Saturday, May 30, 2020 - A Conversation About The Protests - Sean Crain and Logan Hite
I sent a message over Snapchat to a longtime friend of mine, Logan Hite, asking her what she thought of the events in Little Rock. Here's the conversation. slightly edited to correct for spelling and grammatical errors.
Sean: Any opinions on the use of tear gas in Little Rock on protestors?
Logan: I honestly just heard about the protests there. I think there is a very large misunderstanding with the whole situation. My opinion is that anyone should be allowed to protest any issue they feel is necessary and we should all understand that regardless of our viewpoint, however, violence is completely unnecessary and there should be consequences. I don't know the situation in Little Rock, but in other parts of the country, the destruction of property is completely uncalled for. I am 100% sensitive to the issue at hand and I will forever feel a deep hurt for the pain that Americans have historically caused to fellow human beings, but I also believe that there are other ways to form relationships between radicals on either side that will heal the situation rather than exacerbate it further.
Sean: Reforming of the police is something this country desperately needs, but these people have been ignored for so long that I wouldn't be surprised if we just hit a turning point. Years of ignoring the problem were inevitably going to lead to riots, and here we are.
Logan: Yes, I completely agree. It just sucks that people are being targeted because of differences in how people think. It's the racists in the world that are causing the problems. I don't understand why some humans still think in a hierarchy. We all bleed the same color and all of our bodies have the same organs. A different pigmentation of our skin is what people are going to use to decide someone's worth? It's disgusting to me.
Sean: It's not about the skin color itself. It's about the cultural resentment and fear that people have attached to those colors. There is a fear of diffusion among cultural purists. This is why Europe was at war with itself for so long, it's a lack of understanding and fear built up by cultural differences which are then exploited by a small group of people to maintain their own power.
Logan: I've never thought of it that way. That's a good point. It just breaks my heart because humans feel like there needs to be separation in every category. Everything has a specific name and people freak out when something crosses a categorical line. Instead of wanting to live in peace, there's this feeling of needing to reinforce barriers that shouldn't exist in the first place. Humans are humans, and at some point there will be no more "race" because we will all be so mixed. Race is a social construct that never should have existed. Ethnicity is something to be proud of. "Race" is just bullshit.
Sean: We have allowed our innate tribalism to overpower an intellectual sense of collective action. When Franklin Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, he wasn't kidding. At the root of all of this is fear of the "other". Someone who is different in any small manner. Fear has turned whites against blacks, men against women, Catholics against Protestants, you name it. The slightest amount of discomfort has been exploited into full-on fear, which fuels hate.
Logan: I couldn't agree more. There is something about being the best that fuels people to act out of hate rather than love or appreciation. Honestly, if we could just appreciate the success of others, instead of acting in jealousy, this world would be a better place. No one should be discredited for their heritage or gender or any other human construct. We are all capable of the same success if we would just allow our hearts and minds to offer it to people other than ourselves, or our country, or our culture, or anything else we feel needs to be ranked as "number one".
Sean: For the United States to wave the number one flag is silly anyway, considering the only things we're number one in are defense spending and number of people in jail per capita.
Logan: FACTS! And for taking territory that we didn't earn. We just straight up stole.
Sean: The whole damn country is stolen land.
Logan: Exactly. I find it hilarious that we have such pride for ourselves when we've caused so much harm to so many people.
Sean: European imperialism didn't end when the British Empire fell. It became American imperalism. We spend more than the next ten countries combined on our military, have bases all over the world, and continue to illegally invade middle eastern countries to steal their oil reserves.
Logan: Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for our country. I'm just disgusted at how I never learned about our dark past until I was a freshman in college. No one wants to talk about the truth of our beginning. Christoper Columbus didn't do shit for this country and we worship him. American imperialism is exactly what this is.
Sean: The public school system does not tell you anything about all the bad stuff we've done. I knew that half the stuff that our high school civics courses pushed were complete bullshit, often being overt propaganda.
Logan: YES! Propaganda in communist countries is talked about like it's the plague, BUT AREN'T WE LITERALLY DOING THE EXACT SAME THING? We are raising overpatriotic children with the thought process that America earned everything we have "the hard way" when all we actually did was step on those that were less fortunate than us.
Sean: It has been said that the compliance and adherence of the US corporate media to what the federal government tells them to do is what communist dictatorships could only dream of with state media. This is why I was such a vehement opponent of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. They are used as propaganda tools to knock unquestioning nationalism into the heads of children when they are far too young to actively critique it.
Logan: Exactly, exactly, exactly. It's frustrating that no one understands where this country really came from.
Sean: The less you know, the better equipped you are to unquestionably serve the upper 1%.