“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist.” – Hannah Arendt from her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism.
Let’s not blame each other.
Let’s not point the finger.
Let us all for a moment drop the habits that prevent us from learning and accessing the truth.
But let’s pause for a second and consider the wake of our recent choices.
As we all reel in the wake of yet another tragic black death. A pandemic for which we were woefully unprepared. As we sit on the precipice of an impending climatic catastrophe that we have all had the time in which to make the changes necessary to prevent (or at least significantly stem). We must ask ourselves, how we as a generation became so lost?
When did we stop valuing the truth?
Why did being right become so important?
How did being wrong become so unbearable?
When we voted in men we know lied to obtain their positions, what were we really saying?
Did we vote in the way we did because we refused to acknowledge our previous mistakes?
Will we vote the same way because we don’t have the balls to admit we were wrong?
Let me be more blunt.
What the shitting fuck has happened that we allow a man who almost only talks in complete bullshit to remain in office? Who is actively and openly preventing others from accessing the truth?
What the fuck has happened to our values?
When did freedom of speech become the freedom to lie your fucking ass off without repercussion?
You know that boy who cried wolf – who caused the death of all those villagers? Shall we vote him into power?
Great fucking idea.
Should we protect freedom of speech? Yes, of course we should. We should even protect the right to lie. But to allow people – the president of the United States none the fucking less – to lie without consequence?
What the fuck are we teaching our children?
How can we as a democratic society be ok with a man who actively seeks to prevent people from accessing the truth? This is a heinous crime.
I’m sorry for my anger and I’m sorry if you’re offended, but the truth is far more important than your ego. Actually I’m not sorry, fuck your ego. (I say that with love. I really do.)
To ask difficult questions means to confront some difficult truths.
Here are a few.
Democracy isn’t failing.
It’s not the republicans or the democrats fault. It’s not the presidents fault.
It’s our fault.
We together are all responsible. Regardless of whether you voted for that man or not.
Somewhere along the way we stopped trying to understand the other and it became a game of us against them.
In that moment we all lost.
That policeman who killed George Floyd. Who do you think is responsible for his death?
We. All. Are.
None of our hands are clean.
So long as we continue on our path of accumulating wealth while others starve.
So long as we continue to rape the planet will while we sit eating imported steak dinners simultaneously discussing how bad it is for the environment then joking how delicious it is.
So long as we sit quietly while someone with strong opinions talks about how our Black/Hispanic/Chinese/Female coworkers are less able. You know, the type of person who opens a sentence by saying, “I’m not racist but… I’m about to say something very fucking racist.
So long as we continue to think in terms of us vs them instead of a collective we. So long as we keep looking at each other as the enemy. So long as we allow those who we hate to be people we hate. We’ve lost.
I’m ashamed to say I’m guilty of all theses things.
You’re a hypocrite then? Is that what you’re telling us?
Yes. Yes I am. Absolutely. Both hands in the air.
I’m a pampered middle class white man who has enjoyed the privilege without even knowing it. My ignorance has been a disease. In no small way the colour of my skin has been an advantage that allowed me to succeed ahead of others who I’ve no doubt are more qualified, more intelligent and harder worker than I will ever be. All because I’m white and they’re not.
You know what. I don’t welcome it. It’s made me weak and I don’t welcome it. I honestly don’t welcome the easy life I’ve had.
I want a level playing field. And on it I want to compete with all my brothers and sisters regardless of background, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. I want to embrace them at the end. Win, lose or draw. I want them to challenge me – to be able to really challenge me, so I can grow.
Do you think the athletic world benefited from allowing black people to openly compete with white people? Of course it did. Why the fuck don’t we think that true equality wouldn’t benefit us all? Of course it fucking will.
It will make ALL OF US STRONGER.
You see what we did when we marginalised and made groups of people unable to compete with us on the same level playing field? We made ourselves weaker. We made ourselves weaker because we made it easier for us by making it impossible for others.
Now we’re so fucking weak that equality feels like a burden. It feels like sharing wealth and opportunity is an affront to our being.
I’m wrong. My way of living is wrong. I’m so far from what is right it hurts. But you know what. I’m willing to admit it. Are you?
Are you willing to say I’m wrong or is your ego too fucking precious? We should all be encouraging each other everyday to openly say I am wrong and ask the question, how can I be less so?
Quite frankly if you don’t have the balls to admit you’re wrong, you’re a coward.
Is this making you uncomfortable? I hope so. It’s making me uncomfortable. Which is why I know it’s where I must go. If you’re uncomfortable it’s because I’m challenging your beliefs.
THATS A GOOD THING EVEN IF IM WRONG.
Let’s have the discussion. Let’s have the conversation. Let’s try to understand each other. Let’s move closer together.
And let’s stop giving power to those who aren’t willing to do the same.
Please, I bet of you, for our children’s sake. Let’s value our fucking values again.
(As always I welcome ALL comments and opinions. This is just me venting. Please don’t think I would ever direct that at you. I’m simply trying to get myself to wake up to the ways I can be better.)