This Is America (An essay by a privileged white man)

I’m no expert on systemic racism and all that encompasses the problems we face. I hold no PhDs or any degree for that matter. I do know George Floyd was murdered and he’s not the first to be nor is the last. Our system allows for our own citizens to be murdered by authority because our system is created to separate humanity into categorical worth.

I know I’m privileged. I’ve been aware for years, it’s not a new idea. Maybe to younger kids this term privilege is new but I’ve been aware since I first had black friends and saw how others treated them. At 8 years old I learned what racism was, when a racist woman threatened my life for playing with black kids. I’ve dealt with my own racism, having to face realities that I harbored prejudice towards other people, without even having an issue. It was just there, in me, passed on through a generational curse that plagues white America. I grew up with diversity but I had to and still have to fight against that internal cancer of bigotry that is imbedded in all aspects of society. It’s in our politics, religion, history, psychology, education, athletics, entertainment and in our families. The fear of difference has been white America’s bread and butter for 240 years. This truth doesn’t excuse my own sin, it just explains the deeper issue. I must repent of my racism and seek reconciliation by being a better human being. That’s daily, hourly, and every moment I can see a way to do better.

Im outraged, I’m overwhelmed. I’m disgusted by our government but I have been since I was old enough to understand. I’ve not trusted police since I was a kid and saw them treat my friends like shit. Since I had once hold a gun to my chin and ask “Do you think your tough, hanging around these N-words”

So I don’t respect badges or stripes or flags or people who hold office. I also don’t respect racists or bigots or people who think punching down and being brutally offensive is humorous. I think our president is the worst leader our country has had but I think he’s the perfect example of what America has come to represent. Greed, indulgence, opulence, self-reliance, individualism, capitalism, and absolute white supremacy. So it is the America dream come true and it is a nightmare but what did we expect? There has never been a year in the history of this country where race wasn’t an issue. There’s never been a time where equality was even close to existing. Sexuality has always been taboo and religious freedom has only truly been extended to Christianity. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and any other religious tradition has been viewed as outside the norm. Judaism has been only tolerated for its historical connection to Christianity.

America is a racist land and one that was founded by white supremacists who own other people! The police in America were mainly concerned with black people from the start, whether it was run away slaves, or freed black men stealing white men’s women, who they also saw as property. The cops also were focused on all people of color, immigrants, and anyone else who didn’t fit the W.A.S.P. definition of human. The militarization of police began when the war on drugs authorized it. Racists like Frank Rizzo armed his Philly police to the teeth to try and kill a black commune. The same cops eventually dropped a bomb on them, killing all but two in the compound, half of them were children.

So, yes, fuck the police. Anything counterculture is bad until it’s mainstream enough to profit from. Until then it’s a reason to brutalize it. I had skateboards run over by cops, because it was a crime to use them in public. Hippies has their hair cut off forcibly by police in the 60s-70’s because it wasn’t considered civil and it was threatening to good vanilla white folks. Gay people were arrested for being themselves and thrown in asylums. The list goes on and on. The brutality goes right along with it too.

People say vote, sure it helps if there are people to vote for who give a shit. Local elections can make a difference but federally we are handcuffed by gerrymandering, terrible party leadership, only two options, and a long line of corrupt methods to suppress votes. The electoral college is just a way to further that corruption. But still, voting seems a means to an end in some abstract way, if only in our conscience.

People want to say “love is all we need” but we don’t even know what love is. Our love is tied to capitalism, consumerism, selfishness and lust. We have terms and conditions for love, whether romantic or plutonic, it’s all in the fine print. We expect to be given everything for the minimum effort and yet we think that will solve our problems? It’s part of the problem.

The longer we rely on a system while yelling about the same system we are just masturbating. Literally continually fucking ourselves blind in the name of a constitution and bill of rights that were drawn up by slave owning elitists? Men who believe the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness only extended to white land owners?

There was a time when you couldn’t own land in New York City if you were white but catholic! It’s true the Irish and Italians along with other immigrants from around the world were treated like lower humans. It’s true blacks, Hispanics, Asians and native peoples were treated as subhuman. That’s the way our country was founded. They committed Genocide just to claim more land that they didn’t even need or know what to do with.

There was a time when lynchings were public events, where people would go watch fun. Public hanging were popular too. Even contests between people of different races to determine who was “more human”.This is our history and this to this day it is deeply rooted in every part of our systemic institutions and national fiber.

It’s time to uproot it all, till the soil and replant a new garden. The past is the past and honestly most of it is trash, in beneficial and not nutritionally sustaining. Get rid of it, burn it out, dig it up and get some new seeds in the motherfucking ground. The American experience my of 1776 has failed, so it’s time to do something new. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. That’s America. So change and progress must be real, not just campaign slogans. Then maybe, we will have a fighting chance at equality.

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