People who read my articles know I pull no punches when it comes to criticizing politicians on both sides of the aisle and going at opinion leaders who shills for the plutocracy. Like most Americans, I am troubled by the mendacity of our government and the callousness of the policies Democrats and Republicans push that exacerbate social inequalities. Where I diverge from mainstream political thinking is that I refuse to present these iniquities through ideological and identity based prisms. Yet, irrespective of our differences, I want to get across this one overriding message: my beef is not with people who are not sitting at the table of power.
Grant it, occasionally I let my passions get ahead of my heart and I fall into the trap of bashing people who put politics ahead of our common struggles. I forget that I too was once a political junkie who made it my mission to defend Democrats and bash anyone who supported the Republican party. It was not until I had a revelation sponsored by tribulation that I realized we are all in this together and that unity is the only way we can overcome injustice. It took me nearly two decades of being a partisan parrot for me to shed my political blinders, just because I have a new perspective does not give me the right to dictate my position upon those who do not think like me.
Regardless of your ideology or thinking, you are not my adversary. My indignation is reserved for those who push pernicious policies that kneecap billions around the world and implement legislation that transfer wealth from many into the coffers of the few. The rest of us—no matter how much we might bicker and disagree—are all victims of the neo-aristocracy to one extent or another. Some have it worse than others, but in the end the vast majority of Americans, regardless of color, sex, orientation or belief systems, are being railroaded by a system of greed and gluttony that is bleeding humanity in order to squeeze out the next marginal dollar.
People are worried about rent, providing for their children & getting buried by a wealth gap that has turned America into a resort for the few & a plantation for the rest. Meanwhile one party is cutting taxes for the rich and another is fixated on Russia–both working against us.
— Teodrose Fikre ✒ (@TeodroseFikre) August 1, 2018
So when I condemn the duplicity of Barack Obama and the way he coddled Wall Street while giving lip service to the rest of us, my aim is not to belittle Obama’s believers. Likewise, when I castigate the imbecility of Donald Trump and the way he injects hatred into the public conscience, my objective is not to besmirch Trump’s followers. In all candor, the way we keep elevating politicians into demigods and being fixated on media personalities is unhealthy, but assailing people is no way to change minds. Humility between fellow countrymen and those who are bearing the brunt of crony capitalism is needed now more than ever instead of walloping one another.
The only way we can overcome this most repressive Ponzi scheme that is depleting our savings and livelihood in order to enrich the gentry is if we put our differences aside and uniting. We keep expecting politicians to deliver us from this paradigm of avarice, but more and more are waking up to their hustle. No matter their rhetoric, ivory tower actorvists who are thriving through the status quo have no interest in bringing about true change. The hope that we have is to realize that suffering is interconnected, the plight of a “black” child who goes to sleep at night hungry in Harlem is intertwined with the pains of a “white” child who wakes up to an empty stomach in the Appalachia. If we step back and assess the conditions before us, we would realize that our similarities far outweigh our petty political differences.
We live in the richest country in the world yet each day the disparity between the oligarchy and the rest of us widens like the Amazon river during monsoon seasons. Just this morning, Apple bypassed the trillion dollar valuation mark to become the wealthiest corporation in recorded history. Wall Street continues to thrive while the rest of us shrivel. Consider the following: 4 billionaires are worth more than 40% of humanity put together, 95% of the wealth created over the past 10 years in America went to the top 1%, Jeff Bezos is worth more than 2.3 million Americans put together. I'm not against the rich, I'm against wealth that comes at the expense of humanity. Squabbling with each other only distracts us from focusing on the malfeasance of those who rule with the invisible hands of corporatism. Click To Tweet
How about this for an idea, let us call a truce from this slow broiling political Armageddon that society is engaged in and find it within ourselves to be more forbearing towards one another. If we are to speak against injustice, let us do so with a spirit of inclusion. I will be more mindful going forward, I know far too well how easy it is to disparage others in response to antagonism. There is a saying in Ethiopia, a thousand spiders can tie up a lion. We can be the thousand spiders that unite and overcome or we can be the thousand spiders that keep fighting each other and getting spun into a web of anguish. The choice is ours. I’ve made my choice. #MyBeefIsNotWithYou
“When rich people fight wars with one another, poor people are the ones to die.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij 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. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- A Matter of Life or Death: We Cannot Afford to Ignore Mental Illnesses Any Longer - August 17, 2019
- The Mindless Cycle of Violence Continues - August 6, 2019
- Why am I a “Person of Color”? - July 26, 2019