I finally see it.
After years of reading countless articles, reading David Livermore's work on cultural intelligence, attending equity training: Beyond Diversity I and II.....and watching countless videos, reading perspective shifting author, Jodi Piccoult's book, Small Great Things.... watching every TED talk having to do with diversity I could..... Even after years of teaching in primarily poor hispanic and native american schools in Arizona..... I never got it. You see I am a white, middle class woman from Minnesota.
Years of living in the ever present guilt of being a white women trying to validate, bridge and decrease the gap of differences between my students and I. Growing up with the color blind anthems of Free To Be You and Me and Marlo Thomas.... Six years of having an administrator ask me to start and run an affinity group in our school for black girls. Um. Me? I am uber white. Seriously sunburn-able. Mostly Swedish without the tall blonde stereotype awesomeness. But, really white.
Still the administrator persisted. Feeling so out of my depths, I despaired, felt inadequate, angry and guilty for not knowing what to do, say or be to make it work and be authentic.
The administrator? She missed the point. She proved the point. In the Nation we do that a lot.
Now, I finally get it.
I read Chris Hayes' new book. And, I can see. Finally, I can see.
I have always lived in 'The Nation.' I have never known that 'Colonies' existed-today. Yet, now, after reading Chris' latest book, I see them everywhere.
Our nation was formed from the frustrations and rebellion of colonists in the 1770's, the colonists that exist within our nation today are growing ever more frustrated and rebellious. I would say, as they should.
We hail the bravery of revolutionary souls who stood up for what was 'right' and just to free people from the power that sought to control and tax them. Maintaining order was, in fact of prime importance when ruling a colony. Our revolutionary forefathers wanted more, they wanted to be citizens of an independent nation. A nation of laws built on ideas. A nation where order was secondary to upholding of the law, however law was meant to produce order.
You see, in a colony, keeping order is the main objective. Law isn't crucial when attaining the objective of order. Laws don't always come into play in a colony~ those are for the citizens of the Nation, and colonists? Well, they are not the same as citizens.
In a nation, we exist with the rules of law and privilege. No one would question our right to the protection of our laws. The primary objective is lawfulness, not order. The power of a citizen is the right we have to challenge those who uphold the laws, those who make the laws. The power of a citizen is to change laws, lawmakers, and anything else we want to change.
In a colony, there exists law enforcement- those tasked with 'law enforcing.' However, their job really is to maintain order. To maintain order at all costs. This is why when tasked with keeping order, rules and the lofty ideals of laws fall by the way side in order to clamp down tightly on colonists who may wish to disturb order and peace. Without accountability of the law reigning supreme in the colony, who would question the actions of one trying to do their job of maintaining order. Order before anything else, including and especially the law.
It's all very Machiavellian in the logic rampant for citizens who work in colonies, the ends justify the means. Hunger Games comparisons anyone?
No wonder the tension exists, the frustration of generations.
A Colony in a Nation, has changed me. My epiphany while reading was, "Ohhhhh. Like the Revolution....Oh. Oh, no...."
Now I notice. Now I see. The glowering rage of injustice our colonists have been long screaming about. The injustice that citizens of the nation are all but blind to. Chris Hayes' book is just the pair of spectacles they can start with.