One thing that is lacking in our culture is a sense of self-responsibility. There is an inkling of truth to this even if the Right-wing propagates such in order to further their neoliberal economic agenda which hurts labor, not capital.
There are a majority whom are responsible for their overall actions and well-being but any opportunity for advancement in whichever avenue they pursue is usually stifled by a lack of opportunity. This leads to a glut of dependence on the system to provide for them. An ever-growing bottleneck ensues, disenfranchising the many from active participation in our so-called Land of Opportunity.
Meanwhile, there are a minority of individuals whom know nothing of self-responsibility. Their clueless dependency on others, especially the government at each level, only intensifies their personal lack of self-responsibility to the point where these few harm the very system which was set up to help those who can’t help themselves or those who want to help themselves but need a boost to clear a hurdle or two until they are fully out of reach of government dependency.
There is nothing like walking into a ballpark, standing on the concourse and observing the beauty which is America’s national pastime. Baseball for me, like many others, represents the alpha and omega of the changing seasons. It is something I’ve been enamored with since I was a kid swinging my wiffleball bat, trying my hardest to emulate Ken Griffey Jr. and Jeff Bagwell.
But I was a kid.
Quite often you will find me discussing Christianity in the United States. Aside from individuals like Shane Claiborne, Trip Lee and Dr. Cornel West, we are often confronted with faux Christians promoting a theology that is counter to what Christianity actually is. And don’t take that from me, pick up the New Testament and read for yourself.
The contradictory individuals within America’s Christian populace leverage themselves against the profound pursuit of justice advocated for in the Gospels. But first let me define who I am targeting in this piece.
While catching up on chores around the house, it was time for me to catch up on Dan Carlin’s Common Sense podcast. By catch up, I mean I have been way behind as the episode I listened to was posted on February 20th — 17 days ago. But that’s beside the point.
Carlin’s Show 288 was titled ‘Re-heating the Cold War.’ While he thoroughly and independently analyzed and critiqued current events in Ukraine and so on, one thing that perked my ears was how people were tossing questions at him via Twitter about whether or not we are inching towards another Cold War with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The definition of racism is as follows: 1) poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race, 2) the belief that some races of people are better than others. I find these two descriptions to be the most thorough yet comprehensive.
Both definitions exemplify where we are as a country. Even the most casual of observations of how individuals interact in our society depict such. People aren’t stupid and racism is easily identified. It’s just a matter of whether or not the issue is brought to the forefront or whether or not racists believe they can get caught being just that — racist.
Jamie Conklin of Stanford University breaks down the simple science behind skin color — racism’s chief motivator — at The Tech:
When our skin gets UV rays from the sun, our bodies use the UV light to make vitamin D. But melanin in our skin acts like a filter, making it harder for people with more melanin (darker skin) to make vitamin D. This means that the more melanin you have, the more sunshine you need to make enough vitamin D…
So the skin color you have might be a result of how much sun your ancestors got!
Fairly simple, right? Something out of each and every human beings control — melanin — is responsible for how we treat certain people who may or may not look like us. Never mind that the overall genetic structure of our bodies is in equilibrium, providing the classification of us as one species, regardless of the amount of melanin within one’s body.
So why do people use race as a means to dehumanize another individual?
Duncan C/Flikr/The Atlantic
Crawling out of hibernation and actually attempting to discuss the social and political environment of not just the United States, but the world in general, is something of a challenge nowadays. Not only does the average person want to deliberate headlines ripped from the mainstream media but more times than not, the same average person only weighs the talking points provided by the mainstream media.
In other words, average people are seemingly programmed to discuss what they are told (or read) by the mass media without any second level thought. This is a complication that typically reminds me of what Winston Churchill once said:
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Without the ability to think for one’s self, the dichotomy of our public sphere will only continue to erode. The mere notion that more times than not social and political discussions among the average person are regurgitated from television outlets, Drudge Report or the Huffington Post, is disconcerting to say the least.