Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Welcome to the dance

Cross posted from The Red Queen Strikes Again

I was hanging out with The Kid yesterday and we had to go downtown so I could buy some books for a class. We happened to hit the end of the the immigration protest and the streets were filled with people. But not your regular patcholi and piercings protesters, the streets were filled with families, brown families. It was nice, like a parade day but with political impact.

So this led the kid and I to a discussion about the immigrants and the law. Kid was horrified and said "I'll never be racist". Huhm. I do my best to make sure that's true, but I did point out to The Kid that he happens to have been born really lucky. I said "Kid, you were born a white male with American citizenship- this is just luck. There are lots of people who are born lucky and think that because they have luck they somehow deserve the privledges they get and that anybody else can have the same experience they do if they tried hard enough, but the truth is- it's just good luck".

Kid thought about it for a while. Then we went into Left Bank books and I got a fantastic little comic book called Addicted to War (I have a 2 page paper on it due tomorrow) and Persepolis. After spending all day reading for my macroeconomics class, I needed something non-school issued to read so I read Persepolis on the bus and Kid read the war comic. He was mortified.

"Mom, we are evil! We are sooooooooo evil!"

"Oh kid, all societies are evil, we just don't usually hear about how our own society is evil".

And that's the truth. We can idealize or romanticize all we want, but all societies have histories (past and present) of violence and war and inequality. And because society is stratified (and will always be. See Michels' Law of Oligarchy) that won't change much.

Don't go thinking I'm all pessimism and hopelessness though. Someone once said to me "The world isn't fair, but sometimes people can be". So we work in little bits to make it better. sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back in a weird little dance for justice. But we have to keep on dancing. That was what made me so happy about the protests, people who are usually afraid to dance because of the costs to them (deportation for coming out of the shadows and demanding to be treated fairly) joined the dance.

Welcome to the dance.

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