I’m an old Anglo, born in the Midwest in the middle of the twentieth century, and I shared that picture on my Facebook timeline. WTF, huh? And that’s just a small sample of the sort of things happening these days, isn’t it? I mean, here we are, sniping at each other for wearing or not wearing a mask in WalMart, hunkering down at home instead of commuting to that job we probably don’t have anymore anyway, learning to cook whether we want to or not, and I could go on listing strange things about this year for quite a while. It’s easy to be pessimistic about things, but, overall, I’m not. In fact, I think that a whole lot of good things are happening right not, while we’re all distracted by COVID-19 and our President’s strange behavior. These good things are what this post is actually about.
The possible actual crumbling of the bogus edifice that is White Supremacy is probably the best thing I’m seeing these days, which is why I used that picture to head this post. It has a lot of components. Those statues of traitors being taken down is an excellent thing. In how many wars have the losers been allowed to glorify their rebellion? Take your time, I’ll wait. <crickets> That’s right! Only that one. I know, some argue for taking down statues of, for example, George Washington, because he owned slaves. You’ll have to take down every one up to and including Lincoln, who successfully defended slave owners in court if you go that route. They were a long way from what we wish they’d been, but they did found the country. And, I believe in this country. It really can be great, although not in the way the MAGA crowd would like. Those days are gone, gone, gone, along with all those statues in Richmond. We should definitely remember that conflict. A National Civil War Museum that told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is a great idea, and those statues can be a part of it, as it appears that the Civil War is only just now coming to an end.
I’ve never liked the “establishment,” consisting as it does primarily of old, pasty white dudes who have always seemed to me to be disconnected from the reality we live in. I’m blessed with ADHD. Among the many benefits of that condition is virtually always knowing when you’re being lied to. I’ve known that the whole idea of “race,” and one “race” being superior to another is bogus since, so far as I can tell, forever. It is only in recent years that I’ve learned the truth. (Recent being maybe twenty or so.) It took a while. Knowing you’re being lied to and knowing the truth are two very different things. The first is upsetting, the second empowering. Being thus empowered, I question old friends when they post irrelevant distractions instead of confronting institutional racism. I do have some family cred, though not ancestral. My Uncle, Louis Wood, was a lifer starting in World War Two. He and Aunt Evie met Ras Ta once, as a part of his duties guarding the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. (They never smoked ganja, however.) After he retired from the army, he bought a pallet making company in Bartow, Florida. I visited when I was nine. At that time Jim Crow was still in full effect, with separate restrooms, drinking fountains, etc. His crew was mixed race, and his foreman was African-American. He said, and this is close to an exact quote, “If somebody doesn’t like it, they’ll just have to work someplace else.” There should be a statue of Uncle Louis somewhere.
About “race” again, you’ll note that I refer to myself as “An Old Anglo.” That is an indisputable fact, with a lot less baggage than “White.”
But wait! That’s not all! What if I told you that a more humane society seems to be in the works? Oh, really? People seeking asylum have their families ripped apart by INS, and that’s more humane? Of course not! But is that a good thing? Almost all Americans say it is not. And health care? Have you seen the job that countries with some form of universal health care have done with COVID-19? Have you seen the job we’ve done with unregulated capitalism? Quite the contrast, isn’t it? And the environment is going to get a lot more benign attention, which you might not think by looking at the current administration’s attitude, but it’s true. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (yes, it still exists) recently ordered a Texas pipeline company to pay a Tribe $165,000,000.00 because the company has trespassed on tribal lands without permission from the tribe. That’s the BIA, an agency famous for screwing over Native Americans, and a blow for the environment at the same time! The Keystone Pipeline is on hold pending a never done Environmental Impact Study, also. And, again, almost all Americans are closer to agreeing with Greta Thunberg than with the current administration on environmental issues.
Roughly every eighty years a crisis emerges that threatens to be “The End of The World as We Know It.” The last one was the depression and World War Two. COVID-19 is ours. I’ll give you a hint, here. Any Millennial reading this will say, “Well, duh.” Those pasty old white dudes, probably not. But, those guys are seeing their world crumble, and the Millennials are about to take over. If you want to help, there’s an election next November that you can vote in. I’m an optimist because I’ve always known the lies, if not the truth, and also because those paying attention to how history unfolds have seen this moment coming for a long time. There will be plenty of mistakes made, but I have hope that the big one that’s been haunting this country since before we were a country is about to be shattered. As I said above, good things are happening. Join in!