American politics continue to blow my mind. Blew it hard enough that I pretty much gave up on the presidential BS from 2008 onward. Didn’t watch speeches from either Hillary or Trump, just as I didn’t listen to speeches by Obama or Romney or McCain back before. Don’t care. *shrugs* Same old, same old every time. Already know plenty of what Hillary Clinton talks about, seeing as how she’s been in the political spotlight since Bill was in office in the ’90s (during my teenage years). Gave up on so much of that shit. Had to. Continued volunteering for a local “peace-building” nonprofit organization until 2011, mostly because the international economic situation and war-mongering were hardest to ignore and not speak out about.
Still care. Just not quite as much, or at least not in the same way as once upon a time. Beginning in 2012 I wound up re-exploring gender relations issues discussed online, having around then initially stumbled upon the so-called “manosphere” which includes men’s rights advocates/activists (MRAs), MGTOWs (“Men Going Their Own Way”), PUAs (pick-up artists, as described by authors Mark Manson and Neil Strauss as well as Roosh V). Learned about feminism in the past and returned over the last 4 years to observing it generally as a movement, witnessing it transforming into this weird, new “SJW” (“social justice warrior”) hybrid (thanks to intersectionality conglomeration). Taken me some time to make better sense out of what all I’ve been looking at — an ongoing struggle, to be sure.
But went there, been doing that. Still, when the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election began over a year and a half ago (ugh), I opted to tune out. Didn’t want to care. Know already plenty of reasons for why I don’t like and would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Saw no reason to concern myself with Trump. *shrugs* Sticking with Gary Johnson, so fuck it. That’s been my attitude for a long while now. Not been watching the news barely. Haven’t subscribed to cable television in my home for many years. Lack enough fucks to give to all that nonsense. I care enough to continue reading books to gain a better sense of perspective on where we are at this point in history, where we’ve been, and where potentially we might be headed, intentionally or otherwise. Occasionally share titles with pals open to giving them a perusing. Most aren’t. Living in my woman cave, working and paying bills and handling my own shit. What goes on in Washington D.C. is just more fuckery so far as I can ever tell.
Social relations matter more to me than politics. Probably because they’re down here on the ground where we individually actually have some direct control and power. At least can learn to better control our own selves, so far as we need to. But down here at ground level it’s clear that we’re not all constituted equally. Doesn’t break down purely according to racial or sex/gender or purely socioeconomic demographics — no, it’s far more complex than that. It comes down to us as individuals and what we’re apparently made of, what potential we might possess and whether we choose to work to unfold it. No one can determine that outcome — nobody but our own selves. And we divvy up across the spectrum in that regard, as is clearly evident to any of us who take time to look around.
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is bugging me a bit lately in terms of what videos I’ve been watching on youtube. Watched quite a few over the course of the last few days, particularly paying attention to post-election protesters. Also went back and observed footage of campus protests in both the U.S. and Canada. Listened to law enforcement commentators and congressmen speaking on the subject. Today I came across an author, Colin Flaherty, who’s very critical of the state of the black community, calling hypocrisy on black people’s explicit racism against whites, examining news reports and showing displays of unjustified violence committed by black individuals against various others. Was an interesting channel. Is he racist? I don’t rightly care since he primarily focuses on numerous specific examples that we can then investigate for ourselves and form our own opinions on. Subbed.
Earlier today I also happened across a YT channel by Oshay Duke Jackson. Opted to subscribe to him too.
