For the past two months, people in the United States have been inundated with political advertisements for elections on all levels. Whether through traditional or social media, the resounding message has been clear: “Vote because the lives of strangers depend on it.” “Vote because everything hangs in the balance.” “Vote because there is nothing else that can be done to prevent the worst nightmares from occurring.”
Now that the election dust has begun to settle, there has been massive disappointment, and those outside the elite have been fastidiously pointing fingers at each other and internalizing the blame, with very few people seeing anything to celebrate. With corruption and disdain for human life, those among the plebians are still charging each other for the violence they have seen against their persons. Even though people have seen the games being played and observed the lies firsthand, nothing strikes harder than the fact that so many in the United States love the abusive system with a fervent passion beyond all logic.
Local governments have demonstrated that Black and brown communities are there for the taking, and that Black and brown people should never be respected, under any circumstances. Historic preservation, artwork, and real investigations into the histories of locations all have been eschewed in favor of selling off Black and brown areas in worship of some vague economic argument. Education and homes remain segregated due to parental involvement that sees malice in everyone designated as “other,” and property rates have become so egregious that many alternatives have been thwarted before they can begin. Rallies and protests abound, but no one seems to hear anyone but the wealthy, condescending, and very often White voices when it comes to making critical votes. Regardless of the rising homelessness, local governments maintain many of the rules that keep people homeless, such as real estate speculation—which manipulates demand—and the occupancy ordinance, using scare tactics of “slumlords” and sounding much like other people who scare the populace with imaginary criminals among Black and brown populations. Meeting attendance and commentary have been demonstrated to be irrelevant.
The dysfunction only increases with the range of governance, because counties are responsible for elections. Voting locations have been closed all over the Southern states in Black and brown communities, with “Governor” Kemp of Georgia even having been in charge of his own election, while purging over 300,000 votes. Whenever there has been a strong push to require identification for voting, many of the offices that issue identification have been shuttered, compounded with the fact that those offices are only open when people are expected to be at work. Early voting was never a requirement for counties, leaving most of the populace forced to either vote or work, because service sector employers do not offer paid time off, with few exceptions. Also, counties have often been used to manipulate ordinances that apply in one county but not the other, such as firework and curfew requirements; infrastructure has been affected in some cases, reducing competition for rudimentary services like power and water.
States manage to enable real estate abuse while accepting none of the responsibilities. Many of the right-to-work states allow large employers who pay disparate wages to fire anyone who complains about labor violations or other harassment tactics, while offering little to no unemployment benefits, leading to the rise in homelessness. When private entities commit environmental atrocities, states allow fines and fees as restitution, meaning that private entities see fines that are supposedly punitive as part of the cost of doing business; no tangible restoration efforts are ever made—or if they are, those efforts are held up in courts on all levels for decades. Because of the constant barrage of “evil government interference,” child support is demanded, making child welfare a socioeconomic issue rather than a moral issue, and leaving children hungry instead of making food a right. All state public entities are underfunded while politicians smirk about the failure of government and receive funds from people who receive enormous state contracts.
Nowhere has the system been more abusive than at the federal level, which has become only about garnering attention and not fulfilling any responsibility. Taxes are regressive, and the law that negotiates their disparity is so complicated that it can only be maneuvered by those who spend all of their time studying and interpreting those laws, or who can afford to pay such experts. There is no punishment for financial abuse even if it destroys communities, and entire transportation systems can be eliminated because of the possibility of money made without a thought to struggling consumers. Opportunities are made far beyond the public gaze, and only the super elite have access to those opportunities; rules are strenuous to protect federal politicians from engaging with their constituents lest they be held accountable. Elections have never been honest because there are more rules to prevent people from voting than there have been to protect the right to vote. When the electorate must endure a politician spending enough money to be elected to change the lives of everyone in the country, and then bowing out as if he had done nothing wrong, people should acknowledge that there was malicious intent from the beginning.
