I can’t save all the world!
There are only so many hours in the day!
I contribute a lot already!
This woman, Jane Elliot, made a really REALLY good point here in this 30 sec video.
“Every white person in this room who would happy to be treated the way our black citizens are treated in this society, please stand up.”
She repeats her question after no one stands up. And then hits me right between the eyes. “No one is standing here. That says very plainly that you know what’s happening. And you know you don’t want it for you.”
So, what now? Do I need to join the social justice cause?
I can’t tell you what to do. And I am not about to guilt trip myself or anyone else into activism. Been there, done that. A few times too many.
Yet, I did learn something over the last weeks of George Floyd and the last 1,5 years of seeking out black authors and being very much enlightened and inspired by them.
The key word in racism is supremacy. White supremacy to be exact. “The belief that white people are superior to non white people.”
When I try(d) and raise(d) my daughter to be her own woman I was attempting to erase some of the ingrained male supremacy that today is still in women’s systems.
And I did the same with myself of course, slowly becoming conscious of where male supremacy and the implied female inferiority, were still affecting my thinking and acting.
When I decide that the climate cause was the most important thing to rally to, a few years back, I learned that supremacy is at its root. A (rather small) bunch of people thinking they were entitled to exploit the natural resources, pollute the rivers, oceans and air, kill off most of the abundance of species of plant life and animals, poison our food with chemicals, fertilizer, pesticides, impoverish the soil in order to get the most crops in the least time, the most money with the least effort, the most power with the least responsibility, that is supremacy. What shall we call it? Capitalist supremacy? Money/power supremacy? There sure is lot of whiteness and maleness in this group as well.
If you are most moved by the loss of animal species on our planet and dug into the topic you will have found that supremacy is at its root.
Or maybe you feel for the discrimination that people with a disability face on a daily basis. Supremacy of able bodied people over disabled bodies people is at its root. Supremacy of the rich over the poor, of the industrialised world over the non industrialised world, of the true believers of whatever religion to the inferior heathens. Supremacy of the hetero sexual people to the non hetero sexual people, of the cis men and women to the non-cis men and women or queer people, of the educated people to the non educated people, or of the theoretical educated people to the practical educated people, of the thin people to the fat people. Sweet supremacy all over the place.
Whatever cause we support or feel most moved by personally has some sort of supremacy at its root.
A black queer woman who I can’t remember the name of once said something like: if you liberate me, then all are liberated. Meaning something like, if I get to be seen and treated as a real human being, me being so many types of so called inferior, black, queer, woman, everyone will be seen and treated as a human being.
It seems like a human disease. Supremacy.
And I am not saying this to move away from the reality of white supremacy. And the urgency to dismantle it. Or the massive suffering it has caused and causes today. Or to move away from the discomfort that I am white and have white supremacy built into my system. I did want to paint a broader picture of supremacy. And say how can you feel moved to raise your voice for the one kind and not for the other kind? I know, it is a work in progress.
White, male, capitalist supremacy is probably the most destructive type in our age and known past.
Maybe supremacy served us well in our hunter-gatherer days, who knows. Someone will know the biology behind supremacy.
But today we don’t stand much chance of winning back a future for our kids and grand kids when all over the world people are divided and fighting for their right to live or be seen and treated as human beings.
I rest my case for now, even though I am not sure what case I am making. To be continued.