Thanks for calling out the dynamics that underlie supremacism, Mr. Singer.
Thanks for honestly expressing the emotions that naturally arise in a field utterly saturated with violence.
Thanks for admitting that emotions actually ARE part of politics.
And: can we look at the violence inherent in telling people we will crush them if/when they express the darkness that is in their hearts?
We live on one round watery planet, and there is no place to throw anyone away. Killing supremacists doesn’t stop supremacy any more than killing people of color stops humanity from growing in its capacity to appreciate our diversity. Putting humans in jail is not a solution either, as the U.S.’ recent experiments in mass incarceration demonstrate.
Only when we look inside and find that the same darkness tends to plague ALL human hearts will we be on the path to a true change in our species’ persistent violent behaviors.
Just as the same basic biological materials are combined to make an infinite variety of human physical bodies, the same basic emotional, mental and spiritual elements combine in us to make an infinite array of emotional, mental and spiritual stories about why we suffer and what we can do about it.
And within all that diversity, fear is all the same. Within that diversity, Love is all the same.
No, I don’t know what to do today, on the physical level, with/for people who have become habituated to playing out the fear through physically driving cars into crowds–or raping babies.
I also don’t know what to do with/for the legions of humans who regularly mow down populations and their own children with divisive, dominating thoughts, words, and non-verbal behaviors–while denying they are subject to violence and seeing everyone else as responsible for our human problem with violence.
I do know some things we can do to head in the right direction, right now, wherever we are.
- Acknowledge that propensity to violence has plagued our species since its inception, everywhere on Earth.
While some people have arguably done a better job than others in addressing and ameliorating the problem, the fact is that we as a species have not yet licked our collective problem with violence. Therefore,
- Stop pretending someone already has the right solution to our human problem with violence, and the issue is only that “we” can’t get “them” to do the obviously right thing.
(Since, as humans, we must pretend, try instead pretending that we are all scientists engaged in a vast, long term experiment on how to transform violence into better loving…)
- Admit that not speaking about the darkness that lives in our hearts does not make it go away.
We’ve tried that, all over the world, for many generations in many different ways–and it hasn’t worked. It has not yet stemmed either our chronic daily violence to one another and other species, or our vulnerability to periodic acute eruptions of large-scale physical violence (a.k.a. war).
- Recognize that we are all now in a situation where it appears that failure to decisively transform our species’ tendency toward violence will literally kill us all, one way or another, within a relatively short time period.
Ecology speaks in our common mother tongue, telling us that our violence toward “others” does indeed rebound on us. Telling us unequivocally that we’re all in this together.
And telling us we’re out of time. Out of time for our old excuses. Out of time for putting off until tomorrow dealing with the conundrum of our violence at a root level.
Although things look really bleak right now, I see us moving–rapidly and collectively–in the right direction.
We’re watching these dynamics play out all together, all over the world. We’re all feeling the same things: fear, anger, hope, despair, grief and courage. We can see that people everywhere are feeling the same things, facing the same dilemma in an array of different costumes.
And we’re talking to each other, all over the world, about what we feel and see.
This is miraculous and unprecedented. No one knows what will emerge from this utterly novel situation next, but there’s no good reason to assume it will be more of the same old dreadful same old.
Each time one of us decides to see our situation in a deeper, more heartfelt and curious way, things change. We can always do that, and lots of us are.
Viva La Evolution !