Noam Chomsky on the root of racism in the US

“There is also a common variant of what has sometimes been called ‘intentional ignorance’ of what it is inconvenient to know: ‘Yes, bad things happened in the past, but let us put all of that behind us and march on to a glorious future, all sharing equally in the rights and opportunities of citizenry.’ The appalling statistics of today’s circumstances of African-American life can be confronted by other bitter residues of a shameful past, laments about black cultural inferiority, or worse, forgetting how our wealth and privilege was created in no small part by the centuries of torture and degradation of which we are the beneficiaries and they remain the victims.”

To read the full article, click here.

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Interview with Ecofeminist Maria Mies

“Women’s work in the house was and is as much a ‘free good’ as nature’s work is for capital…In the ‘Third World’…like the role of housework and of nature [literally the earth] under capitalism…colonies are treated more or less like women and nature, namely as ‘free goods’ which can be exploited by White Man almost without costs.” – Maria Mies

To read the full interview, click here.

Posted in Capitalism, Earth Democracy, Economic Justice, Environment, Feminism, Human Rights, Journalism, Opinion, Politics, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dalia Lama on Greed

“The interesting thing about greed is that although the underlying motive is to seek satisfaction, even after obtaining what you want, you’re still not satisfied. It’s this endless, nagging desire for more that leads to trouble. On the other hand, if you’re truly contented, it doesn’t matter whether you get what you want or not. Either way, you remain content.” – Dalai Lama

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Alan Watts on Carl Jung

“I think the most important thing in [Carl] Jung [is] that he was able to point out that, to the degree that you condemn others and find evil in others, you are to that degree unconscious of that same thing in yourself. Or at least of the potentiality of it. …In order to admit, and really accept and understand, the evil in oneself, one had to be able to do it without being an enemy to it.” – Alan Watts

To listen to the full audio recording, click here.

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An important report on racism and politics, specifically in Alabama.

“Today, the South, where 55 percent of America’s black population lives, is increasingly looking like a different country. Fewer children can read; more adults have HIV; its residents suffer from the shortest life expectancies of any in the United States.”

To read the full article, click here.

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White privilege must be addressed, along with the capitalist ego, if we’re going to evolve as compassionate, autonomous individuals

Note: My previous post was inspired by an article called “I don’t know what to do with good white people” by Brit Bennett, a black woman writer. The following is a response to a conversation I had with a friend, a white man, about that post (and more generally, calling out white privilege).

“The purpose of calling out your white privilege.”

The purpose of calling attention to white privilege is NOT to draw a line (further) separating whites and non-whites, so YOU can “figure out” what DO, or where you FIT, or how to ACT (see previous post). The purpose of calling attention to white privilege is to acknowledge an EXISTING condition (systemic racism), so you can LISTEN to the TRUTH from a better position. The truth is easier to accept when we’re closer to it, open to it, and facing it. If we turn away from the story of Black Lives exposing their truth, we will become susceptible to the lies of colonialist capitalism. Alternately, if we face historical reality DIRECTLY, the pain of existence will lighten, and we’ll open our minds to a more loving human experience.

I believe it’s the same for radical feminism and other equality-based justice. Unlike unending profit derived from the destruction of people and the planet, human rights are not just an idea someone had. The damage caused by capitalism is real, but the basis for it isn’t. Similarly, racism is fundamentally an idea. But the DAMAGE caused by that idea is 100% REAL. That’s in part why people can say “I believe in nondiscrimination” in the same breath as “but we shouldn’t hire certain ‘unqualified’ people” (etc.). Until you acknowledge discrimination ALREADY EXISTS, you won’t understand the reality of equality, but only the idea.

Setting qualifications is a legitimate way to survive in a capitalist society, but we need to remember that in addition to existing discrimination (based on wrong perceptions), the goal of our “work” is not simply to “provide” the resources others need to survive (or on the other side of the coin, to “attain” what is provided). Survival is in us all, we don’t need to work for it like capitalism would have us believe. It’s a dichotomy, wherein we’re tasked with “providing” and “attaining”, while simultaneously profiting and surviving. That’s why there’s no such thing as “trickle-down-economics”: the so-called provider, rich as they might be, is being tasked with “survival” by the economic-political system, making autonomy impossible. It’s the reason people can say “I believe in equality”, while simultaneously being racist. It’s the reason money can’t buy happiness.

I believe in our hearts we KNOW all humans are equal, but the social laws of colonialist capitalism hinder our progress to be truly empathetic. They have made us think our reality is “survival-based-success”, which isn’t Reality at all, it’s a construct. In order to succeed accordingly, we default to making it personal.  Personal reality feeds the ego. This is different than being autonomous, which means living our individual Truths free from external control. Being egocentric and basing success on capitalist ideas is destructive to the individual, the environment and humanity.

We need to discover what oppresses us (individually, culturally and collectively). Then, (eventually) we can reject the thoughts and objects that bind us.

That’s why I believe we HAVE TO call attention to our differences, our individual struggles and Truths. The point is not to divide us, but to uncover the PURPOSE of our Lives. Which is to matter. And be free.

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To the “good white people” out there

The following post is inspired by the article “I Don’t Know What to Do with Good White People” by Brit Bennett.

To the “good white people” out there complaining that you can’t seem to “DO anything” to “help,” try to remember that a narrative by a person of color that calls you out for misunderstanding your role is simply saying you are not the main character, not that your intentions are necessarily bad. While your good intentions can matter (the recipient(s) of your actions can decide how), your actions and reactions DO matter. But what matters most is your ability to listen and accept the message peacefully.

I don’t particularly like it when the response to people who ask, “what can I do if everything I do is wrong anyway” is “stop asking a black person, it’s not their responsibility to spoon feed you the answers” (which is true!), because it sounds like you’re saying, I’m not only a good White, I “get it”. More importantly, it puts the person of color who wrote the article or directly experienced the injustice in the third person, in the background. It’s a way of speaking for them.

I think the most positive thing you can do (if you’re asking) is continue to listen (and read), and then NOT act. Don’t act like you’re good, don’t act like you understand everything. Don’t act like the story was written for you to fit into. Let the story live (and thrive) without you. Then, cultivate your own. The idea is to weave our individual stories together into a collective work that illustrates the strength of humanity.

If you already have a story, because you take issue with the way things are and have formed beliefs based on experience and listening to/accepting others’ narratives, then say how YOU feel. Say why YOU hate the system. What do you care about, how is it connected to racism? (We can’t leave all the “personal opinions” to racists!) Express your support for Black Lives by being an individual with an open mind. Show your solidarity by understanding your privilege.

And if you’re confident in your story, let your actions speak. Go to marches, protest and support the movement to end police brutality and state violence against Black and Brown people by physically showing up. Your body represents you and your truth. But remember, what matters MOST is this Truth: Black Lives Matter.

 

Note: You can also refer to the list in the article “Eight Ways to Support Protests Against the Criminal Punishment System, if You Can’t Get Out on the Street” by Victoria Law.

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