Witnessing the dissension on television and observing the unseemliness of our politics, one would be led to believe that humanity is irredeemably lost and that we are faited to always be at each other’s throats. The zeitgeist of our time is tumult and self-concern, outrage is the norm as we are conditioned on a daily basis to view the world through an “us versus them” prism. This, of course, is how the establishment prefers; as long as we are bickering with one another, we will never wise up to how all of us—irrespective of color, gender, orientation or belief—are being shellacked by a few who thrive from our labor as we labor in distress.
The reality, though, is far different than what we are led to believe through mainstream and social media indoctrination. The people we are taught to rage against, the others we are convinced are the source of our strife, are in actuality struggling just like us. The surest way to subjugate all is to convince each that they are apart from the rest. Splinter humanity into sects and convince them that their fellow citizens are their foes and there you have the blueprint that has been the root of oppression throughout human history.
The “elites” play on our fears and stoke our innate tribalism to ghettoize us and keep us in perpetual conflict. We have been so programmed to think of ourselves as labels that we don’t even think twice where these labels came from and why they were given to us. We are born into this world as humans and then conditioned to see each ourselves as brands while we turn our fellow men and women into abstractions. When we view others as objects instead of humans who dream, hope and bleed just like us, it is easier to overlook injustice and ignore suffering.
The biggest fear the powerful have is the thought of those who struggle uniting as one people. This is why they invest their unlimited wealth fomenting discord and promoting combative demagogues on all sides. Don’t think for a second that opinion leaders who you see on mainstream media or have blue check marks on Twitter are for you, they are doing nothing more than monetizing your anger and frustrations. A people led by emotions will always be led astray into the gutter of hopelessness and inertia.
It doesn’t have to be this way, we don’t have to be moved around like pawns by our nose while being manipulated by hucksters on the corporate dole. Every time you pay attention to the sensationalism and outrage that is being pumped into the ether by politicos and journos is energy that you are spending that could otherwise be spent on addressing the sources of iniquity. The same goes for politics, change will never come from the top nor will any politician be a revolutionary force who will lead us out of the wilderness. We are asking people who are thriving through the status quo to change the system that is helping them flourish—think about this for a minute.
Instead of prostrating ourselves to look up to the rich and famous, why not lead with compassion and refuse to fall for their antics? Seriously, say no more when you see stories that are meant to rile you into anger and nothing else. Why does it matter what some lady in Wichita or some guy in New York was caught saying on video, people who are not in positions of power who happen to spew ignorance do not have any control over my life. Why are we transfixed on the lives of the broken instead of holding people who break humanity accountable? Economic inequality is the epicenter of most social ills; if we do not address policies that exacerbate poverty and eradicate opportunities for the vast majority of humanity, it will be a matter of time before the change we are looking for are silver and copper coins.
Disavow labels, stop falling for these transparent gimmicks of the establishment. Tea Party Republicans, Progressive Democrats, Compassionate Conservatives, Purple Revolutions, all these and more are nothing more than brilliant marketing plans to keep the status quo intact. Politics itself has become the noose that is suffocating humanity. Too many among us have a most unhealthy fixation to idols, we have become wedded to media darlings and political figures in order to be divorced from our own plights—this is the essence of self-medication. Why be surprised when the gilded gentry step on our backs after we gladly bend over to worship them like gods? In the process, we treat each other like rivals and keep turning potential allies into foes. Click To Tweet
Our differences are nothing but illusions. The “black” father in Detroit is struggling to keep a roof over his family’s head the same way a “white” mother in Des Moines is breaking her back to feed her children. This is not to deny that injustices have impacted certain people based on their traits, but these injustices and historical pains cannot be erased by denying that others struggle too and pointing a finger of blame at all. We will only feel relief from this onerous system of capital theft and destructive greed when we seek justice through inclusion. The neo-aristocracy and their courtiers in politics and mainstream media don’t want you to understand this; that’s why they expend their energies trying to convince you that your struggle is different. It’s not.
We are being led by pied pipers to the precipice of social conflicts and unimaginable carnage, think on these things before we finally find equality through hardship.
Our struggles are interconnected, until we realize this, we will continue to struggle alone::
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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.