When I started on what I’ll call the project of writing for the Florida Squeeze it was my intent to draw a line from pre (and post) Castro Cuba’s perversion and flat out thuggery of the politics in my state, Florida. The events of the last month or so have my thoughts going in about 1000 different directions. I will get to drawing down on and detailing the Cuban diaspora’s contribution to the Political Trash Bin that Florida has become, in time. For now, I want to explore exactly what our country is, was, and what it is not.
There are so many different mind fucks to explore. There’s the seductive mind fuck, something you think you enjoy until you realize your mind has been warped. Others are like assaults, maybe they make a person or a group of people feel less than they are. The worst mind fuck of all is the mind fuck that makes a person or a group of people feel like they are better than everyone else. The number one mind fuck in this country: Racism. The number two mind fuck: Classism.
We have to move past both if we are ever to reach our full potential as a people. I like to think I use language well as such I use the phrase move past both and not eliminate. I don’t think they will ever be eliminated because they are embedded into our cultural DNA as a people, passed down by our former European rulers. Racism is self-descriptive albeit sneaky and not always the in your face name calling stereotypes that some people expect, it is hate pure and simple, never grounded in fact. Never.
Classism is a little harder to define in this country, because race defines class. I think back to the quote attributed to LBJ about making the lowliest (low class) white man empty his pockets for you because you made him believe he’s better than any black man. In a country where the Constitution says all men are created equal you’d think class or race wouldn’t matter but, there’s always been a wink and a nod because the founding fathers didn’t really believe it when they wrote it. If you want to know how multitudes of people can be convinced to believe any other big lies like the lies about stolen elections, start with that one.
Europeans and Early Americans all believed they were patriotic while relegating Black men and women to the yoke of bondage, and killing off the people of the First Nations they encountered upon arriving to the New World. After all, they believed they were either in service of their leader or their God most of them subscribing loyalty to both. They all believed big lies, Black people are inferior, and God sent me to tame the people of the First Nations, the biggest and most harmful of lies because of the horror they visit on other human being.
The terrorists who invaded our Capitol also believed they were in service of their leader and their God just like the Europeans and the Early Americans. His lieutenants told them to do trial by combat, disputed the election, and cried fraud or irregularities in majority minority cities. Want to get a bunch of Christian White Supremacists pissed off? Lie to them, tell them “the others” are taking something, anything of value from them. This time they were told the election was stolen, by “those” people. Latinos and Native Americans in Arizona, and Nevada. Black people in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia. They didn’t even resist the mind fuck, they wanted it. I hear a lot of them saying now they felt duped, make no mistake these were not victims they were volunteers. They were like baying hounds to the sound of dog whistles.
For the media pundits behaving like all of this is something new, I suggest opening a book or searching the internet. Take a trip to the National Museum of African American History, or a Holocaust Museum. Those places are not inclusive of all the horrors caused by Christian White Supremacists, they are a good place to start. Lest we be naïve, among the terrorists who attacked our Capitol were groups who could care less who the president is, they want to destroy the country and kill “the others” as it is their belief that this is a country for Christian White Supremacists alone, with all others subservient to them. They will kill anyone who gets in their way, as their hunt for Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi showed us. After courting them for 60 years or more, the GOP has found that they created a monster they cannot control. Their biggest mind fuck ever was thinking they could.
I wish I was smart enough to say I have a solution. One thing is for sure, nothing gets solved with the current crop of Republican politicians left in place. They are frightened of the monster they’ve created and so craven that they will court anyone to stay in power. We have to do our civic duty and vote them out. You cannot legislate the heart, but you can legislate so there are more defined consequences for people who encourage and foment political violence. We must. The time for ignorance has ended.