We all have been reading about the recent tragic events occurring across our apparent America, the beautiful. The media will spin all kinds of ideas to make us think that it’s an act of racism, homophobia, militarized policing, white hate, pervasive stereotypes, so we emotional react in a manner that gives them high polling numbers. The truth is on a superficial level this may be accurate, but there is a systemic issue at large not being addressed: Humanity is drifting away in divisive America. For the past few weeks since the Orlando massacre, I have tried to make sense of why we are all turning against each other for one reason or another. What would make a person act in such a violent manner toward another person? Is not the foundation of our country built on principles and values of humanity? It is my suspected belief that this a plot to keep people divided, in order to remain enslaved to capitalism.
You may think that I am a socialist fanatic, and perhaps there is truth in that, but you are foolish to discredit the possibility of capitalism leading to internalized hate that is projected/scapegoated toward others. In the media, newspapers, and academic journals, I see zero articles and books discussing this possibility and I ask the rhetorical why. Does it not seem commonsense when primary needs are unmet, people will react in negative and uncivilized ways, including taking the lives of others. We are not talking Herbert Spencer or Charles Darwin. I am talking about American capitalism, which is destroying us emotionally and psychologically.
There have been arguments made that socially accepted values among cultures are the root of the problem. True, but to leave out the source of sustainability―money―is ridiculous. Money is the root of the problems that have escalated and culminated in divided America. We have a culture of employment where there may be more jobs available, but they are menial and barely help to make ends meet. Why is that important? Because a lack of decent wages and fringe benefits thus leads to the inability to meet basic needs. When basic needs are not met, people will find other illegal activities to participate in to meet those needs, including black marketing, selling drugs, sex work, fraud, and the list goes on. Now, there is nothing wrong in trying to make money to survive, but there’s a problem with our capitalist system when people must turn to these when one job can’t cut it. And you guessed it, highly probable outcomes when participating in these activities are violence, crime, and death.
Aside from people using the black market or illicit means to make money, they tend to turn on each other. They will make statements, such as immigrants are taking their jobs, or why certain minority groups have special rights, or they despise a group of people for their ways. It is the easiest way to target people when you are struggling, especially when you have a family. Then we have a pattern of thinking occurring within a family (then the community, then the neighborhood, then the town, then the city, then...) of teaching hate, when that hate is attributed to an innocent group of people. Or, the other scenario is being part of a culture and environment where you conform and buy into the hate. These are social and psychological distortions that typically underlie financial problems.
I would be remiss to not give credence to the victims who are woefully susceptible to this unconsciously capitalist system: the minority groups. Nearly every tragic event has been toward minorities―innocent people who lack power and financial means to move from the margin to the center. They are constant targets and easily blamed and scapegoated by the many who refuse to analyze the larger contextual processes occurring which create these cultures of us versus them.
Should not our educational system interject by teaching these realities? If we were becoming a country devoted to humanity, then why are we not learning about eugenics, gays rights movement, disability rights movement, the literatures of the other, giving voice to histories ignored, Native American history. How could we ever learn the definitions of inclusion, diversity, equality, and justice, when our own educational system refuses to teach about the tortures and inhumanity of the past? Such irony when you hear President Obama talk about this being the safest place to live on Jimmy Fallon’s show on June 9, 2016, and days later, we have Orlando. Perhaps President Obama needs a re-education to what is happening on the ground.
Indeed, not all of the events are linked directly to my argument, but I contend there are structures and controls deeply entrenched that circle around economics and capitalism that eventually result in these violent acts against humanity. If we are going to be scared and not speak about the elephant in the room, then disastrous capitalism will overhaul humanity. In fact, since the 70s, American capitalism has bedeviled the working and middle class with stagnating wages, lack of jobs equal to our education and credentials, and the inability to support our basic living needs (food, transportation, housing).
How can humanity survive under these conditions? You tell me.