Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Architecture of Oppression



I'm struck by something Ta-Nehisi Coates says about privilege and race in America: that the immense privilege/wealth accrued by some comes at the expense of others (people of color), and that this accrual is the predictable consequence of policy and choices made.  What happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson or Tamir Rice in Cleveland was not a tragic misunderstanding or a sad reminder of days gone by...but the predictable consequence of housing policy and health care policy and policing policy and urban planning and all the rest.  

And it goes on.  In "The Panama Papers," the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) show us how.  "A sprawling secretive industry that the world's rich and powerful use to hide assets and skirt rules..."  So the rich and powerful maintain their wealth and privilege, while raining war and abuse on people of color, peoples of Africa and the Middle East, and indeed Michael Brown and Tamir Rice and so many young kids like them.

So can we please, please stop obsessing over the histrionics of Donald Trump and turn our attention instead to the real work before us: seeing (first) the way all this works; risking (second) acknowledgement of the way it benefits (some of) us; and daring (third) to undo the architecture of oppression/violence and rebuild.