Looking at the world and zooming in on America, we have a long tragedy on our hands that is destined to be as unstable as some parts of the Middle East and Africa.
When fathers aren’t allowed to be fathers, and mothers are forced to carry the load, children learn that they can only depend on themselves.
Black women in this country have been adopting every stray soul possible for decades and centuries. It’s the hardest job on the planet to love them all. Not everyone can succeed, if success is even an option. It’s more like survival.
Love takes dedication and 100% surrender to the job at hand. It changes the fabric of the woman holding the responsibility. She no longer belongs to herself. Her individuality is gone. She sacrifices hers for theirs.
In a country where individuality is required to get ahead, the tools of the trade are worn hand-me-downs. The working man can barely get anywhere unless he has some sort of help from somewhere, like farmers. They can’t live without the government even though their pride tells them they can. They have to because that’s how their countrymen judge them. Yet their yield, their buyers, their structure is inherently subsidized to make sure there is enough food to deliver to the restaurants, homes, bowls, and yards of humanity.
When looking at the world from a satellite view, it’s a sorting game. We are all categorized. The food industry has evolved and changed in our capitalistic society. Preparing food at home has given way to dining out or ordering food. Touching food and knowing the path it takes from farm to table or grocery aisle to tummy has been eroding from urban life. It’s more convenient than ever to trade money for sustenance, but for lower-income families, the gap has widened to make them more food-poor than any time in history.
With the pandemic, this lifestyle of dining in restaurants has hit a rough patch, one that will be insurmountable for many restaurant owners. Only the proprietors and corporations that have adapted will continue, others will be scooped up by corporate food conglomerates, and the rest will die.
The people who live at the top of this food chain because their daddies knew how to control the game, not just play it, are oblivious to the conditions of others, the families down the street, and even some folks living in their own homes. Most stories are kept secret, under lock and key, for fear of being judged.
The strongest survive by cannibalizing everyone else. Feeding our children is the most natural instinct we have. Men are charged in life to provide. Women are charged to care for everyone to make sure their intrinsic needs are met, but when our roles are changed, and we don’t replace what is now missing, everyone suffers.
Generations of poor people have been lost to this sacrifice. Some slip past, but it’s because someone else sacrificed on their behalf to open the path to the American dream.
“But we struggle, too!” says the white, blue-collar worker. Of course, you do. You are just as oppressed by the elite. Because no one is here to take care of you, “government is bad”, your dignity is lost when you are bailed out, your life is more difficult. So when someone says, “black lives matter”, you feel left out. What about your life?
This imbalance causes anger, jealousy, hate, and control of the most basic kind. Working-class white men can’t see what the elite are doing to them. When they’re told to fight and die for their country, to work harder, to take pride in it, they are being manipulated by the upper class to do their bidding. There’s nothing more crushing to a man than to admit defeat. So he puts on his steel-toed boots every day as his daddy did and his daddy before him.
This video sums up the concept perfectly how people are pitted against each other while the powerful take control.
When I told a relative that recently graduated college that getting into analytics is his ticket to advancing his career further, it wasn’t until I told him how much young analysts make that he finally realized how different life could be. He keeps counting pennies around $40K to negotiate potential salary.
He has been given an opportunity to present issues to someone higher up in his company, so when I said, “This is what you need to do,” he thought it sounded good, but he wasn’t entirely convinced it was something to worry about. Until I said, “If you do this, and it plants a seed for a corporate position, you could make $75K starting out”. It wasn’t until I mentioned the money difference that he realized what it meant to move in that direction. He’d been living in a working-class family missing out on what happens when you play in a new pool.
It reminds me of the time I ran into one of my cousins many years ago. He grew up in a working-class family with a daddy on shift work and mom staying home or working part-time in the church office. We hadn’t talked in years. I was living in the big city doing projects for large companies, while he was working in a factory near home. I didn’t mention money, but he felt the need to brag about making $16 an hour as if that was good. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I was making at least 4 times that, and it was still early in my career.
Hearing him boast back then and working through the realization with my young relative the other day opened my eyes to the struggles of the lower middle class as a whole.
They don’t know what they don’t know. And if they knew, could they face it? Of course, they could. These people have more strength of character in their pinky fingers than the silver spoon-fed babies that live off the backs of the working class while enjoying Daddy’s subsidies.
When white, blue-collar folk see favor given to black people when they’ve been living and working beside them all along under similar conditions as it appears from their perspectives, it’s hard to take.
But they don’t know what they don’t know. They aren’t seeing the extra hardship forced upon people because of their skin color. They don’t understand the hate within some of their own kind who step into power the only way they know how to, via policing. The powers that be have been poisoning their minds all along that it was the black man's fault for their struggles when it was the rich man all along.
Police were established to control the recently uncaged. Our societal systems have created such a mess of families, of men, of women, of children who had survived the most brutal incarceration imaginable. Even if the Jim Crow era didn’t have the same atrocities as slavery, the mental cage remains.
Your problems are not because of other working-class people. Your problems are because powerful people have manipulated the system of government here that is supposed to provide a blanket of protection for everyone. So while you’re being manipulated to think the government shouldn’t help you, you’re enslaving yourselves to the standards, rules, and regulations put forth by companies that need you to be the cog in their wheel without regard to your American dream.
Just to give you an example of how this is being done in the area where I grew up, recently the Chamber of Commerce turned down a company coming to town to employ people. People were excited. There would be new jobs and better pay. But the existing companies in town don’t want the competition for workers. If this new company comes to town, they have to step up and pay their employees more. That cuts into profits. That cuts into golf fees, vacation homes, and salon visits. So the Chamber voted against it. The working class didn’t understand.
But they were missing a key piece of this puzzle. The Chamber runs on member fees and donations. The higher the donation, the more influence over their decision-making for the city. All it takes is figuring out that the moneyed families and their businesses are the benefactors who control all the industry in town.
Until people start getting real honest with each other and stop licking their wounds long enough to realize that their neighbors aren’t out to get them, but that it’s the rich men and women in town with their Mercedes and big houses on the hill who are in charge. The rich and powerful are scared to death of losing ground, of falling off the high horse. It’s the wives who stay home or play tennis at the country club that are the worst. They know that if things changed, they’d have to go to work or clean their own toilets or drive a car that’s beneath them or live in an apartment with a sleazy landlord.
So next time you want to get mad at somebody for fighting for their rights to live, to eat, to get paid a fair wage, or simply to be heard, think about not what you would lose if things changed but what you would gain if everyone around you had a fair shot at the American Dream.
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