My sister once said something that has defined my thinking on compassion; she could imagine there might be a heaven but knows for sure there is no hell because no one, even a murder, deserves to go there. Her reasoning: if someone did something awful there is clearly something wrong with them and their defect is not something anyone would willingly choose. Hard to swallow but it is actually more reassuring to believe this than that someone sane would choose evil willingly.
So I try and remember that when I see hateful bad things. Even when someone is mean to me or others I think that must be a really hard way to go through life.
What a huge weight that hate and anger is to carry. So much so some can't help but to fling it at others.
No happy, confident, secure person wants to make another person suffer- there is no joy in that. To willingly inflict hurt/hate you are either in pain or broken inside.
I can't stand Donald Trump but hating him, or anyone, is a waste of time. More productive is to try and understand why some are drawn to him even after all his demonstrated racism. Not necessarily so we can change their minds but you need to understand someone's argument before you can debate/advocate for the other side.
White men (historically) are not use to having to explain themselves to their wives or children and have enjoyed a long stretch of rule. But nowadays they are expected to see women as equals, their children want them to be woke, and everywhere from the boardroom to the bedroom they are suppose to self-correct the way they were raised and what was the norm for... well, all time.
It's hard. Jarring!
Of course it's way past time this happened but it's truly difficult to change for anyone and when you're not shown good role-models you can relate to you're afraid -even if you're willing- to do it wrong and be emasculated or look stupid. Men's top fear after all is humiliation.
Brene Brown had an amazing conversation with Russell Brand about how things are changing in the world and how some of the unrest in politics and in general comes down to a white male -power over- last stand (and I include the white women who stand for this as well). We've come from a male-dominated culture that valued conformity, whiteness, straightness, heterosexuality, structure, order, falling in line.
(begins at 13:00)
When Tom Brokaw said some folks he speaks to don't want brown grandbabies he was sharing what he had heard. I have no doubt many folks still feel that way. And why wouldn't they when whiteness has been what has been prized in our society. If they don't have friends and family members who are people of color they see no reason to open their minds to an evolved way of thinking.
When corporate America started shipping jobs out of the US there was backlash but instead of blaming the folks that were doing it they blamed the easiest target those who were thought to be stealing their jobs: brown people.
Farmers, steal workers, factory workers, coal miners all took a hit in the Information Age with our changing new economy and instead of working together we divided ourselves more. We blamed immigrants, foreign workers or anyone that was different when it was actually industrial farming, automation and technologies that shifted.
The white middle-class blue-collar worker was hurting and mad so politicians and corporations began to shift blame to the easy target. But in fact it is all our doings. Walmart started by Sam Walton with the motto Buy American but because his heirs (and investors) wanted to make more money they started forcing suppliers to lower their costs. This lead to the producers of products cutting cost which often lead to cheaper labor either in a neighboring country or overseas. Which then lead to good middle-class jobs being cut which lead to more people shopping at discount stores which made the Waltons even richer. Instead of blaming brown folks or foreigners those that are suffering need to look deeper and follow the money. Walmart is the largest private employer in the US and the Waltons have now hoarded billions instead of fairly sharing it with the ones who got them there. This is not socialism this is conscious capitalism. You help us make the fortune you get a little slice yourself.
Anyway, the point is that the otherism is a scapegoat for changing times and fear of what will be our place in the new millennium. Globalism is scary. Evolving is uncomfortable.
Trump is a fantastic showman and like him or not there is no doubt he is clearly one of the most successful salesmen of all time. I did not say businessman because his businesses have filed bankruptcy 6 times and to date we have no idea if he has any of his own money left at all. But regarding sales and marketing he is a genius!
The trouble with that is that if he was only selling snake oil or steaks who cares? But he is now the most powerful man in the world and instead of making our nation and the world a better place he is using his charm to sell something else: FEAR!
And who is buying it? White folks that have seen their way of life change.
The fear of changing times are not make-believe there is a real growing pain that happens. And if we keep up this dividedness many folks will not end up with a happy comfortable life. The missing piece though is this isn't due to others, it's due to how things have always worked. Ask Blockbuster owners how brutal it was to lose their livelihoods. But do we hate Netflix? Nope.
White folks can now choose to hold on to the 1950's past and reject the American Melting Pot or they can grapple with how to make change work for them. It doesn't mean accepting open borders or everything that the far left is proposing- I don't-
but it does mean not letting some showman make us hate each other for the color of our skin. Especially when the majority of the ones he's trying to scare worship Jesus: a brown man.
And as for Trump's current boogeyman, he is trying to use Black Lives Matter protesters as a scare tactic to lure white suburban women into voting for him. Granted no one wants rioting in the streets but it looks as though many of these troublemakers are just trying to stir up unrest and are not even from the area/cause. Trying to make a stance for racial justice and equality radical is what political operatives often tried in the past and with gay-marriage in 2004. You'd think every single American that has seen the George Floyd murder by cops (including all the good cops) would be able to take a stand for honoring all humans with their constitutional rights. And I get it protests are annoying but imagine having to be Black in America in 2020 and still having to stick up for your basic rights to not be shot let alone be discriminated against. Talk about fucking ridiculous?!!
So folks, let's not let Trump or anyone else scare us into being afraid of others because the color of their skin. We are all members of the human race, some just more pasty than the rest 😉. We are all scared of not being healthy, happy and able to provide for our families. There will always be challenges in our country and the world but no problem is ever solved when we fight each other, only when we come together and put country over party and look out for all of our citizens.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall 🇺🇸