Counter Voices is an augmentation of the website Diversity-Threads.com. The vision and mission is to provide awareness, insights and understanding of the dimensions of Diversity in order to engage in conversations without fear and apprehension. As with the website, the podcast provides language, references, research, stories, and strategies on how to approach with confidence challenging…
A would-be autocrat requires absolute blind faith and loyalty.
This is the antithesis of what citizens expect from a Democracy and its leaders.
So why does a segment of America, said to be debatably 18%, believe in the insidious anti-democratic ideology known as Trumpism?
Is it a matter of absolute blind-faith or a matter of an inherited identity based on the legacy of learned predispositions and delusions of superiority, supremacy and extremism?
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”
Autocratic regimes leave ashes behind – a legacy of multigenerational trauma – followed by the sorrowful reality of the needlessness of lives altered and lost – with generations left behind to pick up the pieces.
For what? The result of pathological damaged egos pursuing manic delusions of achieving absolute superiority, power and its control.
American Democracy has never been on auto-pilot and taking it for granted allows for insidious autocratic forces to displace the core principles and quality of life provided living in a Democracy.
So what are the differences between an Autocracy and Democracy?
Do we realize what is at stake – at risk?
Do we have a choice?
Is it just about a candidate, political party, gas prices, the economy and/or contrived social-cultural distractions?
We tend to think of history as times, places, events and protagonists living in the past.
History can become somewhat cloudy as we move from generation to generation.
But in 2023, history is being, not only written, but starkly watched and heard 24/7, providing raw truths of what it means to live in a Democracy versus and Autocracy.
We did not write the past chapters of humankind. But regardless of our social-cultural-political affinities, each of us can contribute to the next chapter.
We have a choice in 2024, in the present, to impact the future.
What is the legacy that we as Americans want to leave behind – no longer held hostage by its past?
“Words like ‘freedom,’ ‘justice,’ ‘democracy’ are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.”
“How do I love thee . . . let me count the ways . . . ”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-1861
“How do I hate thee . . . let us count the ways . . . ”
Gun Violence, Domestic Terrorists, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Facists, Hate Groups (2023)
One lettered with pen in hand – the other with guns.
Each is a choice – both taught and learned.
Gen Zers unapologetically answering the call.
* “Martín Espada’s “Imagine the Angels of Bread” is a fascinating combination of the vengeful and the visionary, of anger and compassion, and of reality and dream.
The speaker imagines a worldwide release from oppression, depicting an escape, among other injustices, from inhumane work conditions, tenant evictions, and politically motivated murders.
The poem proceeds by way of a series of near-apocalyptic revolutionary reversals, by inverting long-standing injustices as Espada, on the one hand, imagines those in power themselves suffering for the first time –”squatters evict landlords” –or, conversely, dreams of liberating the poor and the victims of discrimination.”
* Heather Zadra – Book Review Modern American Poetry Society
Imagine the Angels of Bread (Published, Norton, 1996)
Why the hesitation by white people to engage with white people in difficult and uncomfortable discourse on racism and hate?
Some would argue that the reasons are due to the “teflon effect”, “cognitive dissonance”, “white fragility”, “fear” and a lack of knowledge.
“White on White” conversations can become contentious, uncomfortable and question social-cultural loyalties.
But we are in the 21st century and “White on White” conversations are taking place by choice, with emotional intelligence and moral courage.
Inclusive generational alliances are in motion and a reality.
Fear paralysis. It’s trauma holds its victims hostage.
Joy Harjo confronts the “fear monster” with her audacious and courageous humanity ~ self oppression dissolving ~ as self empowerment emerges.
Schools to my immigrant uneducated parents were “Temples of Learning” and teachers were “Holy”.
The plan was simple – they would sacrifice and I would attend school.
Their past would not dictate my future.
But what they did not realize was that sometimes classrooms can imprison and oppress.
I was not learning but merely surviving – until she appeared . . .