The Fucked and the Fuckable
Rose Cheval
52

Don’t Dehumanize, Organize.

Rose, my dad was a northern titularly white minister who stood on the bridge at Selma with the SCLC, and worked nights as security patrolling perimeter for the marches all the summers in the sixties with the clergy sworn to nonviolence, knowing they could face down KKK any hour of any night.

About a quarter of the March on Washington for Jobs were white folks. The poor peoples’ movement was for everyone. It probably got Martin killed. Maybe Bobby Kennedy.

We are facing down these clowns:

That is a lot of demonization, hehumanization, and as you might say, the fuck factor (gg etc). Rape — whether psyops or real life — has always been a tactic of war. We need to stand back and recognize it as a tactic. Look at all that mindfuckery on one page.

It’s a tactic. We need to teach people to not fall for the shocks, and waste their energy. Save it for organizing and action, or we’ve lost already. We don’t have to dehumanize them or hate them — just understand that this is as much a tactic as any political theater. That’s punk too. The alt-right? They’re punks. Chew on that.

It’s hard for people who are not trained in formal nonviolence to hold their hearts in the bounds of the Beloved Community, and bear in mind that the goal of all of this is to bring us into one country at the end of this — otherwise, where do we live, people?

But where has BLM been in all this either? While I will never go for this “all lives matter” bullshit people lay on them, BLM has never been a formal nonviolent movement, aiming to bring us into one Beloved Community — they are a standard reform movement poking the government to bring an out of line institution in line. They are not empathizing or embracing or educating police institutions culture per:

or

where you have to say, reform minded officers are unable to speak, rank and file, in the press, to the press, and we need to educate our folks that this environment around them is screwed. We need to show the folks at police conferences who are working to change the environment. MLK would not have executed half of Zero’s strategies, even.

My father and others pressured the FBI to enact accurate body counts back when this was the case, when we had a nonviolent civil war going on in the late 60s early 70s (see figure one):

See that red peak? That is black lives not mattering on a scale and rate we see in our wars overseas today, but those were on our streets here, and they were under-reported. My father and others pressured the FBI to create better reporting and that didn’t go into law until three years ago.

And then Comey was slack. And it took the Washington Post and The Guardian with their project “The Counted” to force him to actually do what the law required.

And that freaked out the black community among others. Not because the deaths had not been there before but because they were so obvious, community to community. “Good Jesus — we knew it was bad here but now we can prove it…”

It’s like rape, or domestic violence, or child abuse. When a problem becomes visible, it rocks us, and usually, we deal, and we are shook, and we put in new institutions gradually that cope. And in the case of racism, oddly enough, there is always always more push back. Go fig.

Comey’s reaction to The Counted? Not, “We are ashamed at these numbers. Something has to be done to remedy the situation in society.”

“It is unacceptable that the Washington Post and The Guardian have better numbers. We will fix the reporting up the chain.” More or less. I do not like this man. He reminds me of Hoover.

But he is not DC. He is not even the FBI, but he does set a tone.

The institutions are not hard wired, but so long as you and other promising voices see yourselves as outsiders, and do not work to put yourselves in the seats of power in DC, this is what you will see for another fifty years.

We are still facing down their violent counterparts in the KKK and white supremacist movements that are hell-bound for separation of the races on the white side (not that they don’t have counterparts in other groups), and because insuffient numbers of pluralists enter the police forces, the military, and politics — into banking, and finance, and all of these places we are not welcome, that you have been taught are corrupt and unwelcoming (and they are) to people of any complexion who care about global awareness and diversity and pluralism and liberal thought?

They will continue to be dominated by jerks.

Every institution the left and liberals labeled “THE ESTABLISHMENT” a half century ago and showed their backs to has gone to hell. In general, we told our kids, stay away, we stopped teaching them about government, civics, civil society, how things work, and in a generation it was lost. Then we wonder why all these functions in society are dominated by conservative and right wing people we don’t enjoy, who dominate institutions we can’t influence.

Damn hippies. ;) But you follow my logic? We stopped reforming and let it all go to shit.

You want to join #theResistance? Some of us have been here for a half century feeling very lonely, while the rest of you were on the outside bitching — often calling us names.

Hi, I’m a cypherpunk. An openly left anarchist, who caucuses with the Dems, sometimes. My grandparents were syndicalists, my dad was a wobbly in his youth, my parents met through the union movement.

I also have a bunch of family — including my son — who served in the military. I taught my son that we need more people of good character and differing viewpoints in law enforcement and military leadership at the conference tables to put input in. He made honor roll his first semester at Norwich University in the Corps of Cadets, as an openly anarchist Army ROTC officer candidate. His officers had no issue with this. Gradually, his cadre figured it out.

I helped create the digital divide programs in this country, and helped keep them from locking down the Internet.

With help, I kept them from declaring that providing Internet services — access and teaching and such — to in-need populations could not be a charitable goal of a nonprofit.

I helped nonprofits that had no real funding develop ways to use the Internet to organize, integrating online and offline organizing I learned at my father’s knee from union and SCLC and Unitarian Universalist service work, and synergized that with online tools in the early/mid 90s, and then passed a lot of that to the Dean campaign.

I was founding executive director of the Tor Project, which aided a whole lot of folks who might have otherwise been under surveillance, because I grew up under the shadow of COINTELPRO. Among other reasons.

And I have been torn a new one over and over by the left because I worked with and inside .gov groups to do this. Ironic? I found some of my best allies to protect our government from what’s happened this year inside our government, and very little awareness of what was needed to stave it off in our most ardent lefties.

Look.

This government was founded by a bunch of white dudes who hated each other and didn’t trust each other, and circled each other like coyotes. A couple of them shot each other. A few years earlier, some of them were shooting at each other in a war. This is part that gets glossed over in your Texas Board of Education history books. And they crafted a Constitution to protect us from bullies and tyranny of the majority because any one of them, any faction of them, could be at the bottom in time.

Our Constitution, as weakened as it has been by the Congress rules committees, and the “imperial presidency,” is up to this, I hope. This is going to hurt, but if we don’t end up in fascism, the best possible outcome is that this beloved sleeping giant wakes and realizes that all her children need her, and all her children realize they need each other. We start living by our principles, more:

“Equality under the law”
“Liberty and justice for all”

All those things you and I have heard since we were tiny, and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice?” Let’s use this as a wake up call and hold them to it. Remind them that Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and Plato’s Republic were written by dead brown guys (check out any Grecian urn, lol), and that that Bible they are swearing on, those Red Letters are words delivered by a POC too.

All of us have seats in this Republic, especially the Wise and the Good according to those who insist it is “a Republic and not a Democracy” — which means we have some possible revisions of staff upcoming.

No, we should not be hating out, we should be uniting, and going to work. We should be growing some empathy and forgiveness. And the first place we should be doing that in all cases, in every single case, is by using a mirror. Because no way can we go forward, and let go of the obsession with the mote in the other guy’s eye, until we stop our frenetic retreat from the planks in our own eyes.

Pick up the mirror with forgiveness, without fear — with compassion.

And then we can move forward to confront the struggle before us with compassion for all of America (POC and white, of whatever party, and in and out of government), and without fear for those who would cause us harm however they may look or identify — we will know them by their actions.

Together, we will overcome.