Wow! This video was created in the 40's to help steer people clear of fascism. It's like they are speaking directly to the climate of the world today.
How is it that so much time has gone by, with the illusion of change, but with no real change at all? How is it that we haven't made bigger leaps as americans, as people? What struck me the most is towards the end, when the guy on the right talks about how Hitler got a toe hold in Germany. First he says he thought "nazi's were crazy people... stupid fanatics." Sound familiar? <shudder> And then, even more chillingly he says: "They knew they were not strong enough to conquer a unified country. They split Germany into small groups. They used prejudice as a practical weapon to cripple the nation." This moment in the video made my heart jump. On the day after having my last post picked apart by well meaning people, also fighting for justice and trying to do what is right, this statement gives me pause. I know that in this video he is speaking directly about encouraging racial and other divides, but it makes me wonder. Is the bickering that seems to happens between people trying their hardest to be good allies and support the disenfranchised, causing us, the liberal left, to fall into the alt-right plan devised to divide and conquer? How much are we being subtly encouraged to split off into smaller and smaller groups, losing our unity little by little, until we no longer trust even the people fighting for the same thing we are? How much is the pointing of fingers at the slightest "wrong way" to talk about or speak up about the atrocities in our country having the opposite of the intended effect? Instead of waking each other up, are we driving wedges between formerly unified groups of like minded people? This scares me more than anything. That even those we consider allies can begin to think the one standing next to them is the enemy. To be crystal clear, I am NOT talking about the kind of calling out that NEEDS to happen to try and wake up the grossly misguided and ignorant people on the right. I'm talking about the nitpicking that can happen in the name of "being good white allies". While of course it IS important to listen to PoC and try to get it right, I can't help but notices that a lot of energy gets lost in these efforts in arguments amongst people who are on the same side. Is this wise? Will we fuck up and use the wrong words in our attempt to use our voices for good? Sure. Do we need to keep educating ourselves about racial etiquette and be open minded to learn and change and grow? Of course! My feeling though, is things are heating up. It feels like we are going into battle, and instead of keeping our eyes on the fight ahead we are berating our fellow warriors for not holding their swords just *so*.
In an effort to stay unified, here is what I am trying on. I am going to try my hardest to look at the motivations and intentions of people who hold the same ideals I do as the most important thing. As white people, I think we are quite new to awareness, transparency and openness in regards to the wide spread systemic racism in our country. Among many other required reading, watching "I am not your negro" really woke me up to the bubble I grew up in. My neighbors were black and I considered the little girl of the family my best friend for a while. I thought racism was something of the past. I truly did. I grew up in public schools in LA where I was often only one of two white girls in the entire school. My experience was we were more than fully integrated. I see the lie of that now, but this is fresh and new in the full scale of my life. As we try on new language to talk about this issue, can we give each other a break? Can we be aware of who our team members are? Can we remember what we are fighting for? Can we not unwittingly fall into the hands of a White nationalist regime who would just LOVE it if we got divided while stumbling be correct in a new, eyes-wide-open world. In case you are wondering, I am declaring here and now that I am on the side of equality for all people who wish to see a world of inclusion for ALL beings. I am a stand for a world view that supports all cultures, humanitarian and eco-minded world views and the harmony of all life. I am going to do my best to honor the TRYING I see in people around me, and myself, rather than the perfection of language or approach. I am going to do my best to be patient with myself and others as we attempt to heal the traumas of the past and prevent them in the future. I am going to do my best not to get defensive or judge others that lose their cool with me. I am going to do my best to take one moment at a time and RECOGNIZE who is on my team, knowing there are far more of us, then there are of those that seek to continue marginalizing, victimizing and subjugating and doing violence against others.
This is not just a racial issue, though that is clearly the root and original sin of this country, this is an AMERICAN issue. I want a world where we can all move freely about the cabin and diversity is celebrated. I am willing to stand up for that world. Who stands with me?
We are, well and truly, all in this together~ Anah