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These ambiences come from a sad place. For some time, I’ve felt overwhelmed with a sense of political terror and despair.
That feeling, at present, isn’t for the obvious fulcra of evil in the highest offices. It’s instead of a dawning — which must creep up on every person of colour at some point, and on me far too late in life — that the white liberal class are not going to turn up for us, no matter how far the world falls. While the underclasses, banished radicals, and bereft youth rally to the unignorable cries; in turn we see the comfortable broadsheeters, salaried vote-wielders, performative moralists, the bestowed selectorate, are silent, reluctant, and callously dismissive. As far as they’re concerned, this is not their concern.
In every POC discussion circle to which I belong, in every private message, every BAME leftist meeting, every forum of mutual support, we all find ourselves repeating the same sentence to one another, again and again: “They’re throwing us under the bus.”
Over the last few years, the ‘acceptable spectrum’ has been torn up, so I no longer buy the ‘ignorant progressive’ alibi assumed de facto of ‘moderates’, as MLK called them. These people know, they profess but ineffectualize support for change they’ll never allow, in defence of wealth status they’ll never confess exploiting, in protection of a supremacy they’ll never admit perpetrating or benefiting, sycophants to the continuation of human and global disasters from which they always evade the worst suffering. For what? For the end of history.
Baldwin notes near the end of Native Son: “People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”
I now realize that these monsters are all around me. They’re people I know. And I’ve no idea how to face them any more.