We Cannot Afford Apathy that Makes us Silent Partners in Systems of Oppression
We have reasons to be grateful the internet exists with diverse sources for news and perspectives. Otherwise, more people from different backgrounds would likely become homicidal or suicidal due to being violated, exploited and manipulated by abusers. Given the messages America sends to the world to suggest that only privileged white males matter, ideologies of white supremacy and patriarchy have normalized a lack of accountability among those in power, to the detriment of our nation. The costs of being silent partners in this system of oppression — as we continually observe some people getting away with mayhem and murder in various manifestations — are increasingly high. As Brenda Blackwelder wrote: “The partisan divide is deep and wide. The gender divide is deep and wide. The moral divide is deep and wide.” As India Elaine Holland-Garnett wrote: “All oppression is connected. Now, we should see more clearly that racism and sexism are conjoined twins. Now, are we totally awake?”
If it was not clear before, it should be now: Those who abuse positions of power should not receive unwarranted credibility. They will never demonstrate enough empathy to compromise for mutual benefit. They have no interest in supporting the best interests of others. They feel entitled to say and do whatever they want, regardless of the extensive impact. It serves their selfish interests to cling to power and control by extreme measures. Their perspectives making them center of the universe attempt to render the rest of humanity invisible and illegitimate. Those who have been silent partners in oppressive systems need to help break the vicious cycles of corruption, lies and pretensions promoted to keep a relatively small segment of people in control of everyone else. It’s the only way diverse human beings (including decent white men) will be able to thrive enough, rather than feel as if life amounts to a prison sentence of literal hell on earth.
Those seeking to maintain a human hierarchy to define the presumed worth of people based on race and gender, do not deserve admiration. They peddle nonsense and do not merit emulation. Their lack of ethical foundations in major leadership roles create misery, socioeconomic instability and environmental erosion. Their greed and lack of integrity are beyond harmful and shameful. Their approaches are condescending and offensive to sane, humane, caring and thinking people who prefer life-affirming options for co-existence. These words from Margo L Kellar hone in on the core issues now unfolding: “When lying has become an unconscious, habituated way of life, so ingrained as normal, sooner or later this facade of dishonest soul sickness will end in either a harsh crash to the bottom of what feels like hell on earth, a really long prison sentence or an early grave all due to the inability to grasp and tell the truth, to oneself primarily but also to those on the perimeter. Denial, self loathing, self righteous indignation, violent anger, self pitying justification and rationalization of ones actions are par for the course.”
In response to witnessing Donald Trump at recent press conferences, many people on social media have shared how seriously drained they become from exposure to the routine lying and lack of logic Trump is known for. He specializes in gaslighting, which prompted one woman to refer to him as “the nation’s narcissist-in-chief.” Public hearings involving Brett Kavanaugh’s dealings with several women whose sexual assault allegations might derail his nomination for the Supreme Court, have been triggering for many people whose own traumatic life experiences echo the dismissal and hostility encountered by victims of various kinds of abuse. As Kellar wrote: “The patriarchy is being uprooted, we are seeing behind the deceitful veil a groomed golden boy of the Koch bros, now turned poster child of rape culture. Privilege comes full circle as the dark side is force-fed humble pie.”
We need to interpret events surrounding those in elected leadership and other authoritative roles based on their patterns of behaviors. Viewing their decisions as isolated incidents, prevents us from seeing the big picture enough to connect dots. We need to be discerning in order to reject oppressive people and conditions. We can create new messages for the empowerment of diverse humanity by dislodging rather than reinforcing the propaganda of supremacy ideology that requires unquestioning compliance. Words matter to shape beliefs. Perceptions can help change the narratives we accept and take for granted about the place of people and who is deemed most competent and capable of leadership.
Anything or anyone that fails to take into account the real needs of all citizens, should be viewed as suspect. The world will begin to feel less chaotic as we reflect more deeply and integrate important truths to help dismantle hierarchy. Our own internal and external liberation will continually emerge by taking responsibility for our own role to not remain silent partners in oppressive systems. It will be up to us individually and collectively to help create a new culture with systems of accountability applied to all, regardless of race, gender or economic class. It will open new possibilities for preventing pathological and predatory people from abusing and using us in ways that deplete life energy by promoting hate and fear to keep people of goodwill angry and sad, divided and conquered.