We here in white America — and even though I am far from wealthy, I am still a part of the white, male power structure in this country — sometimes like to pretend that the issue of racism is a quaint remnant of our distant past, not worth discussing is this enlightened age where everyone has equal opportunity at a piece of the American Dream. The protests and uprising currently happening in Baltimore and previously in Ferguson prove this to be an idiotic, convenient lie. Opportunity in this country is not equal. African-Americans and women do not have the same level of advantage and privilege as white men. They just don’t. And we can tell them they’re equal and we can use the media we own to propagandize that they’re equal and we can try to shove the idea that they’re equal down their throats with the butt of a gun, but nobody is buying that shit anymore. They — and all of us for that matter — know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a very small group of people, mostly men and mostly white, have the lion’s share of the money and the power. They can feel it in their bones. They can see it working right in front of their eyes. And in places like Ferguson and Baltimore, they are not going to accept it quietly. Not anymore.
And this is exactly as it should be. We can’t subject a group of people, marginalize them, impoverish them, incarcerate them, take away their chances to better their situation and then murder their children in cold blood while hiding behind a badge and a facade of righteousness, for decade after decade after decade, and not expect that group of people to get sick to death of it at some point and fight back. This was always going to happen. Given our behavior, it was destiny. And it is going to happen again. And again. And again. And again. Unless we drop the pretense and the bullshit and talk to each other, with real humility and honesty, about what is going on.
I have a lot more to say on this subject. About what a total disaster capitalism has been for all but a microscopic percentage of the wealthiest people in America. How we’ve ceded our democratic responsibility to corrupt politicians, both on the left and on the right, who we’d never turn our backs on in a dark alley. How we’ve allowed the media, fully owned and operated by the corporate elite, to distract us from what really matters with memes and reality shows and celebrities famous for just being famous. I will, however, leave off right here for the moment.
I want to start the conversation. Right now. With you. What do we need to do to bring about real equality and change in this country? After Ferguson; after Baltimore; where do we go from here?