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Maybe White Supremacy Isn’t the Problem...Just Like Drugs Were Never the Problem

Updated: Jan 17

I read a post today from a startup professional feminist movement. It’s called ElleTwo and I have been following this smart and charasmatic woman named Lauren on LinkedIn for about year.

She recently expanded her mission to Instagram, her posts are pretty typical radical left postmodern feminist type of posts. Her point is she’s trying, and I absolutely applaud her for this, it’s more than most American’s are doing and it takes a heap load of courage. I hope that her movement makes strides towards creating truly equitable workplaces and pushing the status quo.

In her post she made the disctinicion or I should say comparison of “white supremacy” to drugs. I absolutely see her point here and I don’t disagree that our former President is a very sick man. However, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t understand her comparison of white supremacy to a drug?

A drug’s main purpose is to treat symptoms. Some attempt this legally and some don’t however the purpose for their use is generally the same, to distract our nervous system from physical or psychological pain.

I think the point she makes is lacking nuance in that it blames “white supremacy” as the culprit for peoples voting choices, as the post insinuated by calling it a drug. I think it also undermines the average American’s cognitive and emotional intelligence. An individuals nuanced perspective taking ability does not automatically make them naive or complicit.

My perspective is that “white supremacy” is actually a symptom of colonialism/capitalism and some other spewed in rhetoric from respected social and biological scientists (experts). White supremacy similar to the DSM-5 can both be reasonably deconstructed as tools of oppression. As Audra Lorde so poignantly exclaims in her essay by the same name “The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House.”

Any singular ideology, also known as freedom of thought, does not cause universal pain. If I believe that god doesn’t exist and you believe god does exist we can still co-exist on this planet peacefully. It only causes strife when we oppress others beliefs by adopting an opposing belief as a universal truth. That truth, or collective social construct then becomes part of the system, a norm. Hence, any opposing ideology will also certainly not be effective to treat oppression.

The cause of opression is complex, it’s a system perpetuated by a web of interconnected social practices and norms. Our government is part of the web, capitalism is part of the web, imperialism, racism, materialism are all practices or constructs within our social field that keep the cogs moving and the opressive machine working as it should. You get my point.

The only way to treat it, is to transform the system, start anew and allow ALL ideologies to have seats at the table and be listened to with the intent to understand. Just because someone thinks differently than you doesn’t mean they are somehow evil or wrong. They just are, their life experiences and the systems that they have been exposed to have created their biases and their beliefs.

When you connect the dots this way, folks who are complicit to the system aren’t necessarily “white supremacists”. Many, maybe most, have been psychologically and/or spiritually oppressed by the system. They simply cannot see things another way becuase their worldview is limited, there spiritual and psychological development is frozen, corrupted by our systems.

What if you put yourself in their shoes. What if you listened to what they have to say without judgement and tried to understand why they beleive what they beleive. If it was reciprocal and performed in a psychologically safe enviroment would that make a difference?

Have you changed a limiting belief in your life? I know I have. I once believed that alcohol was the only viable solution to my personal and social challenges. I changed that belief by listening to people who had different beliefs than me suspending my judgements and cynicism and by being listened to without judgement. It was generative work, co-created by folks I would have previously never given a second thought to. People who were different than me. It is a reciprocal practice in “love thy neighbor”.

I continue to do this practice and what I have learned is that many folks have limiting beliefs. Most of us do in fact, it isn't reserved just for people who have used substances as a coping strategy. No one is innately evil or ignorant we are simply coping with oppression the best we know how. Our systems don’t promote out of the box thinking and they certainly don’t promote “love thy neighbor”.

Our social divide is a result of our system’s inability to sustain itself any longer, it’s faultering at an exponential rate. Just like in our natural ecological system’s we can’t just remove a problem from the system and all will be well and good. We need biodiversity in our ecological systems just like we need diversity in our social systems.

You can’t just remove weeds from your lawn by mowing them over, they will grow back with a vengeance. You have to remove the whole root system and retill the soil so new healthy plants can thrive. Similarly, we have to abolish the system that is creating our social “weeds”. We do this by co-creating new system(s) whose intent is towards an emerging future of personal sovereignty and whole world liberation.

We know we can’t just remove the drugs from the world and somehow everyone will live in peace and harmony. That’s a radical and a reductive approach that we’ve tried and failed at pretty miserably. But it’s only a failure if a lesson wasn’t learned and the lesson learned is, drugs aren’t the problem. And, “white supremacy” isn’t THE problem it is an egregious result amongst many others of a very unhealthy system.

We can’t transform systems unless we are willing to transform ourselves, we need to think differently and open our minds and our hearts. “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor.” -Bill O’Brien

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