Those with the lowest populations and the least political power have been hounded and badgered with the responsibility of the nightmares foisted upon them by the dominant narrative. Every politician demands “the Black vote,” “the Asian vote,” and “the Latino vote” while visiting every horror known to human beings on those communities; “the Indigenous vote” has long-since been deemed irrelevant in the mainstream. Whenever anything wrong happens to anyone outside the Black and brown communities, Black and brown constituents are verbally abused by everyone for the “responsibility” of not participating. Should any Black or brown person dare to run for office, the populace relentlessly mocks and spurns those people without remorse; should any such politician have the audacity to win, the dominant narrative has safeguards in place that make any reform or justice impossible. Everyone participates in denigrating Black and brown people for their demise, thanks to the systemic conditioning practiced in public schools and segregated communities.
The dominant narrative is not designed for any politician to have empathy, so very few of them do; all the “really good reasons” for why pain is visited on the vulnerable are just the system supporting itself. Politicians continue promising that all of the policies enacted will make life easier for their constituents while rarely fulfilling anything but nightmare and heartache. Favorite among the lies are that policies are not in the politician’s jurisdiction, meaning that deals with monsters were made at all levels, at state dinners and networking events. If anyone points this out, rather than change their behavior, they obsessively destroy the lives of naysayers. Any attempts at compromise only benefit the comfortable, while the underpaid working classes are blamed so much that the blame is actually internalized. So where does this leave us?
One reasonable response to these problems is to stop participating in the farce that is electoral politics on any level, including committee meetings and task forces. Government at all levels has demonstrated—not “said,” demonstrated—that it has no intention of stopping the abuse, restoring the harm done, or respecting people’s autonomy. When asking any abuse target why that person remained in an unhealthy relationship, the answer has inevitably been a hope that the abuser will change. Nothing has changed, and any friend would tell the abuse target that leaving the relationship is the only option. Study after study has shown that humanity is under threat by the planet’s collapsing systems and that people cannot sustain the insatiable dominant narrative.
Secondly, people need to stop internalizing the blame for political violence done against them, and shaming people refusing to participate. Those in control of excessive capital are responsible for unemployment, not the people driven by desperation. Though few wish to admit it, everyone understands that luck and chance make some people “successful” while deeming others as “failures.” Conformity is the reason why the climate is changing and politics failing. Now is a time in which everyone needs to learn how not to need conformity if there is any hope of survival.
Moreover, everyone must stop manipulating Black and brown people within the United States by demanding subservience to a system that consistently abuses them. Even more so, people need to stop using other “select” Black and brown people to pledge fealty and mistreat the rest. No racial or ethnic group asked to be made the incessant targets of malicious behavior, and everything has been done to resolve the “miscommunication” to the dominant narrative. Simply put, Black and brown people cannot make everyone comfortable about “race” because the source of the discomfort is completely unknown, and has been from the day colonizers arrived until the present day. It is time to stop abusing those who never asked to be placed at the bottom of the abusive hierarchy, and to start taking responsibility for instigating violence.
Finally and most importantly, people need to unite in small groups and figure out how to create justice. Most people have few resources, which is intentional because the power structure designed a system where problems can only be solved with access to resources. Instead, people need to plant food and trees, and tear up grass; homeowners’ associations need to be dismantled if they are not willing to go beyond controlling people’s personal lives and demanding conformity. Everyone needs to start figuring out how to live lives that respect the planet without making anyone rich; commodification keeps the dominant structure in place.
Some will wonder why they cannot be left alone to perpetuate the system of their own accord. At this point in time, refusing to acknowledge reality is a choice that affects everyone, and no one’s humanity trumps anyone else’s. Demanding that people adhere to a broken system is abusive, not “personal.” The myth that people are somehow owed “their chances” to be oppressive is how the powerful lied to the populace in the very beginning. If people cannot evolve and accept that there is a responsibility to compensate for the harm done, then social consequences need to be introduced. Just because the abuse is mitigated for some is no reason to continue as if it cannot be seen.