by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 13, 2020
Large paradigmatic disruptions happen slowly until the point of no return is reached, and then things happen fast. The change rate is not smooth, so tectonic plates and volcanoes seem metaphorically appropriate—long periods with minor tremblings that can be ignored interspersed with planet shaking explosions.
But these things are complex and occurring on multiple levels at different rates. Human perception is often focused on irrelevancies, and major changes are not recognized until they forcefully intrude on our consciousness.
The force of and majority support for the Black Lives Matter movement last spring and summer opened many people’s eyes. It also shook those unwilling to see things in a new way producing a reactionary surge, unfortunately, amplified by Trump and party as it played into their racist and fascist opportunism.
All of the implications of that major shift for Black and POC in America’s original and intensely racist culture are working their way as shock waves echoing internally through the US and around the planet. As we know, waveforms moving through any media and echoing back from edges can amplify and nullify the effect. That adds to the confusion and produces misinterpretations by the simplistic who only reinforces their existing fears.
The long process of stumbling toward a fascist dictatorship that we experienced through four years of Trump puffed up into the frightening realization that his followers were crazy but dangerous. The amplification of racism and crude nationalistic tribalism drew in millions of malleable people angry at decades of economic exploitation, emphasizing their powerlessness against the political and financial elite. That elite had completed the gutting of the minimally intestinally fortified, democratic system of the18th century upper-class, WASP founders.
It’s noteworthy that the media still feels the need to state that Biden is only the second Catholic to be elected president. I remember that as a bigger deal in 1960 with John F Kennedy who was the first and it still had some political meaning for Boston and other cities but am amazed that it is even mentioned now. Who cares?