Do The Oppressed Support the Oppressors?

“Contrary to the ‘rugged individualism’ myth Americans fancy about themselves, we are, in fact, wholly dependent on each other. “

An opinion by guest blogger Faizeh Al-Zarqa.  This was originally posted one year ago, but is as relevant today as it was then.

A couple weeks ago, we were watching Samantha Bee and she was showing a clip of Rep. Louis Gohmert rambling on in his usual nonsensical way, and she made some jokes and said something to the effect of “Thank goodness there’s no one crazier than Louis Gohmert!” At that moment, I turned to Drew and said, “Except Steve King.” I had barely finished saying that when she rolled the clip, and Gohmert was relinquishing his time to his colleague and friend Steve King, who went on to say more ridiculous things. In case you don’t remember who Steve King is, he’s the representative from Iowa who loves to say (in seriousness) racist things. Last fall, I watched, live, as he stated that all good things and societal advances have been made by white people. He argued with the other people on the panel when they tried to correct him. He is someone who truly believes white people are superior to others, and more importantly, a whole lot of people think he is a good representative for them.

Science has shown us again and again that when a person or group in power must relinquish any portion of that power, even to make things more equitable, they will often perceive that loss of power as persecution and/or oppression. The interesting thing is that often, groups who have been the minority groups are so socialized to accept the power of the majority group that they will often perceive that loss of power as unjust as well. Our brains are malleable and fascinating! One study on gender equality in the classroom showed that when the teacher purposely made time talking in class equal between genders, both groups perceived that the women were talking 90% of the time and the men only 10%, even though they each had the floor 50% of the time. Typically, men and boys take up about 80% of classroom talking time.

Anyway, back to Steve King. Clearly, he represents a lot of people who are either in agreement with his racial viewpoints, or not bothered by them. Clearly he is able to walk the halls of the capital and make friends with others who are either in agreement or not bothered by them. This is not just your racist uncle you have to try and ignore on holidays.

While it may feel good to punch nazis, that response does nothing beyond giving these people another way to feel persecuted. I would suggest another method- ostracizing them. Stop working with them. Stop tolerating them. Stop f***ing voting for them. Contrary to the “rugged individualism” myth Americans fancy about themselves, we are, in fact, wholly dependent on each other. Denying people our resources and company because they don’t deserve any goodwill will probably not get them to practice self examination, but it will force them to bury those destructive and evil views where they will only eat at the holder of said views.

Faizeh Al-Zarqa is a dancer and dance instructor who also raises awareness of social issues, some that are often missed. In the Kingdom of Caid in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), she has served as Regent, Minister of Arts & Sciences Officer, Kingdom Chatelaine (administrator for newcomers), Regent, and Queen.

The photo Diversity and Unity is by Frerieke from The Hague, The Netherlands. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

An opinion of a poster to The Loveshade Family Blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

For Father’s Day America Steals Children

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions is using a Bible verse to justify ripping children away from their parents. They’ll hint the parents might not get their children back. The government actually admits they’re using this as a threat.

What kind of country is America anyway? Call or write your representatives!

Jeff Sessions uses Bible to justify taking children

Stephen Colbert on Jeff Sessions and taking away kids

An opinion of an individual associate or member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

The Second Amendment is Dead

Image from http://awselby.com/?p=331

Image from http://awselby.com/?p=331

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, born 226 years ago today, is dead.  Defunct.  And it has been dead for a long time.

Many of you will say it’s not dead.  It’s never been revoked, it’s still in the Constitution, and it’s still the law.  And I would agree.  But as it existed originally, and from a practical point of view, it’s deceased.

The Second Amendment harkens back to the American Declaration of Independence.  No less that President Abraham Lincoln believed that the Constitution should be interpreted through the Declaration’s principles, according to Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by historian James M. McPherson.  And that says it is “the Right of the People to alter or abolish” a despotic government. “It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” It is “the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.”

To throw off a hostile government, and to provide guards for the future, means having and using arms.  The right to bear arms goes back much further, back 100 years to the English Bill of Rights of 1689.  And in the 21st century in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court proclaimed the right to bear arms was “clearly an individual right, having nothing whatsoever to do with service in the militia.”

While the nation’s founders did not state a constitutional right of the people to “throw off such Government” once they founded a government, they did continue the tradition of giving people, including individuals, the right to bear arms.  In 1791, the Second Amendment passed which says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

So why do I say the Second Amendment is dead?  At its acceptance, and by the traditions that preceded it, it gave people the right to bear arms against a government.  From a practical point of view, that means people having arms that could be used to defeat a nation.

In 1791, this was entirely practical.  A person of relatively modest means could buy a Kentucky long rifle, then arguably the most effective weapon in existence.  (I’ll leave it to munitions experts to debate on whether a field gun or something else was most effective, but in any case, a person could buy one).  For something larger, you and your associates could buy and use a real, deadly cannon like members of private groups, including the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, used.

But things have changed, radically.  There was the Civil War’s Gatling gun, which was nearly an automatic weapon; and the 1880s Maxim gun, which was.  These weapons were not readily available, and were very expensive.  The Second Amendment, in its original meaning as interpreted through the Declaration of Independence, was dying.

In today’s world, it’s all over.  None of us can go to our local gun shop and pick up a arsenal of thermonuclear weapons.  And you can’t go to Walmart to get yourself a nuclear submarine and an armed aircraft carrier.  They’re too expensive, and too illegal.  That’s what someone in the modern world would realistically need to “throw off such Government.”  Thus, by its original meaning, the Second Amendment is dead.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.