You are shit.Humans, in general, are shit. We like to go for the easy answer, something that is readily digestible. A short clip or a small blurb go a long way. So much is coming at us from all directions whether it is from the media (that includes the news and regular shows) or social media, we don’t have the time to dive deep into a topic. We are easily distracted and quick to forget.
We think in the short term. We think everything is a zero sum game. We think about what immediately affects me. How is this going to help or hurt me?
So when a football player decides to take a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, you get mad because it hurts our sense of patriotism. When protesters block traffic, you get angry because you might be late. You can point to them and blame them. But you don’t realize your part in their hurt. You perpetuate a system of bias against them while denying such a system exists. At the very least, you ignore it.
When a family uses food stamps, you call them moochers. You call them lazy welfare queens. You do this because you think that money could be put to better use. It could be lining my pocket. I need help, too, but you don’t see me begging the government for help. If I can’t have it, then no one else should. So you vote in swindlers to take away the help people need and that money goes right back into my pocket. Except it doesn’t. You might get a few dollars, but the rich and wealthy get the bulk of it while the poor and needy get none. All because you are spiteful and jealous.
You are frightened of a terrorist attack. Radical Muslim Extremism, the adored magical words. You call it like you see it. You see someone with a weird name with the wrong skin color and immediately think that they are Muslim. Of course, they could be Sikh, Christian, Jewish, or any other religion, but for a lot of us, Muslim is a race. You try to ban them and you definitely bomb them. You shiver under the might of terrified children running from a deadly war. You look at your neighbors and accuse them of trying to bring Sharia law while trying to put God back into schools. You think they are going to attack us. Meanwhile, extreme right-wingers are responsible for most of the terrorist attacks since 9/11. Actually, they are rarely called terrorists. They aren’t terrorists, not to the majority, not to the ones in power. They attack minorities, but they are labeled lone wolves and mentally disturbed.
Like electricity, we take the path of least resistance. We do what comes easy. Instead of introspection, we distract ourselves with cute videos. Instead of fixing shit, we blame the Other. Or we can just do nothing and let things remain.
We fear change. It brings uncertainty. It is the Dark and the Chaos. It is the Unknown. We can’t progress because we’re too chickenshit to take a chance on equality. Let me tell you, the world isn’t going to end if women have control over their bodies. We won’t go extinct if we aren’t allowed to discriminate against the LGBTQ. We won’t regress into cavemen if transgender men and women can use their preferred bathrooms. The world isn’t going to collapse if this country had universal healthcare. The Apocalypse won’t come if Black lives mattered. Fear isn’t a valid reason to be against any of that.
The same brain that makes us take the easy path, the same one that makes us afraid of the unknown, is the same that created the internet, the atom bomb, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids, Rome, the International Space Station, the Lunar Lander, submarines, and every other human invention. That shit didn’t come easy and it didn’t happen because we were afraid of what’s out there. In fact, we’ve ventured out into the darkness—into the unknown—to grow.
Humanity is progression. Humanity is change. Humanity advances. We strive to go faster, to go higher, to go further than before. We build our successes on those who have come before us and the same will happen with our children.
Regression is an implosion. It’s a collapse of the human institution and I’m not about that life.
Goddamn that was cathartic.