Good news for you and me
You’ve been found not guilty, so relax.
Our deeply divided nation is consuming itself with hate, recrimination, blame pushing and a tribal kind of confrontation between opposing groups.
The red people have been invaded by an alien intelligence and — like a frog in boiling water — what intelligence they had has been slowly cooked out. The few thinking people in the red tent appear to have been threatened with torture should they utter a single word of dissent as the apparatus rolls out its mobilization of millions of morons to defend a message of populist nationalist fear and loathing.
The blue people too, have been infiltrated. In their case it’s an alien civilization that does not believe in money, success, law and order or any kind of personal achievement for you or me. Instead, they promote a message that calls for you to care only about the downtrodden, the helpless and the weak, and at the same time feel guilty as though you were the villain that caused all the wrong. This message has spread like a disease among educated middle class folk, many of whom have taken on a defeated look, pleading guilty on all counts.
The Texas-sized plastic island floating in the ocean? You and I didn’t do that. 90% of that comes from India and China and the remaining 10% is from other countries not including US or western Europe. We are not guilty. You are not guilty.
Slavery. Look, you were not around back then. You cannot possibly carry the burden of something done by people you probably do not even hail from. I certainly don’t. I’m Irish, we were quite busy being persecuted in our own country. My 9x great-grandfather, whoever the hell he was, did not sell slaves. Neither did yours. Take this backpack off your back. Put it down.
White privilege. Oh please. If you’re rich, you have privilege, regardless of skin color. If you’re poor, you absolutely do not have privilege. If there’s some human right that you enjoy that is not always available to some persons of color, that is a big problem and we need to fix it. By ensuring that all people enjoy the same basic human rights, everywhere and always. The solution is not to accuse you or me of having a privilege and somehow try to extort payment via guilt trip, followed by removal of said rights.
Poverty in America. Yes the US is now a pretty poor country. The median income was $58K last year, so 50% of people made less than that. The top 10% threshold was $118K annual income. This means 90% of Americans are absolutely not rolling in dough. You and I didn’t cause that. It’s not our fault. Technology eats some of the jobs, and globalized trade deals eat the other jobs. We collectively craved cheaper stuff, not noticing we were in a deflationary curve where a pair of jeans costs less today in inflation-adjusted terms than it did 30 years ago. Our incomes too, have slowly deflated but we didn’t notice. You didn’t do this. Relax.
Police brutality. Yes. It’s a thing. It happens in areas where the police are mostly white and most citizens are non white, and something has gone horribly wrong. We must fix it. The police officers I know in my town and county are great people. None of them has ever kneeled on anyone’s throat. None of them has beaten a human being — of any color — with a stick. And none has ever had to report a death in a cell because of injuries sustained while in custody. I live in san Francisco Bay Area. I didn’t cause the death of any black man in police custody, and neither did you. We probably own some responsibility for redesigning how urban policing is done. And none of this involves any guilt on our part.
Environmental damage by greedy selfish humans. Specially those humans who have a life. Good grief! You’re being slammed every day for your shameful use of plastics and your sloppy, lazy inability to prevent said plastics from hurting our planet. Therefore, you are evil. Your car is a symbol of imperial decadence as it spews CO2 into the universe as you trundle off to Whole Foods to spend some more of your capitalist bullion on items you don’t need. You terrible, awful person. Look. Most Americans find life very hard, and most can’t meet the demands of day to day life, even if they’re in the top 5% of earners. You and I need to take off that sack of potatoes and give it back to the fraudulent people who put it on our back. We don’t have time to disappear the packaging. We can’t grow our own tomatoes because we work 14 hours a day and then try to be parents in the remaining few hours until we pass out exhausted for too-short a sleep before we get up and do it all again. We can’t fix the food supply chain while living in the rat race. You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re doing your best. Relax.
The hotter states will soon be back in fire season, and in California the wonderful PG&E energy monopoly will shut down power to millions of people in order to save itself from more lawsuits as its 1970’s infrastructure wants to catch fire and set thousands of acres of dried forest on fire with it. It’s broken, yes it is. You didn’t break it. Relax.
One principle we have forgotten as we descend into our end-of-empire hate fest. Restoring fairness and rebuilding an egalitarian, transparent and inclusive society is not achieved with hate and vitriol. It is achieved by believing in the essential validity and equality of all our fellow humans, especially the ones we disagree with. We will not help the downtrodden by removing goodies from the privileged, but by removing the barriers that held the downtrodden down, and by giving a hand-up to all who need it. We will fix nothing by guilting.