Freedom & The Perils of Being Black or a Person of Color (in the USA)

For the Past 10,000 years or so, The World at Large has never really been Free. There has always been a ruler claiming authority from the gods or claiming divinity themselves. This divine power then gave them the authority to subjugate and enslave the populace. To do what they will to ‘their’ people.

Great Philosophers throughout the ages write of Freedom, Liberty, Pursuits of Happiness. These Writings which have made it into various Constitutions and are the very fundamentals of Democracy in much of the ‘First’ World …are but pipe dreams. These Pipe Dreams look good on paper, but are rarely fully allowed.

The United States in its infancy proclaimed Freedom and Liberty for its ‘We The People’ while they embraced Slavery, Indentured Servitude, and Hazardous Working Conditions & Racism for the Chinese building the railroads.

They proclaimed ‘All Men are Created Equal’ while they Bullied & performed Acts of Genocide to The Indigenous Peoples that lived on and worked the land – thousands of years before any White Man decided to occupy, lie to & exploit, rape & pillage, torture, displace, remove and/or kill these First Nation Peoples of the Americas.

One would think that as our Species evolves, we should be moving away from how other animals on the planet live. Our Species has developed technologies that can improve the lives of everyone on our Planet without destroying it. Yet, we stick to outdated modes of energy and outdated ideas about labor because we’ve ‘always done it this way’.

Our treatment of Fellow Humans has not changed and is not much different from other Species of Animals. Species that we sometimes watch with horror as when a Lion chases down and tears apart a Gazelle.  People living in the United States still live in a hierarchy where the One Percent treat the other 99% – particularly if you are a Person of ‘Color’ – as Peasants, Subjects, Slaves….  and Gazelles.

In regard to shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers in recent months – these atrocities have been happening for a very long time – long before we heard about it in the popular media –  but has in the past year or so been making headlines as the power of the internet & cell phones with cameras make it easier for The People to film and connect.

It really makes one wonder how this could still be happening. How ignorance, racism, stereotyping and bigotry persist.

The now dated US ideal was – once upon a time – that of a melting pot; a metaphor from the 1780s for a heterogeneous society (i.e. an all white society with Indigenous & African Slaves kicked to the peripheral) becoming more homogeneous. By the early 1900s with more and more immigrants coming from Europe and other parts of the world, the hope was that these different elements or people and their cultures would be melting together into a harmonious whole becoming one culture… the US of A culture.

That of course has not happened.

Perhaps we can blame religion; rich vs poor; white vs everyone who is not white; greed; cemented & hard to give up traditions; and whatever else is lurking in the dark recesses of our sub-conscious.

Fact is, it’s taking a couple of centuries to get where we are now. Change has been slow and painful.

*Women & Those of Color & Those Who Don’t Own Land can vote now.

*We can all drink out of the same water fountain.

*We can sit where we want to on the bus.

*We can share the public toilets.

We rejoice over small steps as politicians smile smugly at the cameras thinking of their legacy… their legacy being a small bone tossed to the tail-wagging masses to celebrate. The legacy – and fallacy – of granting ‘freedoms’ of what should should have been a right in the first place.

Rights continue to be fought for as in a few states one can now get married to whomever they choose and smoke a joint after work without fear of a SWAT team decimating the front door, killing their dog and shooting at their family members (though this can still happen in other states… and does).

Still, the US as a nation regrettably still has a long way to go as the rich are catered to and everyone else can F$%^ right off.

We are told that it is better in the US than other parts of the world, so we should be content with what we got.

Granted. We’d rather live in the US than other dangerous countries. Of course. But most of these other countries are not claiming to be a The Land of The Free, are they?

How exactly is Amerika The Land of The Free when the US Government imposes ridiculous laws or prevents people from truly living free?

Discrimination, Racism, Bigotry and Modern Day Slavery are still rampant in this Land of The Free:

If you’re a brown skinned person in the US, you are being discriminated against for one reason or another whether it’s in the Media, with the Police… and always by the Ignorant (We’re looking at you white skinned protestant Christians residing mostly in the South. We’re looking at you Top One Percent).

