I continue to struggle to convince others that we cannot make progress toward justice as long as we are content to remain in systems that continue to cause injustice. Racism is built into the social, economic and political structures of the land called the United States. All the work that so many do to try to improve these systems is doomed to failure because the systems remain.
I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.
So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”Ronnie James
Quakers will only be truly prophetic when they risk a great deal of their accumulated privilege and access to wealth. Prophets cannot have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Any attempt to change a system while benefiting and protecting the benefits received from the system reinforces the system. Quakers as much as anyone not only refuse to reject their white privilege, they fail to reject the benefits they receive from institutionalized racism, trying to make an unjust economy and institutionalized racism and patriarch more fair and equitable in its ability to exploit. One can not simultaneously attack racist and patriarchal institutions and benefit from them at the same time without becoming more reliant upon the benefits and further entrenching the system. Liberalism at its laziest.Scott Miller
This morning I was led to consider the concept of property.
The colonization of America was built on the idea of people and land as property. “The exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing: ownership”. Exclusive is key, because it suggests that the property owner can do anything they want with the property, be that land or people.
Indigenous peoples were swindled out of their land because they did/do not think of land as property, as being owned. And believed in sacred promises, such as honoring treaties. Colonists violently seized all the land, and broke every treaty.
Incredible as it seems, people and their labor were/are designated as property. People from Africa and other places were captured and enslaved. Families separated. Native land was stolen by classifying it as property. Millions of people are essentially enslaved today as they work for poverty wages, if they are able to find a job.
As I’ve been participating in and writing about for the past year, Mutual Aid is how to get out of the current social, political and economic systems the continue to promulgate injustice.
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The greatest driver to build mutual aid groups is we will soon have no choice. It is increasingly clear our political system has failed us. Capitalism has failed us. Our healthcare industry is failing despite the valiant efforts of front line health workers. And most of all, environmental chaos will rapidly worsen.