Hola mi gente,
Here’s an observation: It’s ironic how disaffected whites and their black and brown co-dependents who constantly mewl about respect for the flag (a symbol of oppression for many) and those that died for it, fail to recognize and respect the lives of those who fought for freedom here in this country.
Those were/ are freedom fighters, sparky.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
— West Indian Grandmother to me
Every election cycle I am reminded of the political naiveté and apathy of Americans. Nowhere else is cynicism so deeply ingrained. I am a skeptic, I question everything, but I am no cynic. Cynicism is the disease of defeatism. And much of the United States electorate suffers from it.
We all like to point fingers. We love to talk about the stupidity of the American electorate, how we are like so much sheep. The finger pointers are the worst cynics because they’re the first to advocate voting for the “lesser of two evils,” a political strategy with catastrophic consequences.
For me this is indicative child-like thinking. Welcome to the real world where things don’t exactly fall in place as you would like to, and where unsavory forces co-opt power! Duh! It’s also thinking that contradicts itself. Why? Because it’s the very same thinking that creates the apathy and cynicism contributing to the current political mess.
I think it’s more important to talk about how people experience the times we live in — times of unchecked free market ideology as the fundamental principle guiding our values. The problem with free-market idolatry is that we forget that it dehumanizes people. Because increasingly radical models of efficiency propel free-market ideology in order to maximize profit, it becomes easier to consider human beings as commodities rather than individuals striving for dignity. All other human attributes, certainly the spiritual and the creative, become unimportant.
This is the underlying moral principle that parents and school boards apply when they decide that music, art, and teaching critical thinking are inessential to public education. Capitalism rationalizes the thinking that it’s a luxury to consider your own children as living, thinking beings and more efficient to see their education solely in terms of future “workforce development.”
This is a brutal cannibalization of what is most precious and most fragile about our humanity — our children. In case you didn’t get it the first time: through education, we the protectors of children, subject our young to the brutal conditioning that makes them commodities for the market.
Then we complain that our children don’t think (in actuality, our youth are better behaved than the adults).
I knew of a barely literate woman who fought and won against her own school board so that this wouldn’t happen. She knew that teaching to a pen and paper test wasn’t education. This is where you come in. You don’t have to wait for the perfect candidate promising “hope and change,” or to “make America great again” and changing the current rigged system in one fell swoop. I have news for you: this will most likely not happen. In addition, even if such a candidate would appear, most of you would not vote for him or her. Yeah, and there’s no Santa Claus, or tooth Fairy, and your soulmate was hijacked on his/ her way to meet you. I know that’s messed up breaking this news like this to you, but somebody needs to tell you what you need to hear.
However, you can make a difference in your life. Don’t just vote, get involved. See something you don’t like? Work to change it. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be something as simple as making sure the traffic light on the corner works, that the books in your library are up to date, or that the computers work. Or, it could be as big as something like causing your community to shift their thinking about education.
And when you do vote, get involved, talk to people, argue, disagree, agree, whatever, just stop bullshitting yourself and pointing fingers because all I want to know is: what the fuck are you doing to make difference in your life and community?
Some of you put more value and care in your car than you do in the protection and cultivation of your freedom and that’s the real tragedy because, while you were washing your car, they’ve co-opted your world.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…