The Matriarch Sees
What we find funny is indicative of our beliefs, attitudes, judgements and opinions. It is a useful barometer. When we mock those who by birth or circumstance are less fortunate, we become persecutors and make others our victims. We have no less duty of care for verbal abuse even through humour, than we do for physical abuse.
But there is no victorious ‘democratic’ ending to this story. In Syria the civil uprising has gradually been transformed into a full scale civil war. Sayid and his colleagues have all lost loved ones to this war and their political is personal. Sayid’s own crime–and why he is here–was to film government violence and put it up on YouTube, after which he was put on the list of wanted terrorists.
One reason why this immigration was considered successful had nothing to do with Sweden’s ability to integrate immigrants; only that the type of immigrants arriving were more easily ‘integrate-able’ as is still the case today for me. At first sight therefore, when immigrants are able to fit into Swedish culture at a level which allows them to peaceably live and work within the system, we do not see backlashes against immigration.
We have always been in a post-truth era because our interpretation of truth can only ever be subjective. Today the difference is that Trump doesn’t pretend to be objective. As a narcissist, it is impossible for him to be anyone other than who he is. I’d wager he believes his own stories, no matter what facts might say.
I’m not laughing anymore. I’m crying because what this farce of an election has done, is to uncover evil in my own home, in my own friends and yes, also in myself. It has torn the veil off those relationships I believed were rock solid. Not because my world or social circle are anything like as extreme as Trump, but because extreme or not, his vile behaviours–like the objectification of women–are so commonplace.
Like the flare up of an allergy, and since the shock of the midsummer brexit, I am now in hypervigilance. I see potential harm long before it turns into active threat. And when the red rage comes, I fight or flee to remove that potential from my environment, from my children’s environment. With the Trump presidency, I cannot. It is everywhere. I see it everywhere. Threat is everywhere.
If you are not at the centre then don’t shit on the person whose been hurt – your job is to support them. If you yourself need support in order to do that, bitch to people who are less affected by it; comfort in, dump out… On a macro scale don’t give more burdens to those who have been oppressed. Don’t expect compassion from those who have been dumped on. It is not their job to show it.
We attach to those of our ilk, beyond rationality. And few of us have enough self-awareness to overcome it. The law and our systems were designed to counteract this; ‘the law is reason free from passion’. The very concept of the American electoral system is based on a fundamental belief that some people are able to be more objective than others and will vote for the benefit of all. And yet because of the strength of their own self-interest, the strength of their own reptilian instincts, they will naturally fail to do so.
For people of colour, white ethics do not promote their survival–it only promotes white people’s survival and usually at the expense of theirs. People of colour have not been allowed voice, still today have less voice and any choice of an ethical framework–even by me, a white person–is ill-informed if it does not take this into account because our reality is weighted privilege.
There could be many potential reasons not least that to become a overseas voter is a bureaucratic nightmare, especially for those like me who left before voting age. When I eventually found the energy to jump through all the hoops, I was turned away. The electoral commission had only been formed in 2001 and when I discovered the website several years later, my rights had already expired.
But when you dig down into the voting statistics, some very obvious truths surface. Those like me–generation X,Y or post Y and/or many with immigrant heritage–voted remain. Almost half of us. The baby boomers voted leave. Was it their fear of change?
Experience inadequacy and confusion when you go out, try to grapple with vastly different public transport systems, inadvertently miss bill payments because the sheer volume of foreign administrative mail takes literally days to wade through. Be misunderstood for your communication and have people shout louder at you thereby triggering your childhood trauma. And then spend even more years trying to learn the language starting with ‘Lesson 1: how to buy an apple’ instead of the more useful topic ‘Lesson 367: dealing with online banking and tax declarations.’
I know what a fucking apple is and how to buy it, since apples and currency work the same in pretty much every language.
Our pop music and comedy is brilliant; in fact our cultural output in general is second to none. I’m proud of it even if sometimes I wonder whether our creativity isn’t because we have a tiny little resentful piss artist inside of all of us.
Don’t take cunt as a personal insult, because it says far more about the person saying it than the person receiving it. What it says is that the person saying it cannot disassociate the word cunt from something shameful.
But Ground Zero could have been a metaphor for our future intentions. We Westerners could have been ‘the bigger person’. As the name so aptly suggests we could have started to communicate from zero. The playing field was – literally – level.
n 1983 Ethiopia knew the worst famine for over a century due to a failing harvest compounded by a Marxist government who ruthlessly spent half its national budget on fighting rebels in the North. That same year, a little boy was born in the heart of the country. His name was Erdolo Eromo. 30 years later in his birth country … Read More