Home | About | Donate

On the Problems of Breathing in America


On the Problems of Breathing in America

Jane Lazarre


Thank you Jane, for the powerful sentiments and gorgeous words. I fully agree with you:

"Whiteness is a social and political category created to embed in the mind a false description of the body, its purpose to confirm privilege and superiority, to deny solidarity. It is not me. I reject it. It is not you.

We can’t breathe."

Racism is one of the deadliest sins and it's in full force; however, so are attacks on Indigenous people everywhere, Hispanics, refugees of their own NAFTA-ravaged lands; Muslims; and many women and children.

It's as if the most savage aspect of the Anglo-European male warrior is unleashed onto the rest of the world. Sadly, some from the usually targeted groups have themselves become subsumed into this Beast's apparatus: the MIC and its labyrinth of related armed and policing forces.

THAT is what endangers this planet and all sentient life upon it as ironically, it claims for itself, a license to kill. Anywhere it goes, a trail of bloodshed and ecocide follows.

It is time for humanity to tame and place aside this particular archetype. It is NOT the way for the majority of persons, but it is the way that the Dominators have run things in order to sustain their long reign of domination through force, propaganda, and all sorts of economic, social, and cultural coercions.


It's great to read such a raw, refined, narrative, interweaving personal experience with political historical analysis; sometimes almost subtle, but blunt and irrefutable; solidly situated in the lived experience of a person; in lived histories of the USA; in social histories of peoples of the USA.

It would be wonderful if in this Commons, writing such as this would draw the greatest engagement, and generate the most comment. The population of commenters is smaller following the change-over to this new platform, but still some articles are already generating a couple dozen comments.

i think it's the accounting, the deep need to account for everything that has happened and is happening, that scares many people off. Scary to shine in public light, living histories, historical legacies, embedded in society, embedded in economies, embedded in our consciousness.

Because with accounting, the clear need arises for reconstruction: land reform; wealth redistribution; power redistribution; democratization; ecological harmonization; some attempt at reparation.

The clear need arises for a thorough reworking of politics, of the economic power structure, and of public consciousness, in order to be able to achieve these ends.

Widespread, and personal, responsibility becomes apparent: To take action; to interrupt processes of social power that continue to dismember people, families, communities, and the ecology. With our lives, to feed processes of social power that nurture people, families, communities, and the ecology.

The need to actively create more egalitarian and ecological human systems.

Not in some dream, and not by some great individual life of heroism, but with the tools we have: our own selves, in our own lives, workplaces, and communities; with the people we live with, and work with, and share the Earth with. With the personal histories that we carry; with the persons that we are.

At least, that's what i think.

That frightening need for personal and political engagement, and struggle, and risk, keeps most of us in the threads about war and politics, where we wax brilliant about the failures, the motivations, the evils, and the makeup and structure of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

If we were writing a narrative, about a people who learned to effectively organize and actively resist and ultimately transform a post-modern, high-tech, privatizing, corporatist, colonialist, racist, sexist war machine like the one currently running rampant...

If we were to create a more humanistic, egalitarian, ecological democracy... How would we communicate with each other? And work together? And interact economically? As we wrestle in our lives, to transform ourselves, and our families, and communities, and workplaces, and world?

Can we even imagine such a narrative? Such an effort? Such lives?

It reads as if Jane Lazarre has made a great effort at living such a life. What else are we going to do?