Continued from previous posts…. These posts are collections of brief notes on society, politics, and nature. I sometimes include short personal notes as well. Click “read more” to see all the entries.
THE UPSIDE OF TRUMP
When Trump was elected, there were demonstrations in many cities in the US.
I never saw Trump’s election as “wrong”. How could it be? He was nominated through the usual process. He was elected in the usual way. It’s a democracy. Enough people wanted him as their president to get him elected.
He is a symptom as well as a problem. On one level, he is a symptom of racism, bigotry, people who feel their white privilege is threatened, and so on. On another level, he is a symptom of much deeper systemic problems.
He is a symptom of fear and despair among people who feel powerless because they feel their voice is not heard. He is a symptom of the fear and despair of people who don’t have the basics in life to help them feel more secure and safe, including universal healthcare and good social safety nets. He is a symptom of collective trauma created by a system that prioritizes profit – often for the few – over the well-being of the many. He is a symptom of news media that prioritizes profit and entertainment over social responsibility (most mainstream media). He is a symptom of news media that prioritizes political agenda and polarization over reality and what’s good for the country as a whole (Fox News). He is a symptom of a political system that allows the interest of big money take priority over the interest of the people. He is a symptom of a system where many are kept in ignorance of what’s really going on. He is a symptom of a system where kids don’t learn (enough) media literacy, critical thinking, and how to identify and address the deeper systemic problems. He is a symptom of a system where those in power are not interested in or able to address the deeper systemic problems.
Even more than this, he is a symptom of collective cultural trauma. He is a symptom of a culture that lives from power-over rather than power-with.
The upside of the Trump presidency – for all its horrors and damage – is that it highlights these deeper and more systemic problems. These were there before he was elected and will be there after he was gone.
With a more “normal” president, many can pretend that these deeper problems are not there. But we can’t do that so easily with Trump.
Cornell West recently described the US a failed social experiment. Trump is a symptom of this failed social experiment.
JUNE 6, 2020
In response to the demonstrations in the US these days against systemic racism and police brutality, the police has often responded with more racism and senseless brutality. It only shows how common it is and how certain the police officers are that there will not be consequences.
This Twitter feed has – as of this writing – more than 260 examples of police brutality and violence, mostly against peaceful protesters.
This is not only a serious problem within the police culture in the US. It’s a problem coming from militarization of the police. It’s a problem with the higher-ups in the system allowing this to happen. It’s a problem with politicians allowing it to happen. It’s a problem with voters electing politicians allowing it to happen. It’s a problem with the media allowing it to happen. It’s a problem that comes from centuries of racism and structural racism. It’s a problem that comes from a country built on colonization, theft, genocide, and slavery. It’s a problem that comes from a country that continues what it was built on and never really acknowledged it or deal with it.
Most of all, it’s a problem that comes from collective trauma. Abuse leads to abuse. Abused people abuse. Hurt people hurt.Read More