I don’t think most people are particularly happy about political correctness or cultural appropriation, as they are imperfect solutions to a problem. But the problem it’s trying to address, racism, is the real source of these tactics. If American would have a reasonable, rational discussion about race and start implementing solutions, I don’t think political correctness would be that big of a deal. PC culture exists BECAUSE racism has been resisted by those in power in America. So yes, these social strictures are annoying at times, and prevent people from freely speaking their mind and expressing their ideas, but they only exist because there seem to be few effective options for regular people to address racism. Protests aren’t causing change. Boycotts aren’t doing it. Community organizing isn’t either. There seem to be no good solutions. So let’s address racist policing, and then maybe we won’t have to police language and behavior.
The USA seems in chaos. Over the past two weeks from July 27 to August 9, the US has confirmed deaths of 15,727 from COVID-19, according to google. Over the same period, Germany had 79. France: 132. Japan: 46. United Kingdom: 828. When you combine the populations of these four countries, supposed equals on the world stage, the population is approximately 343 million people to 328 million people in the USA, based on 2019 population figures, so a reasonable comparison. That total is 1085 deaths vs 15,727 over the same time period for those counting with me. The USA is far richer than any of them, yet look at that disparity, an entire order of magnitude higher, and then some. How can this be? Much of this has to do with right-wing propaganda that infects much of middle america, which is now experiencing an extended first wave. First the virus was a hoax, then nothing to worry about, it was just the flu, then after being forced into lockdown, re-opening without a scientifically-backed method of action to contain the virus. Then, the anti-maskers, the ultimate trolls, undermining scientific advice meant to reduce the spread.
It becomes harder and harder to see it as simply negligence, and more and more due to malice or disregard for human life. Combine that with the deaf ears on which desperate pleas for police accountability fell on, the story becomes clearer and clearer every day: this is extermination. Incarcerate them, making it impossible for them to get normal jobs. When they are forced to make a living in the street, intimidate and kill them, and let the taxpayers pay the significant financial penalties they will be assessed, while holding no LEOs criminally responsible. And then when the oppressed rise up in the streets by the millions, deny their legitimate calls for reform. Rinse and repeat until you have a cowed, fearful and unstable black and minority population. The backup plan? Starve the poor and minorities by denying them FOOD in the richest country in the world. Deny them healthcare. Let food companies exploit their human physiology without oversight. Decrease funding to their schools by redirecting it to private charters. Prevent them from getting bank loans, and thus, permanent housing. Let credit card and payday loans companies exploit them mercilessly. In short, keep them a subordinate class whose life is always worth less. This is not negligence, this is policy. And as such, it is mass murder.
Around the world right now, right-wing politicians have risen to power, in places like the USA, UK, and Brazil. Russia could also be called right-wing, but it doesn’t appear to be a full democracy. But look at these numbers of cases:
Brazil and USA lead the world in number of cases, with the UK in the top 5. What do they have in common? Right wing governments are in power, and they continually talk about how the coronavirus is fake, or that it’s not fake but their political enemies are using it to harm them, or whatever other nonsense billows from their angry nostrils.
And on a state-by-state level in the United States, a predictable pattern emerged: Republican-led states, in lockstep with Republican leadership in the White House and the Senate, refused to acknowledge the reality and severity of the situation, refusing to mandate mask-wearing, and rushing the re-opening of the economy without meeting the guidelines necessary to slow the spread. To be fair, some Democratic-led states like California tended to rush back too quickly, but likely under intense pressure from the business community. And, these red states are trying to spin the latest frightening figures, with Governor Ron DeSantis saying the spike is caused by “young people” or “hispanics”, as if those somehow weren’t citizens or constituents.
But it also highlights a feature that has been obvious for a long time, but could be hidden behind political statements until now…the inherent cruelty of the Republican Party. There is one King in the GOP, and that is money. If anything comes in the way of money, health and life for example, they are pushed aside so that people can make money. It shows every time they try to kill any type of health care reform. It shows when they refuse to raise the minimum wage. It shows when they fight civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights. It shows in the treatment of prisoners. It shows in the brutality of the police. It shows when meat processing plants are forced to stay open even during a massive outbreak. It’s baked in to everything. And now that once again, they have denied science and government suggestions on how to re-open safely, they are reaping the fruits of this cruelty. The US is now very close to 130,000 lives lost since March. The only war the US has ever fought with more casualties was the Civil War, and it looks like those numbers will be surpassed. How can citizens remain in power? It is important to tie the millstone of these deaths around their necks. They must always be burdened with the fact that they didnt’ do all they could to save lives. And they must never be allowed to lead again. A new political movement needs to spring up from what surely are the ashes of what passes for right-wing conservatism, and that movement can still be conservative, but it must value life and health and liberty above money.