Addressing Americas's Foundations
Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Race and racism is always considered a touchy topic in America, when the truth is simple: America was born this way, and needs to make inherent and intentional changes if the nation itself wants to improve. Today, it seems like the world has started viewing things less in terms of good and bad, but rather in terms of the intrinsic and the characteristic. Philosopher and political activist Charles W. Mills does due diligence to this idea in his novel essay The Racial Contract:
“Insofar as racism is addressed at all within mainstream moral and political philosophy, it is usually treated as a footnote as a regrettable deviation from the ideal. But treating it this way makes it seem contingent, accidental, residual, removes it from our understanding. Race is made to seem marginal when in fact race has been central. The notion of subpersonhood, by contrast, makes the Racial Contract explicit, showing that to characterize things in terms of “deviations” is in a sense misleading. [..] So instead of pretending that the social contract outlines the ideal that people tried to live up to but which they occasionally ( as with all the ideals) fell short of, we should frankly say that for whites the Racial Contract represented the ideal, and what is involved is not deviation from the (fictive) norm but adherence to the actual norm. (Mills, 56)”
The central idea here is that as a nation, America has made race and racism seem like it was a mistake, when in reality, this country was built on the DELIBERATE suppression of non-whites, (but specifically blacks). The term “inequality” or “inequity” is more of an oxymoronic term when looking at the building blocks of this country. Yes, it is not equal for all, but at the same time, the system is not broken or bent or turned into something it wasn’t. The system is, in fact, working exactly the way it was made to. It was made to oppress, and it was it was built on the foundations of genocide, rape, and theft, and that's what this country is still doing today.
If America actually wants to grow and develop in the 1st world country it’s always made out to be, the US needs to strip the ideas of patriotism and white supremacy and focus on four things: reparations, reconstruction, reconciliations, and justice for ALL. These are the building blocks to a new, more equitable, equal, and safe nation. In a time like now, where tensions are higher than ever, activism has to be about more than just changing the current state of racial inequalities. It has to be about undoing the all the systemic injustices that are lesser known, but even more dangerous.