Those Dark Things Deep and Sharp
Been quite the roller-coaster of late, eh? Anger, rage, murder in our minds. Blame - oh, my, so much blame to go around. Yet I have seen little about what has truly caused this Great Rift across the population. Sure, plenty of haters worked a long time to rail and chaff and scream against every scapegoat possible, in order to drive these divisions. But there had to already be something - and not merely the economy and the sense of some having entitlements others lack. Something much deeper, something we take so much for granted it would never occur to us there was any sort of problem for anyone at all.
But I have begun to suspect we are going to find out, likely the hard way, that the real issues are things we simply are not prepared to face - and I am talking about folks on both sides of this sad and dangerous divide. This isn't about race - though it gets scapegoated from that position. It isn't about misogyny so much, either, but again, this is one of the faces that gets expressed. The same for all the other "reasons" so many have posited of late - all are but the surface manifestations of deeper and harder to articulate resentments, losses, fears.
To speak to but one such fear, not that deeply hidden, but quite operational, as they say: The distance - partly due to economic disparity, partly to educational failings (both of the system and of the individual) between those who have benefited from and been significantly shaped by technology, and those who have effectively been left behind. This is less about access - though that is a small factor - and more about how these massive leaps in technology have created new tribal divisions - those clearly entering the future, and those unable, for so many reasons, who do not, cannot make this leap. To see so many benefiting, welcomed it seems into the future, while you and your family feel left out, this can have a truly debilitating impact on the spirit, and one of the myriad avenues of response is resentment, anger, rage. Though often without the capacity to sufficiently and honestly define and communicate that reality except through the more familiar tropes of blind and authoritarian outrage.
This is merely a first and quite small effort to explore these empty quarters of our divides, where the desert of the past holds many prisoner because the future seems already taken by others who don't bother to help diminish this chasm, to reach across and be as inclusive as possible. That so many left behind appear -to themselves, at least - to be white, is merely where the hate-filled opportunists saw their division line easiest to exploit. There are other elements to this, and I hope more people begin to look deeper into what has happened here, to explore means by which these rifts can be healed. Yes, it will be slow, and yes, there will be a lot of awful things take place before we can really see something shift toward true inclusiveness. These are, after all, mostly cultural shifts, cultural divisions, and therefore among the most difficult to articulate and to address. But first, we who can must look at these realities with an open eye and heart, as uncomfortable as it may be to do so. Because we don't really have much of a choice anymore. Not much at all.