The difference between the United States and most countries is America, more than anywhere else, is designed to be a never-ending winner-takes-all contest of wealth and power. It rewards winners with riches and power. It punishes losers with bankruptcy and servitude. It’s this brutal war of real high-stakes that makes America the envy of the world if you have a certain self-centered, highly motivated ambition.
The everyday reality of the American battlefield is complex but, at its cutting edge, it’s about competing tactics for exploiting the poor and persecuting the weak.
Exceptional individuals withstand the forces of exploitation, proving their strength in the corrupt, unjust crucible of the American dream. This small but vital percentage migrates out of the immediate clutches of systemic oppression, absorbed into the entrenched corporation of wealthy, influential winners.
America is a nation in perpetual survival of the fittest, Darwinian capitalism with inequality of age (history) included. It’s fought as an everyday life or death struggle for those lower down the society ladder but, by degrees, everyone faces the same simple, universal acid-test. Based on its results, winners live rich and strong, losers die poor and weak. Equality of opportunity isn’t a work in progress, as in most modern democracies. In America, it’s the antithesis of the current paradigm.
Race is the ultimate poor underclass profiler. It manifests a defining influence on every interaction between state institutions and the individual citizen. Police brutality, the front-line of entrenched authority, enforces racism because black and brown people are disproportionately poor and weak. The police may not be racist to a man, but policing will always be aggressive in defense of racist white-dominance, for as long as whites own the nation’s wealth, in a system of absolute Darwinian power.
As a sidebar: poor whites can be brutalized, just as black and brown, because they’re also in the demographic of weak “losers” in the American wealth-power dynamic. It’s a mistake to argue police brutality only in terms of skin color. It leaves open counterargument citing non-black casualties of authoritarian excess. Truth is, they construct the violence to target the profiled underclass, mostly black and brown but plenty white in the mix.
The American justice system is the undeniable +1 for the “house”. Police, courts, bail, jail, prisons, probation, disenfranchising, national guard, civic enforcement, three-strikes rule, etc. It’s brutality in defense of the winners at every stage; against black, brown, poor, weak. It’s the dirty engine of the glorious American dream. At stake is a share in the ownership of the world.
The George Floyd protests sweeping America are an entirely justified explosion of pent-up energy. There is a vast exploited underclass, mostly black and brown but also alienated poor white, born into a reality that’s relentlessly oppressive. The deck of history is stacked against them and it has rigged the system to keep them in their place, divided: weak, poor, ideal fodder for exploitation.
But so what? The protestors will need a plan of action that strikes at the heart of this power dynamic, and a roadmap for mass-action to achieve it. The advantages of entrenched power won’t ever be given up without a fight. Winners don’t become winners by showing mercy to the weak.