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Being Offended Is Not The Answer

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   Day
after day I post so many links to the systematic brutality of American
policy and the ongoing rape of our environment- any one of which in my
opinion should be enough to cause people to call a stop to it. Sadly, I
can't post enough of them- it's an onslaught o f outrage, to the point
where it appears this ignorance/complacency/acceptance has become
'normal.'
   Well, it's not. It's a shame on all of us, a condemnation of all of us.

I know it's hard to see, but what motivates me is the firm belief that
we can make the world better, safer, saner and more loving. This
mindless nonsense of celebrating the victory of one sociopath over
another is sickening.
  There are no parents of murdered children
celebrating that a Democrat will continue to threaten the lives of their
remaining loved ones. No American should be celebrating while the NDAA
looms over all of us- nullifying the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights. It's the moment when our republic became an Empire, and our
president the Emperor.
   And that scares me to death. The simple fact
is that Empire and tyranny is not a maybe, but a codified, legal
reality. If not the current president, then the next will take full
authority, and it will be the end of all of us.
   What the War On
Terror teaches those of us willing to learn, is that it is impossible to
wage war against an idea. Terrorism is just that, an idea, made
manifest in actions and polices. Rather than try to address the reasons
such an idea has gained credibility, we attempt to stamp out the idea.
Can't work. Never has, never will.
   But what can we do? What are my solutions?
   I'm asked that question at least ten times a day. What's the solution? What are the alternatives? I can understand the need so many have to want a workable solution, right here, right now.
  
The simple truth is that there is not a blueprint. There's no workable
real life alternative warming up in the wings, ready to be wheeled on
stage.
What I do know is that the political system is unsustainable,
as is the economic system, and the environment itself. It's just a race
to see which one fails first.
   What I do know is that putting down a
to o l that is broken is the right choice. Nature hates a vacuum,anything
we discard creates a kind of vacuum, and there will be alternatives
available as soon as we turn our backs on what is obviously no longer
working.
The struggle will be to make certain that these new alternatives are fair, just and sane.We could elect to make choices now, before change is thrust upon us, but we seem to be incapable of doing it.
  
It is not, and has never been my intention, to alienate anyone. More
and more it seems that speaking what I believe to be true, what appears
to be obvious to me, is doing just that. I'm coming to an understanding
that it is not so much what we reject that defines us, but what we
accept. The people who are offended, or alienated are, in my mind, not
only rejecting what I have to say, but defining just what their
boundaries are.
   They can accept murder, and systematic brutality,
and greed driven ecocide as a pragmatic trade for minimal and arguable
advances in ever more narrowly defined single issue policies. What they
reject is their own responsibility for doing so. To tell them this offends them. When did "That offends me" come to be a sort of moral high ground? When did that provide the excuse to close off all possibility of engaging in intelligent debate?
   In my own lifetime,
as a child, I remember driving through Garfield, Arkansas, and seeing
KKK billboards on both ends of town, warning Blacks not to let the sun
set on them in Garfield. This is racism, not right wingism or
conservatism. That offended me, even as child , but even then I knew that ignoring the presence of racism did not in any way address the problem of racism.
  Racism only flourishes in totalitarian systems of
government, and we have one right now.
   The fact is that if the
civil rights movement were to be undertaken today (and please know that I
do understand that the struggle for equality is still ongoing ) it
wouldn't have a chance of succeeding. Yes, we have lost that much: the
media generally used to alert us to dangerous actions and policies of
our government. Sure there was lots of corruption, lot of good ol' boy
mutual handwashing going on, but at least we pretended to have a higher
moral calling, at least we were a nation of law, and a lot of times that
law worked to protect the weakest among us.
  Today we have a two tiered system of justice, one for the r ule rs, one for the re st of us. We have a two tiered economy, one that's working just dandy for the few, while the rest of us face a daily struggle just to survive.
   We've been engineered and manipulated into not only abandoning morality
and law, but in cheering that we have done so. We gleefully, gladly support candidates who have proven they can succeed in a morally corrupt system.
Never once stopping to ponder what that says about them, or more importantly, what it says about us.
   It's not the left, or
the right, or conservatives or liberals who created the current
government. It is a mistake to believe that your enemy is so easily
defined. Targets are being supplied to us on a daily basis.
   The real enemy to all of us is the wealthiest among us. T he simple fact that last
year 400 people earned more than the bottom 50% of all American wage
earners combined. These people own the media, they 'own' the debt they
use to manipulate all of us, and they own the government, lock, stock
and barrel.  
  They create their own legislation, even actually have
lobbyists who write entire bills that are put before Congress.They
have enormous wealth- 1.7 trillion dollars a year to spend just to
assure their agendas are met, and that all of us spend our time arguing
about candidates or parties, fearing terrorists, or each other.
   They also spend enormous amounts of cash to remain invisible.
 

 

Lee Burkett is a proud member of The Screen Actor's Guild and a writer/activist.
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