White supremacy and white privilege, class inequity, class warfare, income inequality…what a time to be alive in the U.S.
From the countless cases of racial police misconduct and profiling to the many recent college campus protests across the nation (don’t get me started on how in the world an egomaniac like Donald Trump is successfully running for President while promoting racism and xenophobic rhetoric), it’s an incredibly hazardous time right now, but also a hopeful time to deal with these racial and economic issues that have been afflicting people for decades.
None of these issues are new though. The difference is that white people are being affected, for a change.
Americans are sick of dealing with an economy bloated with mass unemployment and low wages just so the rich can keep being rich while the middle class disappears. Here’s a gross little fact of the day: Did you know that the wealthiest 1/10th of one percent of Americans own the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90 percent of the population? It’s beyond belief that six people, those of the heirs to the Walmart fortune, have amassed the same fortune as the bottom 40 percent of Americans. That’s the wealth of 6 individuals being equivalent to 127 million people.
More outrageous is the fact when folks lament over the overall economic situation, they point the blame at Black people, Spanish people, and other minorities, and not the powerful elite corporations like Walmart that pay their workers so little they are thenforced to get SNAP benefits that we as taxpayers ultimately pay for. This is the world we live in, where implicit bias is becoming explicit. There are many ugly truths in this economy that have nothing to do with minorities, but everything to do with mega institutions that profit off those below.
In this state, what can one single person do in an era of faceless titan conglomerates and rampant racial inequalities? Let us take solace in the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny…Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.”
We unite and keep going, voicing our dissent at whatever latest peril is thrust upon us. We are already heard and it’s only a matter of time when the many overtake the privileged few. There will be a time when we can stop discussing these national problems plaguing our people, that of the mass inequality going on. There will be a time when a person of color, a woman of color, and a queer woman of color can have this conversation with the same amount of respect that I receive.