Sunday, August 24, 2014

A static, in country force

A static, in country force can have a variety of missions: reinforce, rebuild, protect, retrain...the moral quandaries arise when decisions are made whom and how exactly to retrain.

In the hazy, unprecedented, post-9/11 era, fear became our reigning philosophy. Fear still manages to override the collective of other emotional varietals all too frequently within the policy arena. Few things are as addicting and powerful. But fear had been the weapon of control for countries with far less sophisticated forms of governance than ours, or so we thought. The trend of instilling in a populace blind distrust and abject horror towards an entire other race had previously been the grounds upon which to stand our moral superiority argument (see also the Kurds, Ethnic Serbs, or the Hutu and Tse Tse clash).

We had never done this (in fact untrue) we celebrated our melting pot culture (though truly we didnt). Institutionalized racism and marginalization are hallmarks of this nation since it's earliest times as a republic. From slavery through suffrage, tenement houses to internment camps, to separate but not so equal, to the AIDS epidemic and LGBTQ rights to (the return of) union busting, and now the "War on terror". War in and of itself is a terror. And while we're at it, let's check in on how the "War on drugs" and the "War on poverty" are going.

By only one measure have these wars done phenomenally well and that is to compensate the already well compensated. Obviation of cultural groups is required for this to happen: noone can be at the top unless someone first is at the bottom. But in its current iteration, those at the bottom are consequentially blamed for all of society's ills (be they at fault or no.) Along the arc of human history, this has happened repeatedly, and to satisfy ourselves with the whimsical platitude that the very same arc shall inevitably trend towards justice is a likely fallacy.

Whenever an economically empowered class, weaponizes a militarily empowered class, and these become judge, jury, and executioner of the underclass without the due process of law, that is known as oppression. Ferguson happened. Eric Gardner happened. Kimani Gray happened. Sean Bell happened. Amadou Diallou happened. Rodney King happened. The pattern continues.

This is a watershed moment. We can maintain this culture of fear,  or we can exchange the current cohort of undesirables for people that look, feel, and speak like the fabric of America. We can perpetuate a system of rulership that is predicated on objectifying subjugation, or we can seek to design and implement new systems. But we cannot hope to obtain system-wide remedies from archetypes who refute the facts of system-wide dilemmas.

The issue remains that the system itself is purposefully designed for segregation, submission, and subservience. Democracy is not democracy if it is only democratic for the few. Consequentially, as has been asked many times in Congress, a careful review of our founding document - specifically the part where it clearly states that if our system of government fails, it should be dismantled and reconstructed - is plainly in order. The situation in Ferguson is a symptom of a lingering, untreated, much more nefarious societal sickness. One against which inoculation is no longer possible as it has become a defining characteristic of American society. Before this latest issue falls by the wayside like so many other acts of senseless violence, let us now awaken the sleeping dragon of intercultural might to lead us through to a truer societal evolution. Now is the time for us to envision, embody, and encarnate an entirely new Great Society.