Saturday, February 4, 2017

War Games

I guess it's Super Bowel Sunday weekend, the culmination of US fourth quarter ritualized violence and war, i.e. football season.

The US is a very violent country and we just got rid of an extremely violent president as outlined in Mint Press News (a nice little online news site run, by the way, by a Muslim woman.) Barak Obama killed hundreds of thousands of people and a lot of the responsibility for that is shared by his first warmongering secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who intimidated him into waging wars against Libya and Syria and promised during her campaign to be an even worse warmonger than he's been.

Very few Americans cared about Clinton's warmongering or give a damn about the brown skinned people who made the mistake of being born in the countries our imperial war machine has destroyed and is destroying and have been and are getting blown into little pieces in our name, but one advantage of having Donald Trump as president in place of Obama and instead of Clinton is that the media now publishes reports about some of the innocent victims of our warmongering, which means some Americans will feel like they have to pretend to care about the deaths of at least a few of the brown skinned people who get blown into pieces by our military and intelligence agencies. It probably won't amount to very many Americans but it will be better than none.

The same Americans, hundreds of thousands of them it looks like, who never expressed a bit of concern about Democrats Clinton and Obama blowing up brown skinned people, are now pretending to be outraged that Trump is delaying brown skinned people at airports and sending them back to countries they came from, even though all of the people being delayed and sent back, as far as I've seen, are still in one piece and are alive.

Are these suddenly-caring-about-brown-skinned people hypocrites? Yes and no. Many things about our culture, not just football, work to make us immune to the pain of others and to discount the value of certain kinds of life, such as that of brown skinned people, and even brown skinned Americans can be socialized to discount the value of brown skinned people.

When confronted with the fact of their non caring people always react in ways intended to protect themselves -- not just in terms of material things and financial security but their sense of themselves -- because the initial act of devaluing lives of others had at its core the same motivation. Fear. Of losing what you have, what you struggled and toiled and cheated and lied and compromised yourself to get and who you have become as a result.

We as a species in general don't have much potential to do much better than we're doing. We can do better but it requires a little will power and a lot of emotional maneuvering and  rearranging and many don't have that capability because it requires a degree of humility, and that requires a degree of self honesty.

1 comment:

  1. Great commentary, Bubba.

    This part (along with many others) struck me: "...even brown skinned Americans can be socialized to discount the value of brown skinned people." When the U.S. Supreme Court ended school segregation in the the 1954 Brown -v- Board of Education case, the winning argument involved showing the Justices a film of the Clark Doll Experiment (1939-1940), in which young Black children were asked to point to which doll (Black or White) was pretty, ugly, good, bad, etc. The children coming from segregated schools much more often favored the White doll as the pretty, nice, or smart doll and the Black doll as the ugly, bad, or stupid doll. They nearly all identified themselves with the "lesser" doll. That experiment is shown here in a dramatic reenactment. The impact of the original film on the SCOTUS' landmark decision was profound. Too bad it is not shown in every high school in America:

    We still have segregation today (in housing, employment, and in much less overt, more subtle ways); and it still has the same devastating effect on how children's self-image develops during their formative years. It affects not only dark-skinned kids but light-skinned kids too, and I think it's still a major force helping to perpetuate racism in America. It exists in every State, not just the "red" ones. Affirmative action may have helped, but even that has been under systematic assault for about 30 years now. Are things better now than they were 30 or 60 years ago? In some ways yes, but there's still such a long way to go.

    You're right about White liberals. Many of them can see the discrimination when Trump bars brown people from walking freely through Customs at our international airports, but they remain blind to the selective incineration and violent dismemberment of brown women, men, and children in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Gaza by the USA and our allies.

    It's too early to tell whether more or fewer brown people will be killed by the demented circus peanut who tweets his stupidity on a daily basis from his golden thrones in Trump Tower, Mar a-Lago, and now the White House than were killed by Obama or would have been killed by Clinton, had she won. But surely more brown people are going to die. So will people of various other hues, from both violence and neglect.

    I think we're still too immature as a nation (if not as a species) to simply stop killing people. The "arc of the moral universe" of which Theodore Parker and Martin Luther King Jr. spoke with such hopeful eloquence so many years ago is long indeed. It works only when *WE* work it, and hard work it is.