If you’re Native American, you’re discriminated against. You’ve been shuffled to Reservations as soon as the White Man broke the Treaties they intended on breaking anyway. More often than not you live a life of extreme poverty often accompanied by alcoholism. Indeed, there are those First Nations that have opened casinos and thrive, but for the majority it is still a day to day struggle.

If you’re Asian, you’re discriminated against. The Chinese had one hell of a time in Amerika in the 1800s building the railroads in slave like conditions. Wars the US had with Vietnam, Korea and Japan have perpetuated stereotypes, bigotry and racism towards ‘Oriental’ looking people.

If you’re African American, or confused as one (Caribbean, Jamaican, Haitian) you’re discriminated against… and have been since the first slaves arrived, when slavery ended in 1865, and right up til present day. The Media perpetuates stereotypes and deepens the ever widening crevice dividing the People.

If you’re Hispanic, you’re discriminated against often as a ‘border jumper’ (even though you might come – legally – from Puerto Rico). One must wonder why United Statesians worry so much about the ‘Wet-back’ border jumpers coming from the South and not so much about the ‘Ice-back’ border jumpers coming from the North.

If you’re of Middle Eastern descent, you’re discriminated against. You are often viewed as a Terrorist and treated with suspicion even though you might be from India or born in the US. The Media also perpetuates these stereotypes with fervor. People living in the States often forget that Terrorists come from everywhere and are of every color.

If you come from a country with mostly brown people, watch the fuck out, because Amerika will bomb you eventually (look at the track record).

If you were a white indentured servant (Irish for example) you were discriminated against (though the Irish could lose the accent and change the spelling of their last name to blend in… a bit more difficult when you’re a person of ‘color’ though)

Fact is, the Rich, White, Alpha-Male, Men that run Corporate Amerika don’t give a fuck about anyone. If you punch a clock and put up with all the BS of living and working in Amerika at low wages and no job security, barely making enough to pay for necessities, and no health care – you’re a modern day slave. Hell, even Slave Owners from the 1800s made sure their investments (their slaves) were healthy and taken care of… not so much now, eh?

Corporate Amerika does not buy slaves from Afrika anymore, but Slavery is still rampant in the US and in the form of Sweat Shops.

Do you wear Nike Shoes? Converse? Reebok? Where were your clothes made? Made in China? Indonesia? Vietnam? Then you – no matter what your color is – support Modern Day Slavery.

Sometimes the Irony just smothers me.

We the (Free-Thinking!) People, we Earthlings, we Brothers & Sisters of the World must put aside the ‘us vs them’ mentality when dealing with each other and focus on the real Enemy… those in Power that make it difficult for ‘us’ – the We The People of The World – regardless of color, creed, religion – to freely carve out a life where we are happy with our work; happy with our Communities; where we can move about freely; not have to worry about government/corporate interference in the form of Ridiculous Laws, Unfair Taxes & Red Tape that stretch from Sea to Shining Sea; and that age old endeavor: to Pursue Happiness.

Sadly, The United States of Amerika is not the Land of The Free anymore, I’m not sure it ever was.

The Fallacy Bubble is popping.
The Pipe Dream is smoldering.
The Streets are not paved with Gold. In fact, they’re not paved at all.
The Pursuit of Happiness is really a Pursuit of Consumerism.

People are realizing that The American Dream is not a dream, but a Frightmare in which the only way out, perhaps, is to Wake Up and Get the Hell Out of There.

What does it mean to be Free then?

*Doesn’t being Free mean not having to worry about being harassed, looked at suspiciously or lecherously because of gender, race or religion?
*Doesn’t being Free mean having food on the table, affordable health care and clean air to breathe?
*Doesn’t being Free mean having control over your own body, having a smoke or a drink now and again, being able to be unhampered in your pursuit of Happiness?
*Doesn’t being Free mean being able to do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt others?

Because if what I wrote above defines the real meaning of Freedom, then the US and much of the rest of the world – has a long way to go.

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Published in: on December 28, 2014 at 3:24 PM  Comments (1)  
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