If one explores the evolution of white supremacy several dynamics will be revealed.First, there is the element of an actual sense of superiority. That perspective usually is derived from …
If one explores the evolution of white supremacy several dynamics will be revealed.
First, there is the element of an actual sense of superiority. That perspective usually is derived from either having wealth and power or only identifying with those of the same mindset. They often become full of self and are disconnected from others seen as beneath them.
Second, there are the manipulated who buy into the false rhetoric that they are better than another group. Despite being viewed as lesser, they are folks who are hurting (in self-identity, educationally, economically), often don't know better and are fed propaganda to get them to serve the first group.
The first group treasures their wealth and power so greatly that fear becomes an undercurrent for them. They may fear losing what they have or that those they have oppressed and exploited will seek retribution (part of the gun control issue). This fear is real to them because that is how they live and what they would do. The reality is that most folks are not that way and just want a fair and just opportunity to make a living for themselves and their families.
So being disconnected and full of self, group one manipulates and plots to secure what they believe is their birthright and to protect from their fears. The folks in the second group who buy into the propaganda, but never see the benefits of supporting group one, can always rest in the hype that they are better. When they hurt, they become easy prey to the rhetorical messages calling for support against a false enemy.
Historically, the manipulation occurred so rich whites could control the slaves; when Asian were vilified during the construction of the transcontinental railroad; when folks wanted to exploit Native American lands; when Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps. That play rolls on and on.
However, when will folks get that it is the rich (not all) white men who have been the ones to utilize outsourcing; break up unions (which work for fairness and benefits for regular working folks); suppress wages; depress businesses like the railroad (mass transportation) so that oil, automobile, tire and plane companies can corner the market; exploit other countries for economic gain, leave the country in shambles and then deny asylum to those trying to escape the mess; and end the draft so their kids don't have to go to war for the rich's economic gain, but your kids can go?
We have migrants who want to make a better life for their families, and come here to do work for pennies that most Americans will not do (produce farms, meat prep, etc.). Why are the owners hiring these migrants not confronted? Why is there not a simple procedure to allow the migrants to legally work? Where will we get our food from if the present culture of power has their way?
Today the first group's fear is the country is becoming browner and they may lose their power. The ugly facts, hypocrisies and issues go on and on. Since the 1950s through '60s, when wealth was more fairly distributed, the balance of our representatives has significantly shifted toward serving that group one.
I composed this writing because I am sad, disheartened and angry that these evils go on, and are blatantly demonstrated today. I am concerned that the power of the people, their sense of self and reality, along with the moral and ethical backbone of our democracy, have been so systemically dismantled and convoluted that I wonder if we will effectively respond.
To effectively confront our national social and economic woes we must seek the truth. We must have compassion and empathy for self and others, and have the necessary discussions respectfully without seeing others as an enemy. We must do the hard problem-solving work to reduce the inequity, hierarchy and enable social and economic constructs that truly provide justice, equality and opportunity for all.
Dion Smith is an El Prado resident.
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