A few years before my Papa died, he warned me that there will very likely be a civil war during my lifetime and it will be race-related. Took that piece of advice and considered it in the years since. Initially assumed him to be wrong that the civil war would be race-related, though yeah, a civil war unto itself may occur. Tensions are mounting in this country and have been for a long time, and various factions seem intent on pushing the situation into the red zone. But race-related? During my lifetime it appeared that race relations were overall improving. Sure, we had the rise of gangsta rap during the ’90s and that set a trend that has yet to lose steam. But more interracial mixing has been occurring. Upon visiting my hometown in Mississippi, I’ve frequently been amazed at how much interracial dating is permitted and tolerated in recent years. Wasn’t like that even when I was a teenager a couple decades back. And I remember how racial divisions back then were sown and enforced by both older whites and older blacks, meaning black mamas and papas and grandmas took just as much issue with their child dating outside of their race as white mamas, papas, and grandmas did. See, people up north don’t seem to understand that fact. I come from a hometown where our high school then and to this day has segregated proms. Why? Mostly because black students throw a fit about changing this setup. It’s primarily their decision, so far as I’ve ever been able to tell, for why prom hasn’t been integrated yet. Yet we non-black folks are accused of being racist for this reality, which is basically to say they’re called racist for accommodating black people’s preferences in that town and school. Can’t win for losing there.
I’ve grown up observing a state known for possessing the highest black population in the union (nearly 40%), the highest out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rate, the highest obesity rate, and one of the highest social welfare-dependency rates. Mississippi has the poorest public education ratings in the nation (switching places with Arkansas occasionally for 50th), high drop-out rates, and low economic opportunities throughout the state. Hence why people with ambition tend to leave, as did I at age 21. Kind of a depressing place to be, having lived in a few far-flung cities across Mississippi during my time down there, as well as attending Mississippi State University for a couple years. So I come at these topics with a perspective informed from what I have witnessed and directly learned about, not just what others may have told me.
Are most people racist? Probably. At least prejudiced to whatever extents. Appears to be a part of human nature. We may aim to take people as they come, but we still do tend to form opinions of demographics based on what our exposure to them has shown us. Oftentimes our exposure is too narrow and needs expanding, for which I’m grateful for the opportunity to live in the Midwest to juxtapose with Southern living, as well as my social science curriculum that did help in fostering a wider appreciation for what others may be facing, from Papua New Guineans to American black folks to Hispanics aiming to make a life in the U.S. due to widespread economic hardship in their native countries to Native Americans losing their cultures to the white Europeans originally brought here under indentured servitude, etc.
BUT…after college, a whole new education unfolds before us. How do those social theories perform when rubber hits the pavement? Do current socioeconomic and racial differences justify violent revolts? What other factors may figure into these situations beyond what was mentioned in the social science theories we were once educated on? When studying collectives, is it not an error to overlook the actions and choices of the individuals therein? Does that not produce a bias?
While no human is fully 100% an island, neither is he or she simply an irrelevant cog within some sort of hive-mind borg, individually obscured through a commonly shared identity.
I’m reflecting on Papa’s words tonight, pondering the possibilities for the future. I’ve said before that we can’t fight this system through the use of direct violence, because we wouldn’t win. Violence begets violence, and the State has more firepower than all of us combined. Act like a hooligan and expect to be treated as such. Harm innocent people who in no way have violated your rights to a similar extent, then don’t expect sympathy. Because that’s misguided. Won’t help anyone, including yourselves. Just turns more people’s hearts cold.
It’s almost as if some are pushing a self-fulfilling prophecy where they show up hostile and chaotic but see any response to that as proof of racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever that somehow justifies their initial aggression. But that’s not logical. It’s a skewing of reality, setting up a situation where defensiveness is paraded as some sort of offense. Why? To aid in perpetuating their own sense of victimhood. When aggressors are not plentiful, create them by making people stand up for themselves and others and then flip the script on them.
That’s a shitty way to behave. Yet we see plenty of examples. Seems like more and more over time. I’m not okay with that. Nor am I okay with so much of the public kowtowing to political correctness requirements to where they’re unwilling to state the truth plainly, fearing social and possibly professional repercussions. Got people in a weird bind these days. Making cowards out of folks. Don’t want to us be reactionary in our responses to one another, but also don’t want to take shit lying down with our eyes and ears firmly closed. That’s not helping anybody either.