I happened upon this video the other day:
The guy in it, Akala, makes some good points. I am particularly taken with the phrase “normalized insanity.”
Also saw this guy:
When I watched it, I was like, “Whoa, Tim Wise is pretty smart too.” He quotes W.E.B Dubois, by referencing ‘the psychological wage of whiteness,’ that rich whites gave to poor whites years ago so they could better control them. Having spent the first 10 years of my life in various trailer parks on the bank of the Mississippi River (as a poor white), I can tell you the truth of this ‘wage of whiteness.’ I’ve seen it in action.
Neither of these men speak in hyperbole or romantic prose. They speak in facts. Put what they say together and it’s hard to deny.
Our society is racist and afraid of difference. It is. There’s no two ways around it. I could cite example after example that starts with European immigrants and explorers’ treatment of indigenous people and goes right on up through to today and the way many people view transgendered individuals. True, it’s not as bad as it has been. However, we’ve reached a point when many of us are waking up to the systemic issues that have plagued society since before any of us were here. Look, Ma, social media isn’t all bad! Racism, of course, is one of those issues. Many of us are seeing that those with power have not only let racism grow in strange, eerie, monstrous ways, but have, to some degree–intentional or otherwise–enforced its growth.
Does all of this mean those of us who point it out are anti-police? Or that I, or anyone who recognizes this racism, place black lives on a higher level than any other lives? No. There are several analogies out there explaining why #blacklivesmatter does not mean all other lives are worthless (I’ll link you to a few if you still need the explanation). I will also offer you this meme:
It is basically a simplification of points made in Wise‘s speech. In order for things to change we must, as an entire people, work together and recognize that things need changing. We must see through the curtain of controlled racism that has divided and conquered us for ages, and we must, ourselves, change.
When the people change, society does.
It’s kind of how it works . . . .
These are hard truths for some. I know. But when I can regularly walk down the street in the middle of the night, in an area of town some consider ‘bad’ (they’re wrong but whatever), and have little to no fear of police harassment, while a black man my age can’t, there’s a problem. When a man running for president can get cheers from thousands of people when he blames his country’s problems on Mexicans or Muslims, there is a problem. When prisons, schools, and medicine, are corporatized, there is a problem.
When the few control the many (as has been the way since the beginning of our great oligarchy), there is a problem.
The problem is there. The best way to solve it is to first recognize it exists.