Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/12/what-life-margins-feels
My generation, Baby Boomers, were called the me generation and I believe this has always been for all generations and peoples in the white middle class upper and lower. Americans are the “me people” who don’t walk in others shoes or have a great empathy for others or nature. We are the “ugly americans” and boy has that gotten worse over the last three years.
Most of us just don’t think, don’t realize we are marginalizing others by our very small actions and inactions but some see the larger actions that can’t be denied as racists and do empathize but do nothing, myself included.
Thank you for your thoughts.
I would say that the philosophy of being a Chosen People meant to create a Shining City on a Hill for the rest of the world to emulate is at the core of American me-first worldview. The Puritans were the first colonists to espouse this(the folks in Jamestown were here for wealth and gold). It quickly caught on with those who wanted to make lots of money fast, using piety as their cover. Chosen People also was the basis of White Man’s Burden in England and its reason for colonizing as much of the world as possible. When a lie is repeated and taught to children over and over for hundreds of years, it’s imprinted on the brain so deeply we can no longer see others who are different as being human.
My first reaction to that photo, of white people dressed in red and white, was to have a full-blown panic attack. They appear to be MAGA personified. After seventy years of being “different”, it tends to make a person empathetic to others who are also different. And having little to no trust of those who are considered in power.
I don’t think that there are many people who do not self-identify as marginal in some way, though of course all marginality is not equal. Part of not being able to fully relate to other marginal lives is not being able to discern marginality of various sorts and not according marginality where it exists.
A major group of marginalized people are Palestinians, Marginalized by the 19th century "white man’s burden of the Chosen People, in the form of Jewish Zionism which was well under way before 1900.
Or, just asshats stealing from their brothers and sisters and not caring at all about the fate of those who have been robbed. You would think that the previously suborned would know better, be better.