Melting Pots and Mosaics

I have never understood why republicans take Jesus as their moral guide and life coach – and why him above and beyond why anyone would look to something external to not only themselves, but also to something far removed from their own life experiences and the context that that experience arises from (ie, why look to bronze age people for moral guidance when the bronze age is far removed from the information age when even the Industrial Age’s work week doesn’t work for us anymore –  given that Jesus wouldn’t have joined the republican or any power party
and his idea of family values was to abandon the birth family and join with him and his followers as your family.

Very Manson-y and culty when you think about it. Very. Maybe more Heaven’s Gatey than Mansony, but still creepy.

Jesus was also quite vain: remember the slave-woman who poured expensive oil all over Jesus’ feet, instead of donating that money to the poor? Even Jesus followers thought that excessive. But not the vainglorious Jesus, who reveled in the attention…

Ever think about how hard it must have been for Joesph to step parent Jesus? How could he possibly respond to Jesus’ teenage angst – you’re not my real father!

Seriously, it begins to make sense why men generally don’t date single women with kids – they would never have the father authority over the household and live in constant fear of being found lacking and less than the absentee father, built up in the children’s minds to sainted status – an unresolvable dilemma, for if the father was all that was good – however the child has defined good –  what then does it say about the child, left behind?

It seems that the most devoted followers of a thing are in opposition to what the thing/person actually stands for. Lincoln was a republican party member – he signed off on the laws to free the slaves to economically attack the South’s labour pool in hopes of recruiting the slaves to fight against the white Southerns from inside the system.

Ending slavery turned out to be good for actually moral reasons and the idea had such popularity, that eventually, people believed it was the moral reason and not the practical war tactics reasons of why the slaves were freed – because it let people collectively feel better about themselves – but, the lack of truth to the matter is what keeps the US society from moving beyond that dynamic – and now the sides are entrenches in a perpetual and childish battle of “you hurt me” on one side to “i already said I was sorry and look what I did to make it up to you and you’re ungrateful” back to “I didn’t ask to come here and that you started to treat me halfway decent when it was in your interest doesn’t make up for it” and back and forth like bickering children or a couple who stays together for the fight, rather than for love or the children.

But the slavery issue is more complex – the original slaves in the US were from the UK, and were referred to as indentured servants – indentured servants had two problems – first, they were time limited as it was servitude to repay a debt, so the servitude had a time limit on it – and second, since they were also Caucasian, when they escaped – they were not easy to recover, because they could blend into the free population.

So the simple version was that the US then looked to Africa for easily identifiable slaves and the real story is a lot more complicated – the US and UK certainly bought people in Africa and imported them to various spots in the world to use as slaves – but they weren’t the ones rounding up the young men and women – that was largely the tribal leaders, dictators who sought to disrupt the natural order of their society by eliminating those who most threatened and would agitate against the dictator’s continued dictatorship.

So, in one very important sense, the people who were rounded up to be slaves elsewhere, were pretty much slaves at home. There was no option in the society they were taken from, they just didn’t have a basis for comparison or it didn’t feel like slavery when it was just the tribal structure and the stone age existence was normal.

In the sense of awareness, they weren’t slaves until they were in the US and didn’t get to live like everyone else – since everyone else didn’t live the same way.

The tribal structure of chief and everyone else was simple and understandable – everyone knew their place in the pack.

But, in the US, there are so many social strata, that the unequal distribution of privileged and wealth was suddenly noticeable between the haves, have some, and have nots.

Slavery in a sense, was the banishment from choice and options – the very foundation of the USA. Sad and appalling is the return to basics that the Republicans now define that banishment of choice to be the hallmark of a real American – my country right or wrong, god first, nation second – you have free will, but only if you don’t use it – as if by using it, you run out or leave less for everyone else.

So, the republican journey, which essentially began as ending slavery and saying that personal freedom and choice matters, is now entrenched in the original position of making people into slaves, clockwork orange teabaggers – patriotism is the political version of the religious zealot – and more as dangerous, since it has access to government power by definition. Whereas, religious zealots are government power in theocracies, but in democracies, can only indirectly access government power by voting blocks and lobby groups, but more often remain small and self solving like Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate.

Democrats, who were hardly the party for slavery, moved to copy the republican tactics of increasing rights by running with that, albeit slowly and only when absolutely forced to by the courts or the threat of their social change oriented voting base to stay home and not vote – in fact, to keep their base, the Democrats have to also slow the inevitable social changes – otherwise, if they push for total equality, then the prize bag is empty and they won’t have any promises left to offer in exchange for votes.

As long as the US is mired in a two party system, they will be forever fighting the civil war of who has rights and who does not – over and over until all the subcultures and groups that should have rights, finally do.

So, if America wants to move out of a perpetual teenage angst state  they need to have more than two parties, enforce the laws that are in place – everyone equal under the law with equal access and treatment – that means gay people on par with straight people – in legal reality, because in social fact follows the legal reality.

Which hasn’t worked for ethnic minorities because, the battle of who gets rights, who gets choice is still being fought – women are not socially equal to men when men continue to try to control women’s bodies by characterising women who have sex as sluts and then punishing them by withholding abortion services.

Ethnic minorities are not socially equal to the dominate white culture as long as neither side can move beyond the sense of being imported or voluntary immigrants – they simply are not assimilating because the melting pot is not a viable metaphor – but the idea of a mosaic quilt – of adding your distinctness and having it value added like Canada’s metaphor is – rather than being distilled to the lowest common denominator that melting results in.

