Tag Archives: Sociology

Race and America, a political hustle

I’m watching Charles Barkley’s series “Race in America” and it’s frustrating to hear folks using “civil rights era” language and philosophies to attempt to define today’s divisions among Americans.

Folks acknowledge we are divided more today than ever. They say “race” is the problem in America, but what they mean is culture. This is the latent effect of multiculturalism. We further divided our nation by a hyphenated identity that has exponentially confused folks to the truth of division.

Segregation was the norm in America for decades. We had a “melting pot” philosophy, but the multicultural philosophy was a natural ethnic division. It’s intent may or may not have been intentional, but it had to be obvious that some folks from each division would use these differences to separate themselves.

Now there are divisions that go beyond race. We have gender, class, vocation, age, the list is endless. So now within each culture we have micro cultures and animosities transcend race based on other characteristics. It was inevitable that eventually we would start to use our differences for power. Political, economic, or social power over wealth and resources.

We are human. We are Americans. We are all unique and have characteristics to celebrate and overcome. Whether we are Christians or Muslims, legal or illegal citizens, dark or white we all are human. It’s the politics in America that have largely been responsible for our divisions, not our characteristics. It’s left and right politics that have taken away our shared humanity in order to control groups of voters in the pursuit of power. The moderate voice of reason has been silenced politically and silenced by political zealots.

Resources are finite as population grows. These divisions will mean more than heritage or genealogy one day if we don’t understand them today in context with how society has evolved in America. Government has prospered while society has suffered. European progressivism and their relationship with the civil rights movement are nostalgic for recognition that doesn’t serve America well today. The people and problems are not the same.

We shouldn’t have to wait for these Americans, of all races” to get their civil rights badge and die before we can move forward. Their efforts were valiant and established a base for America to move forward socially, but that’s over, and the reason we have museums. We have to move forward and there are folks off all races doing that, on their own.

This issue of race, is masking the covert use of culture in America and how it’s exploited culturally. Weather it’s a white politician pulling out a photo of themselves marching or sharing tacos, or a black politician waving an NRA membership card talking about “inner city violence” we can’t be fooled. These folks are using the beauty of our differences to divide us for their own political gain. I can’t list all the ways this is done for sake of brevity, but think of gender, employment, income, region, etc… Divide and conquer, it’s that simple.

We have to take control of our politics in order to regain control of our government. Then, and only then can we start to change the narrative of our social divisions. This, in my opinion, is the biggest issue facing America. Bigger than terrorism, health care, or guns.

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Life and Times!!!

I struggle hourly to rise above family, community, career, nationality to sit at the top of the triangle with Maslow as a human self actualized; I am a person!

The boxes we are put in are so numerous it requires a daily inventory to hold onto who we are. Possibly our first big step is out of our family.

The characters that are projected on us by our parents and the myriad of relatives are nothing short of schizophrenic. A smile here, kind word there, all the while we hold ourselves in check till we can open the box and jump out with our hands in the air wiggling all around like we don’t have a care.

If this skin isn’t thick enough; we enter our community with myths and lies that form a straight jacket of characters that irritate the schizophrenic experience. Our friends, family, and teachers all know a different side of us. Our neighbors just observe this drama and shake their heads.

Then comes independence. A consolidation of characters form the new you as you step out onto the streets of independence. The job!!! The check!!! The beginning of the end of you. Now you’ve sold your independence back on a thirty year fixed rate of descent. Livin the phase life!!!

Your pride has been reduced to a flag, your worth a dollar, and your dreams return to a youthful longing for everything you’ve traded. Questions formed too late. The thin line between bravery and berserk drive you crazy. There’s too much to take to leave your life.

This construct within the “American Dream ” is neatly packaged in this developmental deal. It’s not until you no longer need the system, (or it doesn’t need you) that you realize too late freedom was the carrot and you were the ass pulling the cart for the bastard with the whip.

So here I sit outside the box sliding down the vertices like a slip and slide gone wild. The point of the exercise is lost in the struggle. Maybe it would all be easier if Maslow developed a more linear theory, why a triangular approach?

For now I am just gonna love in a more linear world where birth and death are at either end remembered or feared. I figure if I take this whole thing called life one step at a time I’m less likely to stumble and no one can direct my steps to their goal. I’m just free to live.