We have reached the point in the American saga when we are finally having the long overdue conversation about race and white privilege in the United States. There is a documentary written and directed by a man named Raoul Peck, a Haitian immigrant. The program is titled, Exterminate All The Brutes and is now being aired on HBO and HBO/MAX. The documentary is a four part series of one-hour programs documenting the history of slavery and racism and their place in modern world history. Like so much of the information out there on the subject, the people who really need to watch it will probably never see it. Never the less, if you really want to understand the psychology and motivation behind what is happening in our country today with its battle between democracy and white supremacy, I highly recommend this program.
The documentary points out that what we refer to as racism in the United States is really a made up concept to support a cast system created for purpose of controlling all of the world’s resources and to support a world economy built on the slave labor of all people of color to one degree or another. Biogenetically speaking, there is only one race, the human race. But six centuries ago, Europeans created what can be described as a hierarchy of human existence to justify the brutalization and destruction of all who were not members of their tribe. The white man was considered to be the apex of human existence, followed by the white woman, white Slovenians, Orientals and the Africans. To support the idea, and to justify the systematic extermination of all lesser quality human beings, an entire science (known as eugenics) was created to justify what later came to be known as genocide.
The way this plays out in every day American life is that if you’re white you have unfettered access to all the country has to offer and you are not subject to discrimination of any kind or subject to summary execution in the street or in your home by law enforcement or systematic abuse by the criminal justice system. The degree to which you are subjected to all the burdens and abuses of the system (that are not inflicted on white men) depends on where you fall in the hierarchy. If you are not white, no amount of wealth or accomplishment can protect you from the systematic abuse of the cast system. You can be a wealthy industrialist, world famous entertainer, professional athlete or politician, but all you have can be taken away in a heartbeat or with the stroke of a pen if you’re not a white man.
With that in mind, let’s consider what the end point would be if the fascist, white supremacist side of America succeeds in their objective to preserve white privilege in the United States. To really appreciate implications of a future in which Republican leadership continues to set the political agenda for America, you have to consider what it has given us so far. As I have stated in previous posts, Republicans have been the dominant force in American politics for the past fifty years. So far, they have provided us with possibly a permanently ruined economy, an increasingly toxic ecological environment where our soil is depleted of its nutrients and the air we breath and water we drink are increasingly poisonous, a healthcare system that is unaffordable and inefficient and unable to organize an adequate defense against a pandemic that so far has killed over a half million Americans, poor quality nutrition of empty calories due to the allowance of the food industry addict the population to sugar, salt and wheat products rendering over half the population substantially obese and an infrastructure that is literally crumbling under our feet. Ironically, with the possible exception of environmental issues, Democrats are blamed by Republicans for most of those problems, even though the few Democrats who managed to occupy the White House since 1980 have all catered to Republicans and pandered for Republican votes. This was so much the case that Bill Clinton actually out Republicaned the Republicans.
It is safe to say that if Republicans continue to set the agenda, ten years from today, you can expect the most expensive commodity in America to be clean water, with bottled water selling for ten or more dollars per 8oz bottle, an economy that will to a large degree to be an underground market, consisting of as many bitcoin transactions as traditional currency transactions and where fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables will be unaffordable to most Americans. Not to mention that, if climatologists, environmentalists and ecologists are right, as much as a quarter of our population will be asthmatics and/or emphysema sufferers.
Those will be just the practical and environmental aspects of where Republicanism is leading us. The social and lifestyle consequences will be an Orwellian nightmare. We will no longer be a free society. Dissent or protest against the government will be a federal crime punishable by imprisonment. News commentary critical of the government will be considered treason punishable by seizure of property, imprisonment and possibly execution.
If all this seems farfetched, just look at what state legislatures are doing today in places like Florida and Georgia with laws giving public permission to shoot protesters on their property and permission to run demonstrators over if they block traffic (Tiananmen Square anyone?) or making it a crime to give old people waiting in line to vote water. These laws are popular with Republicans now because they are perceived as favoring white privilege and preventing people of color, especially black people, from sharing political power. What they don’t understand is that those same laws will be applied to them once the autocrats come to full power. If they succeed, it will eventually be white people abused by those powers, for that is the natural way of fascism. It’s basic premise is survival of the fittest and might is right. It sees the fact that it has gained power as evidence that they are right in their beliefs and privileged to brutally protect their power by any mean necessary, including the extermination of any “lesser” human beings. Understand that fascists consider any opposition to their agenda as fostered by inferior individuals whether black or white.
I’ve sited the parable of the horse and the stag in several previous posts, but to drive home the point of my current discussion, it bares mentioning again:
In ancient times, the horse and the stag were mortal enemies. One day in frustration, the horse went to the man for help.
“I beseech you”, said the horse. “Please help me vanquish the stag”.
“I’ll help you”, said the man. “But first, you must let me put a saddle on your back so I can ride you comfortably. Then you must let me put a bridle in your mouth so I can guide your movement”.
The horse agreed and in no time the stag was vanquished. “Oh thank you!” said the horse. “Now will you please remove this uncomfortable saddle from my back and this dreadful bridle from my mouth”.
“No”, said the man. “You may need me again sometime so let’s keep things just as they are”. The horse has been enslaved by the man ever since.
That parable is particularly pertinent given today’s politics, where voting districts have been gerrymandered to the extent of disenfranchising all who oppose the Republican fascist agenda. Given those circumstances, white Republicans have a greater responsibility to say no to the dictatorship the leaders of their party seek and help vote out of office all of the members of their own party if they wish to hold on to democracy and their freedom. Should they fail to do that, history will show that they were the harbingers of their own demise.