Undivided We Stand
Every “ping” of my IPhone is a possible change of events. Immersed in cable news programs, social media, and YouTube to digest the next dissenting angle, the electorate has reached a feverish pitch. The perplexity in drafting a think piece regarding the current political controversy in the United States is the precipitousness in which an essay becomes outmoded. What remains constant, however, is the intertwining of racial and economic interests of the populace, regardless of financial worth.
Unknown by many or often concealed by the very few elite is the historical perspective on the hierarchy in this country. From 1492 to the mid-1600s, when the New World was rid of its indigenous population in order to grant settlement to European explorers, the ruling emperors who sponsored the ascendant voyages were incentivized by promises of gold and slaves. The aboriginal groups however, could not sustain the criminal and incessant assault and within years, an estimated 8 million natives were nearly all decimated. (See Zinn, H. . A People’s History of the United States. New York, N.Y.; HarperCollins Publishers).
Thus, a new solution was needed to restore the labor market. The impoverished and/or indicted from Europe were either duped into “free” trips to the Americas or, as a means to pay back their censurable debts to society, were enslaved for a restricted time. Usually their contracts were transacted to other parties repeatedly ensuring that some never obtained their freedom. Concurrently, the transcontinental slave trade was gearing up and African subjugation was implemented mainly by way of permanent status. Nonetheless, both groups of workers were deemed as similar in caste although indentured servants were slightly less unfortunate. Due to joint rebellion of the disenfranchised, the elite implemented a method of control by inculcating the primarily white indentured servants with an idea of superiority over black slaves based solely on skin color as a closer match to the landowners and investors. Thereupon, “whiteness” was born. (Wise, T. . White Like Me, Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. Berkeley, CA.; Soft Skull Press). Nevertheless, their monetary stature never improved. This very effective tool of terror is seen in the societal dynamics existing today. And similar to the time of the founding of this country, the lower economic bracket is faceless, multi-racial and suffers the same trials of hardship such as high rates of unemployment, nescience, crime and lost avenues of achievement.
Statistically, many supporters of the leading candidate of the right-wing are regarded as limited in means but are influenced by the obsolescent idea of preservation of white heritage and enduring racial composition. In this vein, many have the misguided reasoning that with the reinstitution of a member of the majority to power and elimination of certain immigrants and people of color, their financial woes will be alleviated. For them, a Trump presidency equates to repatriation. Necessarily, due to economic frustration, disinclination and hate drive their discourse.
One would hope that hate, one of the most powerfully discordant words, would dilute itself with such historical viewpoints. No matter our individual political proclivities, certainly we understand that hate is a motivation and conduit for destruction, in this case, within our country and the global society. Only sheer hideousness would call for such an outcome. With a vast amount at stake, silence is complacency and complicit.
Yet, love is countervailing to this model. All decent people, the spiritually lead, and all of the religions of faith extol love as the overarching theme and rule of behavior. Regardless of walks of life, attitudes, social or cultural persuasions, reasonable people can agree that love must prevail. Thus, even if caught up in the fracas of this election season or embittered with the status quo, let us be certain that sensibilities can predominate and we all can disavow signs of undue punishment, violence, epithets or policies that ultimately yield further acrimony. We can start small: within ourselves, in our homes, our schools and communities and bear witness as the power of love disperses.