Prejudice In The Open

Many people bemoan the fact that since Trump came along, we have seen all forms of prejudice in the open. There is the belief that prejudice in all forms is increasing- racism, sexism, gender identity, religious prejudice, wealth inequality, etc.

I admit that this appears to be true. However, appearances are deceiving. I am seeing something very different.

I said while Trump was running for office that no matter what laws are enacted, you cannot make a person prejudiced who was not prejudiced to begin with. Yes, bigots feel more emboldened now. That doesn’t mean that they were not there to begin with. They’ve been with us all along, hiding in fear and shame for good reason.

Some like to think that bigots are motivated by a loss of wealth or privilege. There is no truth to that. We see bigots travelling to the border, armed with guns, driving RV’s, etc. These people are able to take time off from work or are unemployed yet have the means to travel and still own weapons which are not inexpensive, buy gas, rent hotel rooms, etc. This indicates that they have wealth and privilege which most do not have.

Seriously, if you had accumulated paid time off from work from a stressful job, would you spend that time in the desert, walking around with a gun, seeking to abuse poor people on foot, trying to find safety and a more secure existence?

Lack of prejudice is a sign of emotional and spiritual evolution. Being able to accept others when they are different from yourself is a sign of maturity. Qualities of emotional and spiritual advancement which these bigots neither possess nor care to develop.

These are people mindlessly claiming that immigrants are crowding this country and taking jobs away. Even as they cross large stretches of empty land while taking time off from their jobs. Or claiming immigrants get government support, while these people are claiming welfare and travelling to the border.

Many of these people claim to be Christians, while ignoring what their own alleged religion teaches. They claim that Islam teaches violence, which it does not. They claim that immigrants bring crime, which they do not. The current, very white, director of the FBI is Christopher Wray. He said that the majority of cases of domestic terrorism investigated by the FBI are caused by some form of white supremacy. Yes, he used the word “terrorism”. Oddly, this man was appointed by Trump.

No, I am not giving kudos to Trump. In response, Trump announced he is considering naming the anti-Nazi movement Antifa as a terrorist organization. Yet Antifa is not a group or organization, it is a movement opposed to fascism. I will be writing something separate about that for those that oppose Antifa, among other things.

There is a definite benefit to prejudice being in the open. Like the old saying goes, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” In other words, it is easier to fight against evil which is clearly displayed. You know who your enemy is, you know who your allies are.

Some believe that the Democratic Party are our allies. While there are some minority members of the DNC who are allies, as a party the DNC is not to be trusted. Bill Clinton enacted the crime bill which decimated the minority community. Obama bailed out Wall Street and ignored homeowners, many if not the majority of whom were minorities. Over the past 20 years we have seen the rise of for-profit prisons with no opposition from the DNC. Police have no oversight even with the mass numbers of black men arrested and killed by police. We are only now seeing changes to erase marijuana possession charges and restore voting rights for inmates. That has only happened because of grassroots mobilization. The legalization of marijuana is moving forward because of outliers who have advanced the agenda, while the DNC still opposes or is at least neutral on the issue, thanks to pharmaceutical, alcohol and corporate prison campaign donations and lobbying.

The people who want prejudice to be out of sight don’t understand the issue well. This is wanting to stop talking about it because they find it stressful. Put yourself in the position of those who have been subjected to passive-aggressive prejudice their whole lives. Not just minorities but women as well. People who have been denied promotions, employment, housing, credit, safety, justice. Those who have lived in absolute terror to see lights in the rearview mirror or afraid to call police even though they have done nothing wrong. Can you imagine such an existence for your entire life?

Obviously the ultimate goal is to eliminate prejudice. Unfortunately, it’s not going away easily. However, the stage that we are in now are the dying throes of what has been a way of life and mind for too many people for far too long. The bigots are backed into their corners and trying to perpetuate that as a right. Meanwhile their communities and even families who have tolerated that prejudice are abandoning them. It is they who can now be denied jobs, promotions, etc. The younger generations will not accept that prejudice, knowing just what damage it does.

Human Rights Records Do Not Stop At The Border

Lots of people try and claim moral superiority for the US in relation to Russia and China regarding human rights records. In each case, they attempt to use histories dating back at least 27 years, typically far more.

