If we knew 30 days ago where we would be today, would we have behaved differently? We’ve witnessed how other regions of our nation respond when public policy does not reflect the needs of the community. “Civil Unrest” is a term coined by those who are tired of the status quo. It is also feigned by those who resist it. Freedom has NEVER been offered without a struggle because those in power are already free to do what they want. We want to act in a positive manner? To do so is to takes action! 

Wait!  Thirty days ago?  We haven’t recovered from the last acts of social injustice!  Statistically there were in excess of 360 police-involved deaths last year alone.  With a wrongful death averaging almost one per day, how has this not become a national epidemic. Far more people are affected by injustice than Ebola and Mad Cow Disease combined!  But disease (no matter how limited or minimal) has everyone concerned because disease knows no ethnic, cultural, class, religious, gender, or age barrier.  There’s the rub!  Anyone can fall victim.  If it can happen to any one of us, we have a united concern!  Division dissolves. This is probably why zombie movies are so popular.

BUT THIS IS NOT SCIENCE FICTION.  THIS IS REALITY!!!

negativity

Only days ago I saw the news clip of Protester Danielle Williams explaining to the media that the frustration of the people is a direct result of a failure to act.  All Americans have witnessed and endured as much as they are willing to tolerate.  We have passed the breaking point (on countless occasions).The American people have tolerated inappropriate behavior since the American Revolution.  The government’s unwillingness to represent, promote, and provide for the needs of the people is what spawned the revolution. The Revolution ended a tyranny that lasted far longer than it should have.  The world will no longer be threatened by an “American Superpower” that fights for freedom abroad.  Instead the world is watching our nation implode.  Once a model of democracy, now a vision of division.  Us verses Them.  What we have here is either a revolution or an evolution.  What’s the difference?  One is violent.  The other is peaceful and natural.  I’d prefer the latter.

My prediction is that on the other side of the protests, the policy changes, and the police retraining;  there will be a shift in power that does not improve the overall status quo.  We, who’ve been mistreated, will rise up and claim a nation (for the first time) that was always ours.  But claiming what belongs to us and protecting what is ours are two very different acts.  When will we be any more protective of human rights?  Will we revise or REcreate systems in a manner that will lift up the rights of ALL living beings?  Or will we simply conclude in the knowledge that at least OUR people will no longer fall victim to brutality? Tough questions.