To the US, you are at a crossroads where continually fighting the past is not serving the nation into the future – Obama represented a global hope that the US would fulfill it’s intial promise to be the light of human rights – for in Obama, you have a president of both sides – half white and half black – but even then – the US public debate fails to recognize the reality of what he is and what he represented.

It’s no wonder the presidents turn grey and age 20 years a term – the idea of finally getting to be was is globally acknowledged as the most powerful person on the planet and the biggest task is babysitting people who continue to fight battles that are already forgone conclusions.

We the People spoke, and we the people said, let there be rights.

3 thoughts on “Melting Pots and Mosaics

  1. I think part of the problem here in the U.S. is that a large group of people feel they are losing some of their power to people who are different i.e. not of European descent. Most of these people don’t actually have any power, but they’ve bought into the sales pitch that Obama is a muslim and a socialist, that all the jobs went to illegal immigrants, that the government is picking their pockets at tax time (despite nearly half of people getting their money back later), that gays are going to force them to marry farm animals, that atheists are trying to make xmas illegal, etc etc.

    Meanwhile, they continue to vote for politicians who openly do not have their best interests at heart.

    • Yup – that why scapegoating a sub-culture is so easy to do.

      All those whatevers coming to steal the jobs – that the mainstream think they are too good to do in the first place – which is why the jobs are available.

      The reality is that the normal course of immigration is that the first generation take service jobs – either as agricultural workers – like fish canneries or food harvesting – and they work in the low end retail and taxi type industries.

      It creates a false impression of greater numbers, because they are in the visible service sector.

      From this uneasy fear, then goes the wild accusations – and we are no different now than during the witch trials of Salem – baseless and illogical accusations repeated louder and with increasing hysteria that somehow this is why the mainstream people don’t have the level of wealth and power they want, but are unwilling to put in the work to achieve.

      This is why lies are preferable to truth – lies will tell you whatever you want to hear – and if what you hear doesn’t hold you accountable for your own crappy life – then naturally, we desperately want to beleive that someone else is at fault.

      I was appalled that the idea of gay divorce was held up as a reason to not allow gay marriage in Canada. After all, the current divorce rate is for straight couples – which is no measure of the lasting power of gay marriage – in fact, divorce was a separate legislation that had to be amended separately and wasn’t until a couple sued to be able to divorce.

      how fucked is that?

      for the first year and a half, gay were married weren’t able to get divorced if they wanted to!

      I’d sure be curious to see divorce rate comparisons for straight and gay couples in that time period.

      It’s funny too how what happens next door has no bearing on what happens in my house – so it’s odd to me that anyone would think the fact that I am married to another woman has ruined the marriage of a straight couple we don’t even know.

      Are they really saying they can;t enjoy being married, knowing that gay people can get married too? Doesn’t say much for their commitment, and I don’t care to be blamed because they are too immature to get married.

      Adults should be able to enjoy for it’s own sake, and not on the condition that others are denied.

      But then, that does seem to be the main benefit of heaven – is that others are in hell.

  2. I was thinking about this blog since I wrote it this morning and I realized that it’s making me sad – the US was founded on such a great ideal – indivudals matter and are equal under the law – and ever since then, have been fighting over whether that really means everyone or not.

    The law and the ideal is clear – each person is equal under the law no matter what makes them different from each other – such a bold and exciting social experiment – and what’s causing it to falter is people who would rather cling to traditional roles and social structures – but tradition is not what America was founded to re-create.

    What is preventing the true rise of the American society is religion – religion is holding back sprogress on all fronts – the reason that the Romans were able to built such a vast empire is that they kept a pantheon of gods to built cultural ties to the peoples they conquered and assimilated – they didn’t get hung up on names and ways to worship – and what largely brought an end to Roman glory was this idea of one god who had to be worshiped in one way – Christianity was anti-sex, anti-freedom and anti-progress – it’s why the dark ages happened and why they were dark ages.

    It was a collective massive depression and self esteem bashing that humans weren’t ever going to be good enough – what took us out of those dark times – the renaissance – when art and literature and early science brought light and enlightenment – which celebrated human achieves and lifted us collectively out from under the heel of god’s foot on our necks.

    America is backsliding – and secular Europe is threatened by religious immigrants.

    Let there be right and light – if humans are to matter, then we have to individually matter and we have to individually and collectively have self esteem – and religion not only prevents good self esteem – it in fact is the embodiment and cause of a lot of bad self esteem.

    The only reason that anyone would want a god is to fix what they’ve messed up and to sooth us in our fear of death, to make it better – but until we can put away the childhood comforts – and god is on the same trajectory as the tooth fairy and Santa – we can’t be fully mature societies.

    When we look over the civilizations that have lasting power – it’s China all the way – they never got into the mono-god and actually are godless for thousands of years – they belief in wisdom and forces – which recognizing and being conscious of allows you to live with the forces and with an effort of will, work with the forces of nature.

    Every other civiliation has risen and fallen and dispersed, never to rise again – but China and other asian countries, continue on with mere regime changes over a continuous and distinct societies that have not disbursed culturally, who have not disappeared.

    But then, in these nations, the individuals also don’t matter – it’s the group identity that does. With China suddenly having a middle class – and the internet almost breaking their cultural wall of isolation – they are getting into the clash of the individual vs the group – who’s valuable and who’s not.

    Now, much of what they belief is a lot of mysticism, but it’s closer to existential truth than abrahamic religions are – religions with specific gods seem little more than excuses for bad behaviour – hey, if Zeus can get it on with all and sundry, what’s a little rape of a virgin Mary?

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