Do these countries have distant histories of human rights abuses? Yes, they do. However, they fail to look at the human rights records of the US even from that time frame. If one wants to look at old human rights records, then we have to look at the US history of genocide of Native Americans, slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, Japanese internment camps, women’s rights and the abuses they suffered, forced sterilization, frontal lobotomies, electroshock therapy, involuntary imprisonment of women in asylums based on their husband’s word, seizure of private property for corporate interests (DAPL), the civil rights movement…

Getting the point here?

Yet ancient history is not the point of this article. The point of this article is the apparent belief by many people that when you discuss the human rights records of a country, that such record should be limited to inside a country’s borders. Nothing could be further from the truth. Human rights are humanrights.The term has no geographical boundaries attached to the meaning.

Nor are human rights records limited to governmental actions. That record can be even more related to government inaction in the face of known abuse or suffering at the hands of non-government entities. From the Pinkerton massacre at Homestead to Dow Chemical poisoning the Ohio River and thousands of abuses in between and happening now.

The US government has a long, storied history and present of direct and indirect involvement in the abuse and outright murder of millions of people around the globe. From our entry into WWI under false pretenses to the decimation of North Korea to the blatantly false circumstances that took us into Vietnam and Iraq, regime change operations by our military and CIA in dozens of countries dating back at least as far as the early 50’s. Even earlier when we look at the Panama Canal and invasion of Hawaii, the Hidalgo Treaty and who knows what else? Talk to a real historian who is not a propagandist.

Right now we are actively bombing 8 countries and selling weapons to Saudi Arabia who is conducting outright genocide in Yemen in the worst human rights situation globally since Cambodia. We have actively supported the Saudi regime for decades while in full knowledge of their abuse of human rights, with imprisonment and mass public decapitations of dissident journalists, oppression of women’s rights which continues with US corporate created cell phone apps which track women’s movements so they can be reported to authorities if they attempt to escape abuse with a single button. Do our politicians and corporate media scream to the heads of the Saudi royals? Or make weak, failed attempts at ineffective sanctions? Is anyone (and I mean anyone) calling for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia?

Those claiming American moral superiority over other countries fail to consider any of this or the fact that most of this history has been for the sake of capitalist interests. They will point to Stalin or Mao but never remotely realize that the US has killed multiple times more people than Stalin and Mao combined. There is no way to accurately count the death toll of the United States because the numbers will always be hidden, distorted, diverted, blamed elsewhere and that moral imperative always claimed.

It is always telling that our corporate media never opposes any military action. They attempt to whip up support for the next war and the next and the next. They don’t bother mentioning our current military actions as a comprehensive statement. The bombing of 8 countries mentioned above, the military forces in 50 African nations, the millions starved by our typically sanctions. Yet we hear endlessly how we need to intervene in Venezuela because Maduro is a tyrant.

Corporate media does not broadcast the reports coming back with video from Progressive journalists on the ground in Venezuela at this moment. Aaron Mate, Max Blumenthal, Abby Martin. Their video evidence shows the lack of violence, the store shelves full of items corporate media claims do not exist in the country, the rallies in protest against US intervention. They don’t mention the humanitarian support being provided by less affluent countries who are not trying to seize rights to Venezuelan oil. European countries, Mexico, Russia, China are all providing support without any suspicion of them attempting to sneak in weapons for the opposition to enact a coup. An opposition which is known to have used violence against civilians, including burning people alive. Corporate media does not mention that Venezuela has the lowest rate of homelessness in the western hemisphere. Can’t talk about that, can we?

The US truly has no right at all to dictate ethics or morality to other countries. Americans have no right to believe we are the “good guys” or that the governments that oppose us are worse than our own. Especially when many of those countries have universal healthcare and adult education while we do not. To include Russia and China. Countries that spend more money on their own citizens than on warfare by magnitudes of ten. Countries that have lower rates of homelessness and lower prison populations than ourselves. Countries that often have US sanctions limiting the options available to them to provide for their citizens.

It’s time to define the human rights records of all countries by how they treat not only their citizens but how they treat human beings in general. Define human rights by each country’s actions as a whole. Define human rights by the divide between rich and poor, free and incarcerated, treatment of the ill, housed and homeless, diplomacy versus war, free versus oppressed, freedom of speech and press to include corporate censorship. Because human rights should include life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, medical care, shelter, security, freedom of dissension, food security, political freedom of affiliation even if that includes Conservatism or Communism. Human rights records do not stop counting at your border and you cannot treat citizens of other countries as you see fit for your own greed.