Old Man Yells at Cloud
I find myself taking a critiquing angle that is more often than not my view of the world as me v.s. the world. Somehow when I have an opinion about something it becomes me separate from them, which I think we all do most of the time. When listening to a cult or true crime podcast we get to see an absurd version of ourselves, so absurd its easy to draw a dark line between the two. We often forget we are the same species, may have had similar backgrounds. Life is often exhausting and it feels so good to just let go and give yourself wholly to something greater than yourself. Before I go off course I guess I should reel myself in a bit. What I am trying to say is that after the initial ‘HOW DO THEY NOT SEE’! reaction I have to many situations, I try to incorporate what I’ve learned from life and am learning as a budding sociologist, that my values and standards are my own and I must truly breakdown what it is I am upset about. Do I think what is being spread, shown or spoken of is hurtful to the masses or am I just angry at my own reflection mixed with the uncontrollable defaults of life.
Lately, I have been on this obsessive thought cycle about the weightedness and meaninglessness of race. It means both so much and sadly should mean very little especially under the sociological lens of ‘whiteness’ which argues that ethnic whites coming in over to the states in the early 20th century were discriminated against until they fully assimilated and became fully socially accepted as the equals and by embracing the capitalist framework (which is inherently racist I’d say) became an accepted part of the dominant ruling class in the United States. I saw a meme shared about irish and italian folks claiming to have been discriminated against as sometype of excusatory statement about ‘racism towards whites’. the problem with memes of these types of issues is that they are reductive and divisive in a non-helpful manner. The belief is that whoever shares this is socially aware and has stake in there oppression and dont want whiteness co-opting, people find a lot of identity in their histories of oppression, its hard not to. memes like this only give people a bite of a very nuanced issue and they consider it swallowed whole. I dont believe real histories should be reduced to meaningless, but it could be discussed further. How did there discrimination cease and what role did capitalism play in that? This is where I get very meaninglessly upset, because I cant really tell if I am mad or not. These things bring up questions in me that I wonder if others think of and if they dont I wonder what passive quasi political memes help if at all? They reduce large issues to tiny palpable sattire, which changes the focus of enemies in my opinion. When you think racism you think dumb, ignorant white man or woman yelling trigger words, but in actuality racism is calculated and smart and systemic. Reducing racist issues to the individuals or in meme form really takes us off track I think. Sharing these things feel like action, but it is mostly the opposite.
This is a very incomplete thought, but it’s something I would like to inspect more of. I am not of the narrow minded thinking and love to learn and this could very likely change the more I read on the subject. I see trends in the way some people signal their identity and it seems to be largely ego based and to be creating a kind of currency out of real or unreal marginalization. This is maybe an effect of social media, who knows social media is still so very new and so very reactive and troubling. Identity Politics is something very interesting to me more and more, I have adhered strongly to Identity Politics in the past and found it comforting at times to firstly use my identity before actual politics making me feel less powerless, which was something I noticed to be problematic. I want to have more deeper conversations about this, because I have in the past and even now been without a lot of critical understanding of class or capitalism, besides real life implications of these things, but have paid lip service to struggles against gender and racial inequalities and violence, that I know closely. I dont want my identity politics to be like some meme dealer or politician looking to brand themselves as a progressive alternative. We are all in this burning house.
I am Mixed Black, Mexican and even partly White white. This is an unavoidable thing, but I dont want my starting point to be based in oppressions not always viscerally faced by me, but of others with similar identities. In a world where now black and brown folks are making laws to oppress other black and brown folks, arresting black and brown folks, imprisoning black and brown folks it would be smart of us to critically look at what incentivizes this behavior, because you can no longer claim just simple racial solidarity. A hot take about white folks is something I understand, but also there is more to it.