Sunday, January 14, 2018

Race, Social Divisions Sap Our Strength, but We Shall Overcome!

by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

 I liked this humorous bit (below) because it reminds us that racism is used by the powerful to maintain their wealth and status. If poor whites and poor  minorities joined in common cause it would spell trouble for wealthy elite. They would be forced to share more of their wealth.

Dr. ML King came to understand this before he was murdered. He was never a greater threat to the established order than when he began his work to unite the races in a fight against poverty and the wealthy elite who structure societies to favor themselves.

Click Here to see the brief video of Dave Chappelle: 

There is only one source of social power in human society, and that is the power of coordinated actions. Whether you are building a house, a business, a movement or a government, it is the coordinated actions of people that get things done. 

The converse is true when powerful interests want to block the competing interests of others. They block others by disrupting their ability to communicate and organize. They disrupt our efforts to coordinate the actions of others. They diminish us through subversion or by distorting or hiding the facts. They create and exploit divisions among us. They create distractions, sow confusion, disparage dissent, arrest organizers, isolate factions and restrict access to resources. They use force if all else fails.

President John F. Kennedy once said, "Those that make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable." 

The tendency to form social divisions is part of our human nature, but so is forming alliances and overcoming differences for mutual benefit.  If our capacity to work together was not greater than our urge to only "take  care of our own," we would still be a society of hunter gatherers. Powerful people use their power to stay in power. They thwart our efforts to organize, to unionize, to communicate, to affiliate, to overcome our differences and even to vote in this republic.

And now a new layer has been added. A hostile foreign power has infiltrated our government at the highest levels. It is using its military to conduct mass media propaganda attacks against us, attacks designed to disunite us as a nation. It is compromising our politicians with illegal campaign cash. Its goal is to establish a global kleptocracy with unlimited powers to extract our wealth and control our culture.

Against these coordinated attacks on America we must come together, unite in common cause and overcome the differences between us that they magnifying and exploit.  It's time to unite against all odds and move in unison against the forces that are pulling us apart. 

Here, on Martin Luther King Day, are a few quotes  and an excerpt of his last major address before being assassinated.

“God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.”
“A second evil which plagues the modern world is that of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, it projects its nagging, prehensile tentacles in lands and villages all over the world. Almost two-thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry at night. They are undernourished, ill-housed, and shabbily clad. Many of them have no houses or beds to sleep in. Their only beds are the sidewalks of the cities and the dusty roads of the villages. Most of these poverty-stricken children of God have never seen a physician or a dentist.”
 “The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.’”
Most people think about Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech today, but I want to leave you with another speech of his. Watch Lin Manuel deliver Dr. King's "Beyond Vietnam" speech:

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