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Mini Lesson of the Day: White Supremacy is the normalizing of racial superiority in a society that permits white people to be individuals while people of color are collectively held as outsiders.
Today… we take a glimpse behind the veil. Just a little.
Orphans of the Bubble
Once as a child my class was taken on a school trip. One morning, we all boarded the yellow school bus and headed to the Aquarium. I was fascinated by the menacing shark with the predatory smile. But even as a child, I understood that the shark lived in a world of its own, with its own reality.
Gringos1 are a lot like that old shark — they’re unable to experience the world outside the glass. It’s as if the United States is a gigantic terrarium, an immense biosphere or bubble which has cut it off from the rest of the world. How else can we explain the characterization of a center-right, pro-corporate, pro-war presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, as a “progressive”? Only in the insular bubble of contemporary life in the U.S. could a neoliberal candidate be deemed progressive in any sense of the word. This is a person who used racist tropes such as lazy black women and subhuman black and brown children to help pass legislation that threw poor people under the bus and incited the mass incarceration of mostly Blacks and Latinx.
It seems to me that the only explanation for gap between reality and America’s perception of it comes from the film, The Truman Show. The plot of the movie revolves around the affable but naïve protagonist who goes about his daily activities without being aware that he is, in fact, in a gigantic reality show. His hometown is actually a set for a TV show and from birth, he has been manipulated and controlled by the producer and the director. The gullibility of the UStian public would be better understood if we were all living on a stage set in a town called Liberty and threatened by a roving hoard called Evil Black Super-predators.
We’re all being conned.
Not too long ago, the con was called the “Axis of Evil.” UStians believed, as they often do when instructed on the Television Machine by their elected leaders, almost every scary reason cooked up by the likes of Bush, Cheney, and the NY Times. The rest of the world laughed. Their amateurish attempts at mass deception contained awkward truths that were surprisingly childish for a group that had access to the most massive propaganda machine the world has ever known. But they only had to utter their latest lie to be cheered by their subjects. “We’re number 1!” we cheered as we were led to the slaughterhouse.
As a former con man, I can appreciate a good scam. I know how hard it is to pull off the Big Con. Rationalizing a war can’t be easy and takes a lot of skillful finessing and this one was complicated. There was the bait (“the terrorist”), then the switch (weapons of mass destruction), then another switch (kill the despot, make the world safer), and yet another (regime change).
Whew! That’s a whole stack of lying right there!
But these amateurs failed and they failed miserably. If you going to pull off the Big Con, the lie must be simple and it must repeated — often. These idiots, already having proven their incompetence in matters economic (and almost everything else), fumbled, and their build up to the Iraqi invasion broke every rule in the con man’s game. Bush and his handlers fell into the trap of elaborating, backtracking, and adding on. Instead of the Big Con, simple and effective, their lies grew more and more elaborate and complicated. The result being that instead of one good reason to go to war, piles of bad reasons were offered, which gave the skeptics in other countries the opportunity to unmask the fables.
Today, the con is an economic one. I mean, it is true that almost all cons are motivated by economic gain, and this one was no different. Simply put, trillions were paid out to the very same con men who almost took down the world’s economy. In fact, according the governments’ own accounting, the total cost of the bailout was $22 trillion! Now, don’t hate, this is one of the greatest cons in the history of con games. Imagine that you and I robbed a bank and, after getting caught, not only do we avoid serving time, but we are rewarded for our efforts. I have to admit of harboring at least some measure of resentment regarding this particular con. Every time I got caught, I was sent to jail or prison and often had serve sentences measured in years.
Today, both presidential candidates are pro-corporate shills, with one being a billionaire who has fleeced the country he now wants to lead of hundreds of millions of dollars, and the other a life-long politician who fought to make it possible for the wealthy to fleece the US public. They are good friends, by the way. Adding insult to injury, both claim to be for the “little guy,” meaning you and I. But, as real estate mistress, Leona Helmsley, complained when she got caught with her hand the cookie jar, “Only the little people pay taxes.”
If you think all of this is too obvious, please note that UStians deep-throated the whole thing… all of it. You might also say this is old news and in our attention-deficit society, and you are probably correct. But I mention all this because, like bad porn, the construction of UStian social policy has a very predictable progression. One summer it was that Obama was going to kill granny with is death panels. This summer Mexican immigrants were the new “terrists.” The weapons of mass destruction this year are brown people who come here to spread their infections and “drop” litters of future cop-killing, sex-crazed, drug-addicted sociopaths. On the other side, the Bernie Sander’s campaign, which looked to slightly alter spending to create true universal healthcare, invest in education, and fix our infrastructure, became Hillary’s Red Scare opportunity. Everybody in the corporate press went into full attack mode against the Sanders people. In fact, people were being paid to troll the comments sections of pro-Sanders op-eds! I kid you not.
But if one looks past the bubble even a little, you become aware that the hype about immigration is really today’s version of the Iraqi invasion, which, by the way, hasn’t been paid for.
And this is how it’s been for decades. Today, it all falls under the idiocratic opiate, the lesser of two evils. People, people who call themselves progressives, in fact, are justifying their advocacy for a right-wing, pro-fracking, pro-mass incarceration, pro-war candidate by continually bleating the mantra, “Lesser of two evils, lesser of two evils, lesser of two evils… ” and browbeating those who refuse to fall in step. So, we will most likely get eight years of Hillary and I don’t think we can afford it. For the most part, people in the United States can’t see past the bubble and it will be our undoing.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…
- I don’t like using the term “Americans” to denote people in the United States. Hence I will use UStians or gringos. For Spanish speakers, gringo refers to someone from the United States, particularly a person who is a White American.