Divide and conquer. Our government literally tells us how they conquer us, and we are too distracted to see it.
It’s sort of like those magic eye illusions that have an image hidden in what looks like a colorful chaotic abstract mess. At first it’s a bit hard to see, but if you put your nose close to the image and slowly back away…
Oh, would you look at that! A butterfly!…
…Oh, wait no… it’s racism. Definitely racism.. and sexism…and…
Those in power tell a small group of people that they are better than others by giving privileges to that certain group. When that privileged group gets a little too confident, a little too rich, or a little too powerful they take them down a notch or two by taking away some of their privileges. Then they blame a marginalized community for taking of the privilege. “The immigrants are taking your jobs!” or “The poor are lazy and abuse the welfare system!” Oh yea, and my personal favorite, “The gays are ruining marriage and bringing about the apocalypse!”
This causes the privileged person to be resentful to those marginalized communities. The privileged person gets so angry that they will use their power to further marginalize the scapegoat, and in turn create hostility and further division of the people. That is how the status quo is formed and maintained. It needs very little help from the government to keep the cycle going.
They do this over and over again as much as the need to. They change the rules just when people think they have a grasp on things. They drive all of us away from each other. They do this to conquer ALL of us.
We all know the world is not just black and white. If it were that simple racism wouldn’t be an issue because we would all see right through it. It’s not as simple as one or the other, Us vs. Them. There are many factors in place. There are many divisions in our American society.
You are not color blind. That is a lie that privileged people will tell themselves to make themselves feel comfortable with their level of privilege. #Alllivesmatter might as well be #notlikeotherwhites
It’s not easy to give up the power of privilege. It’s an ugly system that makes us vile. When you have the privilege to not think about racism, why would you volunteer to make yourself uncomfortable?
I do not have the privilege of NOT thinking about racism.
Let’s all make ourselves uncomfortable for a moment. Let’s look at our differences.
I want to show you a list I made. Keep in mind, this is my point of view based on things I’ve seen, heard, and experienced. This list is based on skin color, gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression. Four of the biggest cruxes of judgment from society. I’m also aware that if you, my dearest reader, happen to land in the higher status area it does not mean your life is ALL rainbows, sunshine and lollipops. To me all this means is that the privileged don’t have a whole pile of shit to deal with on top of the fact that they may have dropped their lollipop in the dirt, while the people in the lower status area don’t even know what a lollipop is, and they just want the clouds blocking the sunshine to stop raining shit on them.
From my perspective this is the social hierarchy status quo in which we all live in. If we take out the factors of class, body type, religion, and level of able-bodiness/able mindedness, this is what we have.
Where do you fall on this list?
What I realized/learned about myself while writing this list, was that it’s really hard to see and place how bad things are for people who are below you in status, and that’s the way the system is designed. Each person above you is offered more privileges in such small increments that it’s not really that noticeable when you are only looking one or two steps below and above yourself. But if you are suddenly dropped down or rise up nine or ten levels it’s super noticeable. I also realized that writing this list was strangely cathartic.
I lived around the nineteenth level of the above pictured hierarchy for twenty-six years of my life. Okay, maybe not twenty-six years; I didn’t come out of the womb with a mohawk, Dickie’s shorts, and combat boots, but I was a tomboy and started to have problems with how the world saw me when I was five. So let’s just say twenty-one years of my life the world bashed me into the the nineteenth spot in the hierarchy. When I transitioned, I dropped down to the twenty-eighth spot for a while, then suddenly around the two year marker of my transition I started to pass as cis and straight. I didn’t change my attitude or mannerisms in anyway, the only thing that had changed was my outer appearance. I was catapulted up to six, seven or eight-ish depending on the crowd. I feel like I got whiplash, and I’m angry that I didn’t even realize I was being crushed under the thumb of this racist, sexist, LGBTQ-phobic system because I was conditioned since birth to accept it.
I refuse to accept it anymore.