Lela on Group Politics and the Evil of Special Interests   2 comments

Thom Stark and I are engaged in friendly debate about our societal divisions. Last week he offered his take on things.

 

DSC01494Seriously, Thom? Us and them? How can there be a definable“us”? Given the group politics of our era it’s at best a moving target.

How does an elected official (or, worse an unelected bureacrat) decide whose values are higher?  Southern politicians thought they were protecting “us” (whites) against “them” (blacks) by passing Jim Crow laws. Today white racists are “them” and non-racists of all colors are “us” … or are they? I’m a member of an Indian tribe and on the reservation, white people are “them”. My cousins talk about “them” like lower animals and do it in front of me, because I’m supposed to be a member of the tribe and hostile to white people, but they forget that I spend most of my life as just a person among  people. The law says Indians are allowed to discriminate against Thom Stark (and my husband Brad) on the reservation.  It’s racist as hell, but the tribal coucil and my cousins don’t see that. It’s just “us” and “them”.

Government officials like herds. They’re easier to direct , control and marginalize. It is easier to choose winners and losers among groups and to ascribe antisocial motives to individuals who fail to comply with their herd.  It’s also easier for the officials to justify marginalizing one group over another based on the selected criteria of the moment.  A century ago as an Indian woman, I had no rights in American society. That wasn’t in the Constitution, but government officials said my grandmother was a member of a group that was outside the law and therefore had no rights. Now as an individual I have all the rights that you do, but as a member of a group, I have the authority (I won’t deign to call it a “right”) to discriminate against you on the Rez because elected officials (the tribal council) say I may do that and federal officials have agreed the council has the authority to make that judgment. Wow, that sounds suspiciously like a Jim Crow law, doesn’t it?

Thom StarkI don’t see you as a member of some “other” group. I see you as an individual and it is a whole lot harder to look an individual in the eye and treat him as if he weren’t really human. Special interest politics has gone by a lot of different names, but it really comes down to limiting the opportunities and marginalizing the humanity some people in order to maximize the opportunity and magnify the humanity others. It’s choosing winners and losers in society and patting ourselves on our backs for our continued lack of self-awareness.

 

I’m running out of time to post today and covering both of Thom’s topics in a concise manner has proven difficult, so this is going to be a two-parter.

2 responses to “Lela on Group Politics and the Evil of Special Interests

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Lela on States Rights | aurorawatcherak

  2. Pingback: Thom Stark on States Rights | aurorawatcherak

What's Your Opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Tales + Books + Compassion + Culture + Wagging Tails

Fairfax and Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

SaltandNovels

Sprinkling wonder into writing

Remmington Reads

A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

MiddleMe

Becoming Unstuck

Magical BookLush

A New Dimension to Explore!! A reason to Love and A promise to fight the wrong is hidden in Books. Come, Let's Explore it!!!

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Short Fiction and Other Things

%d bloggers like this: