Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fixing the World Starts with Fixing Ourselves: Learning to Appreciate Our Humanities as Step to Peace


I wrote the following while having an e-mail conversation with a friend about the US bombing of the Doctors Without Border hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. At this point, the conversation had gotten into whether the US should intervene or not in other countries. I got into the nuance that intervention is a broad term that can also refer to providing aid to civilians. My expansion into how arguing anti-intervention can back you into a corner if you're pro-aid for "non-aligned" citizens yielded the following:

One issue with providing aid to people of a country with a dictator but doing nothing about the dictator, you're somewhat enabling the dictator. But if there's sanctions, then we're really not doing anything because then either other countries can come in to help (see Russia and Syria) or the dictator of the country can become isolationist & use the US as the icon of evil (see North Korea).

It's difficult.

But I think like any kind of social change, it starts with ourselves. The other night on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (around 17:12), Eddie Huang said that one of the steps to a lot of unrest in the Middle East, we should just provide freedom of mobility. He even made a joke about giving them Clear Water, FL.

That's an OK start, but do you know what? This country of ours is pretty prejudiced, racist, against Muslims, etc., anything that doesn't fit the norm of "white culture." Heck, our ageism against younger people is also causing radicalization of our own citizens born and bred here.

Look at all the school/work shootings in our country, people defecting to ISIS and shit like that. We have to work on ourselves and be more accepting to ALL people unless there is fact-based evidence against an individual of a crime they have performed.

One of the panelists on that Nightly Show panel made a great joke that the US shouldn't export their policing because we can't even police well in our country. See black or brown skin, SHOOT! Or, at least harass.

But even if people are subtle with their racism, it makes other people feel less human & more angry. Same thing probably happens with those school/work mass shootings. Other people treat them like shit, they feel less human & more angry, they want to be acknowledged. How do they do that when no one will respect them normally?

Look at the latest public back and forth feud between Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj. Miley is basically telling Nicki that she shouldn't be listened to because she's so brash and disrespectful. Well, Nicki's being brash and disrespectful because um, white people will shut her up otherwise. It's either be loud or be invisible. The politics of respectability is BS because it's used to silence.

But we're definitely stuck in a difficult place. Where's that line of where it's OK to act out because your being silenced & being violent for self-(respect) defense? Is having your humanity picked away by micro aggressions just a slow murdering of someone?

I think the solution will start with people who have privilege and power examining themselves, their beliefs, their meta-psychology, their meta-ethics, history, human nature and shit, see how we make our enemies in our propping up our narcissism and our own lack of self worth & self esteem. Then we need to support each other by helping each other examine ourselves and see our own problems.

And that's probably one sticking point of my college project. This has been the primordial base of my hypothesis/issue. But our world is just a horrible example of getting this kind of positive intersubjectivity working well. And it's not because it's against nature, but because it's hard to maintain. Humans have fragile souls, but we need to learn how to treat them with care as a form of prevention.

The follow up question is definitely how to return someone to humanity after they've fallen off the cliff, even the asshole racists, sexists, homophobes and other people who project their fears and angers onto others?

Anybody have any suggestions or perspective for promoting this type of approach to add?