We live in interesting times.
I often think that this is must have been like what it felt for our parents growing up in the 60s. Marches and riots and violence in the news all the time, but a sense that progress was finally being made.
Life was so much easier during the booming 90s. Of course, that’s not really true. Life was easier for us white folk, and we just didn’t know about what was going on elsewhere. The Rodney King riots were a glimpse into what life was like for others, but the rest of us really stopped paying attention until recently.
One of the reasons Hamilton is doing so well is that it isn’t really about the 18th century. It is about today. This musical number really encapsulates it.
Change comes slowly and then it comes all at once.
Change comes with violence. Or rather, that’s what we perceive. Those of us who are sheltered and privileged. The violence was always there. On the plantations. Against share-croppers. Burning crosses on lawns. Killing people in our cities. Lynching, rape, murder, beatings. Those of us who are outside don’t notice. We believed things were accidents and tragedies or isolated incidents or provoked by criminals. But that’s not what was going on. That’s not what is going on.
Like now, change happens when violence is made visible. Then violence escalates. Violence escalates because the people in power, the ones doing the terror attacks against minorities, the ones subjugating their wives, girlfriends, and daughters, are afraid. And they are afraid. And violence is their only real weapon.
Which isn’t actually true. Violence is not and has never been their only real weapon.
The Voting Rights Act was in response to their hold on local governments. They own state and local governments again. We MUST organize locally. We must pay attention to downstream races. We must run candidates even in red areas.
They’ve owned the media before, they own some of the media now. Fox News isn’t the first news organization to have a racist misogynist agenda. Not the first media organization to sway angry poor uneducated white men for their own causes. It makes sense for uneducated white losers to want to keep women and minorities down– if they don’t have them to scapegoat and feel superior to, then they’ll be at the bottom of whatever metaphor you can think of. It doesn’t make as much sense for the people who control these empires. Why are there evil rich people? Is it because they want more power than their horrible rich white associates? But isn’t it better to be a Philanthropist than a Bond Villain?
Revolution means progress. But revolutions are rarely easy. Those in power fight back to maintain the status quo.
It’s best when revolutions occur with the fewest lives lost. With the least blood spilt.
I think there’s a politician and bureaucrat who can help the revolution shed less blood while moving forward. But she can only do it if she gets support downstream. Senators. Representatives. State Government. VOTE. WRITE. Be angry. Protest. Support protestors. Become woke and stay it, even when the media moves on to the next story. We want a government for all people, not just some of the people.
And after this movement dies down, we’ll still have a long way to go. But let’s go as far as we can towards equality of opportunity, freedom, peace, and happiness as we can, so that maybe it won’t be as hard or dangerous next time around. And so people can live closer to their best lives while we wait for the next revolution to bring them closer still.