By: Mimi Gonzalez-Barillas Diversity Communications Specialist, OID
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” -Malcolm X
Facebook gave everyone their own page and became the world’s largest nation of over 2.2 billion users who visit at least once a month. It’s now become a de facto source of mis-information, Ad hominem arguments, and conspiracy elevated to gospel.
When I asked my brother if he understood the source of the things he reposts, how dangerous it is and how it erodes the idea of discourse, let alone dialogue, he joked “it’s only social media.” He doesn’t understand algorithms, the dollars that are data and the weaponizing of that data (see the Netflix documentaries Hacked and Social Dilemma ).
His sense of offense and outrage are easily pricked by messaging that threatens his employment and sense of security. His hard-wrought and comfortable lifestyle is jeopardized and could be stolen by migrants, affirmative action, and the boogey man of communism now wearing a feminizing and dismissive dress called socialism.
“Well white males are scared because we don’t want to be the ones shat upon; Black Lives Matter means the ones who’ve been shat upon, have had enough and want it to end.” This quote came from a super liberal, former hippie, not ready to retire, long-haired lawyer.
Here’s a progressive man, the opposite of my brother, sharing with me the real truth: that white men are afraid of karma. And they put themselves in the position of Black men subjected to systemic racism and can’t imagine any other way through this mess than revenge fantasies of social Darwinism.
We are failing at overcoming our differences and instead succeeding at pathologizing them, further feeding the disease of racism that afflicts everyone on U.S., and global soil.
Here’s what we’re missing that I’ve only witnessed Black Folks achieve through their “last shall be first” spiritual understanding: the vision of what all lives could be. Make anger and fear the last resort, love the first.
Men like my brother, and even the progressive lawyer cannot conceptualize a world where equality means sharing, means more for everyone, means enough for all. Any sense of balance gets weighed against the white guilt of hate politics and fear of retribution for the oppression foisted on our black brothers and sisters.
The karma they fear is living with what Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” illustrated so clearly: we are not punished for our sins; we are punished by them.