Our conflict also started with a fight for freedoms. We called it the Second Civil War. Then the Eugenics War. And finally just World War III–Captain Christopher Pike (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds)
I’ve been turning this over and over in my head for a while now.
The stance of the Republican Party, the right-to-life, the Moral Majority, the self-proclaimed “conservatives.” Their rabid and single-minded fight to keep redefining at what point a life can be declared “human”, at odds with observation, science, and their own proclaimed faith.
It took a while to understand.
This is not a fight against abortion.
Let’s be brutally honest.
This is a Eugenics War.
On one side are the people who believe that cis-het-white males are superior, that they are the caretakers of “Western Civilization” which, in their eyes, is the sole and saving grace of humanity itself. They see the damage done by “Western Civilization” as the proper and mindful sacrifice needed to advance the human grace towards its necessary steps towards supremacy over the universe. Or at least the planet and often the solar system if they are being modest.
Everything else is atavistic and to be forgotten or a resource that “Western Civilization” can/should re-purpose. And I keep using “Western Civilization” in quotes, because the term is whatever they deem it to be. Much like the term “white.”
News flash: white is not the color of your skin, even if you check it off on the census box. It’s a made up political term promoted by one guy who lusted after literal slaves and justified his actions by claiming they were the most-beautifulest of humans so he couldn’t help himself. And by another guy — a poet this time — who was a closet queer with terrible self-loathing, so he promoted the idea of “white male” to ridiculous heights.
To the cis-white-het males, they are responsible for creation and everything within it. It is “the White Man’s Burden”, which they explicitly state and wear it like a badge of pride.
We know exactly where this leads. It’s not a surprise. It cuts a bloody swath across history from Rome to modern day. Two thousand, five hundred years of death, genocide. The rape and destruction of unimaginably vast swaths of land. It leads to oppression. To the degradation of entire cultures. And the devestation of the very strength of humanity.
But who’s on the other side? The “everyone else”, warts and all, represent the best of us. The cultures that lasted “from the beginning of time”, that survived disasters and thrived. That grew from a group of friends and family that found a different land and tried a different way of being. People whose actions lead to diversity, to strength, to a rich and regenerative world.
Not an easy one.
But one that can persist for eons and provide for wonders unimagined.
I was raised white.
But I am not white.
It’s a made up fucking category. It’s imaginary, wholeheartedly and I reject it to its core. And while I can pretend to be that cis-het white male if I need to be, I am, to my center, a queer Southern Californian, an Angeleno. A person who has strong roots in Celtic and Norse culture but lives worlds away from the homelands. A seed waiting for a place to land. A person who’s got just enough smarts to realize the world is a much wilder and wider setting that he can comprehend.
You choose your part in the Eugenics Wars by taking a side.
Traditionally, those folks who can pretend, who can hide, often do so. It’s more comfortable to do so and it works… for a while.
But ultimately, when they are done with the obvious threats, they will come for you. The famous poem by Martin Niemöller–“first they came for the socialists”–stands the test of time because white is such an artificial category that it can contain or expel whatever it wants to; and because of that, everyone, always, no matter how white they think they are, are one step away from the horrors they allow to happen to others.
You can take a stand, though.
Stop it from happening.
You can give it up.
Would you like an immediate, direct first step?
You could start with stopping the genocide of the native American tribes. Right now, many tribes are classified under “blood quanta” which means that they–unlike ANY other nation on the face of the planet–have to prove that there is enough genetic material in them to “belong” to the tribe. This guarantees, over time, that the population of “acceptable amounts of Indian blood” will vanish over time. Genocide by bureaucracy.
Return the sovereignity that they deserve, so that they can choose who is part of their population, not the U.S. government.
Have the US government start with landback by giving ten acres back, permanently to each of the 50 federally registered tribes. Hell, have them give the Black Mountains back as well. That’s a federal park. Or one of the islands of Hawaii (like Lanaii or Molokai). Just to show people are trying.
Reject the heritage of colonization and its masters.
That’s just a couple of a million suggestions.
Openly embrace your heritage, mixed or not. Embrace your city and ALL the people in it. Or your town.
It’s not the color of your skin and never has been. That was just an excuse for some to identify one of many traits and say “here we draw the line”. They still decide who is part of their club (all of you know about the “one drop” rule that used to be in the South, right?)
We are in the Eugenics War.
I know what side I’m on.
What about you?