Sometimes passion gets the best of us all. A couple of encounters over the past 24 hours led to a revelation of sorts as; it dawned on me that my zeal to advance unity can lead me to preach from the pulpit of the very divisiveness that I speak against. I write this in light of two articles I wrote that gained a wide audience this weekend. One of the articles dealt with the government shutdown that our feckless leaders have foisted upon us. The second article was a repost of a write up I penned last year inspired by the women’s march in Washington DC.
Both articles were a condemnation of the political class who are running our nation into a ditch and an admonition to the rest of us to stop being manipulated by the ruling debased in the DC and the moneyed gentry who run our government by weaponizing their checkbooks. My intention was never to be pious for I too once fell for the hoodwink of this duopoly that divides and conquers us by way of separable grievances and identity politics. Alas, the road to hell is paved with good intentions; without knowing it, I was belittling the very people I was hoping to reach.
This epiphany was inspired by an online conversation I had with a friendly stranger which was then augmented by Debbie (Sane Progressive) Lusignan’s livestream that I saw this weekend. Let me start off with the conversation that inspired a moment of introspection which birthed this missive. Scott, @MemberBernie on Twitter, direct messaged me and challenged me on the “Protesting is for a Defeated People” article where I castigated the Pink Pussyhat movement for politicizing the suffering of people and turning the pains of the struggling masses into a partisan issue.
I tried my hardest to separate the leadership from the participants because my ire was at the demagogues who leverage injustice to make money and garner headline status. But Scott noted that I’m looking at this from a place of practicality and not realizing the human emotion behind these movements. What gave me pause was when he said the following:
Let’s say I’m a woman who was raped by my co-worker 10 years ago after he slipped a drug into my drink at a party. I’ve had to deal with this for a decade and the passed year I attended two marches and feeling GOOD for the first time in a while. My life means something again. I have a purpose and I’m finally moving forward after therapy, a stint with alcoholism and tons of self-loathing. One tweet, the way it was worded, makes me feel that my plight was just scoffed at because I wore a pink hat?
I realized at that exact moment that I’m guilty of piety. Motive matters little if the end result is hurting someone who thinks different than I do. I’m reminded of people who spend decades living a lives of Caligula only to pivot on a dime the minute they are see the folly of their ways and make it their purpose to “save” others. I used to hate it when people tried to preach to me in the past and tried to lecture me as if they knew better. Even if I knew I should do better in life, the surest way to piss me off was to come at me with a holier than thou demeanor.
Without knowing it, this is exactly what I’ve been doing lately. Who am I to judge when it come to people’s political outlook? After all I was the same person who was a partisan hack not too long ago. I spent years volunteering my services for free, breaking my back to get Democrats elected and parroting DNC talking points. If not for a heart rending journey that witnessed my life fall into the abyss of indigence and homelessness, I most likely would still be viewing life through the prism of this left/right divide. I learned the hard way that injustice has no ideology nor identity when it comes to the teeming masses of humanity who are broken by this insidious system of capital theft and the illegitimate duopoly in DC that gives aid and comfort to the plutocracy who are pillaging us.
Which leads me to a point that Debbie made in her latest podcast. In her impassioned plea for solidarity, she noted that we should be kind towards each other and that those who wised up to the duplicity of this banana Republic should think twice before belittling others who remain steadfast in their loyalty to their political affiliation. Debbie is right; the way to convince others is through compassion and humility not through anger and fire. The only way we can get a critical mass of people to understand that our plights are intertwined and to realize that unity is the only way we can defend our common interests is if we walk with one another instead of trying to lecture others by speaking down at them.
While I stand by my condemnation of the establishment that gives cover to the collusion between government and corporation that is impoverishing Americans and bleeding our planet, I should be more circumspect when it comes to judging others who don’t quite see it as I do. Perhaps they will realize in time, just as I did, that Democrats and Republicans are really the same beast in different Armani suits. Maybe more and more will awaken to the way the media-politico complex and the ideologues who are employed by it are nothing more than mouthpieces of their corporate masters. But that is their journey, I have no right to mock those who are not on the same path as me.
So I take this moment to apologize to the readers of the Ghion Journal and to people who have had the occasion to read my writing. I shall be more mindful going forward. I draw a bright red line between purveyors of injustice and those who are a victim of it. If you attended the Women’s March rallies this weekend, I sincerely hope that you do not take my writing as a condemnation of your efforts. The bottom 99% of humanity are all being marginalized and manipulated by those who use their influence and affluence to run roughshod over our planet. I am with you; you are with me—we are all in this together. May one day we overcome through inclusive justice. #Me2We
Man’s thundering hubris is nothing compared to woman’s quiet strength::
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Check out a Ghion Cast where I talked about treating each other with deference and hearing each other instead of yelling past each other. What if we all told our stories instead of preaching to one another?
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I make the case for inclusive justice.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.