A Gathering Storm
Baxstage Pass: Episode 14 (edited)
Welcome again to the back stage of the greatest show ever made, our lives. I would like to begin this “Baxstage Pass” by thanking all of the men and women who have served. Today is Memorial Day and we must always remember those who paid and are paying for our freedom. Some may not agree with our government when our friends and family are and were sent into harm’s way. But without their sacrifice, what freedoms we have left would likely not exist. Those who protest, blog, post, turn their backs, spit in the faces and call out offensive lines to our soldiers with impunity could not do so had those men and women not followed orders.
Having said that, I want to talk about a feeling I had today. I was standing outside after hours of painting in the heat and I noticed that I could feel rain coming. I checked my nifty weather app and sure enough, rain was on the way. I wonder how many of you feel the same about another kind of storm that is inevitably headed your way, no matter where you live.
The United States, likely the world, is on the precipice of something. I am forever hopeful it will be greatness, but I feel a responsibility to open a discussion so that we may be educated in the event it is not. We citizens face real problems in our immediate future and have allowed many more problems to be created for our children. I believe it is our duty to hold our government and those in power accountable for their actions, preserving freedom for our future.
There has been a lot of coverage over the police violence taking place this year. I feel that the accessibility of technology has allowed us to hold those tasked to serve and protect accountable for their actions. Many officers welcome the idea of technology such as body cameras; others regard it as an impediment. I think that many people must understand that officers have do things that seem wrong to the average citizen due to the criminal element they face every day. Police officers are necessary because criminals exist. What some fail to realize is the fact that officers are human. Problems arise when criminals wear badges. Problems also arise when people make mistakes. Whether a person made a bad judgement call or they abuse their power, people tend to judge the group as a whole. The President signed the “Blue Alert” bill last week that will create a system similar to the Amber Alert that will send out an alert for a suspect who has injured or threatened an officer. While this can be beneficial, it comes close to trampling our rights in many ways and holds the potential for abuse.
I considered talking about some of the many problems that are happening such as violence in Ferguson or the death of Mr. Garner in New York for today’s broadcast. But I want to address an underlying issue that I see as the real danger, division. I can spout off statistics, believe me I have many here, about the race ratio of citizens and how that is portrayed in the media or I could discuss the way minorities are portrayed in Hollywood and how that affects the mentality of the average US citizen. These are real issues but what is at the heart of most all our problems is poverty and income inequality.
There is a narrative being pushed by the media as to how race is at the heart of our problems. Rutgers University Professor Brittney Cooper published an article on Salon.com titled, “White America’s scary delusion: Why its sense of black humanity is so skewed,” Cooper denounces the “ignorance and lack of empathy” of “white folks”. I doubt any of us would argue that racism exists and likely always will. The ramifications of discrimination will be felt for a long time. How can we begin to promote an age of equality when we refuse to highlight the majority who simply do not care what color you are? Why are there no stories of those who do not promote racism and push the narrative of peaceful coexistence? A wound cannot heal if you continually open the scab.
My point is that if we continue to divide ourselves along age old problems, we fail to see problems that are forming in our current time. The gap between the wealthy and the rest of us is growing more rapidly than ever before. I would argue that not since the French Revolution have we seen such a dramatic separation. How many people do you know who work all day and come home tired? They eat, spend a little time with the family and then go to bed so they can do it again tomorrow. So much of our lives are spent trying to provide an adequate life for ourselves and our families, we lack any real leisure time or time to research the sources of the stories we hear on the news. This is where the problems arise. Racism is a problem. But so is the theft of our money by those who believe themselves to be above our class level.
President Obama was, and is, in a unique position to help stop division and promote equality. Rather than dwell on those who discriminate, why has he not done more to highlight those of us who do not? Why is there not more accountability placed on those who exploit all citizens who are working class? These are the true criminals. Obama stated that, “America works when everyone feels as if they are being treated fairly.” I would argue that it actually works best when we ARE being treated fairly, not when we feel that way. Classism is a far bigger problem as poverty affects far more of us on average. We were robbed of our retirements and homes in 2008 and those that did the taking, were bailed out. Where was our bail out? Our government showed us that we matter far less than those who steal from us and our children. Were we “treated fairly” as our economy was allegedly protected but not one damn penny was given to any of those poor minorities or supposedly middle class who lost everything because of criminal banking practices. Why the hell weren’t other banks allowed to rise up and take the place of those corrupt swine?
Five global banks just proved that we have no power over the rich. Five banks pled guilty over interest rate rigging and foreign exchange manipulation which made them felons. All five banks were granted waivers from the SEC and have continued onto business as usual, minus around 5.6 billion dollars. Now you see why you are not the same as these groups of people. Had any one of us committed any of these same acts we would be behind bars with no question of our guilt.
I don’t want anyone to believe that racism and discrimination are not real problems in our world that must be combated. What I do want is for people to realize that division is what keeps our eyes on each other and not on those behind the curtain. There are plenty of declassified documents that show how governments have used false flag events to direct our rage towards whichever direction they see fit. While I cannot say what will happen in the future, I can point out issues that divide us and keep our attention away from core problems in our world. I felt the rain coming today and I feel a storm coming soon. We must keep the discussion alive and fight the idea that we can be so easily divided. As long as you will listen, we will save a seat for you here…in the Front Row.