Power to the People

Following Bacon’s Rebellion (1676-1677), a strategy was put into place to prevent any future uprisings which might threaten the wealth and power of the “white male elite.” A major part of that strategy was to separate people by skin color and implement a plan to divide and conquer.

As long as the spotlight was shifted to their fellow man, the masses would no longer make them the target of their wrath. Despite the fact that they had more in common with each other than they did with this tiny minority of rich and powerful “white” males, they were successful in convincing less melanated folks into believing that they shared in their wealth and power by proxy of skin color. 

Never mind that they could not actually share in the fruits of the power and wealth to change their personal lifestyles, it proved to be just enough to make them feel superior to those of a darker skin tone.

When you tap into one’s sin nature and discover what they truly want to believe, it becomes easy to convince them of such. Scam artists use this tactic often. All rational thinking gets dismissed, and all that matters is the bottom line of the endorphin releasing chemical in the brain providing them with a feel-good high.  “Whiteness” becomes an identity and a drug, it becomes your team, along with an American flag icon and a “white” Jesus mascot and resounding chants of “USA, USA.” 

Yet the impending threat of losing one’s place as the homogenous population and quickly moving into minority status becomes an overriding fear. And there is no shortage of those lurking around to capitalize on those fears and expand them to monstrous proportions. Hence, we get threats of another civil war, and changing laws to slow down the pace of the inevitability of this societal reassignment. Fear leads to irrational behaviors. But what is being defended? White privilege, white nationalism, white supremacy, and white power.

In light of this, people suddenly become willing to throw out the previously held sanctity of the American Constitution and seek to overturn a legitimate election, storm the Capitol, and fight against the previously championed “blue lives matter,” as long as it secures their white privilege. The marriage is not to the American Constitution, it’s not to Blue Lives Matter, and it’s not to American democracy. No, this marriage is to the identity of “whiteness” and all its accompanying privileges.

Someone recently posed the question, “Why is it that the rich and powerful never seem to get punished for their crimes?” That’s because the laws and the punishment for breaking them were never intended to apply to the rich and powerful white males who established them. They were put into place to control the masses, not the top one percent, and certainly not the top one percent of the one percent.

We have blue collar crimes and white-collar crimes. Usually, white-collar crimes are federal and committed by rich white males. Whereas blue collar crimes tend to be committed by more impoverished “white” people and POC and fall into the category of state crimes.

And those who know, know that state prisons are a lot different than federal penitentiaries. These can seem like low end country clubs. So, on the much rarer occasion that a sacrificial lamb is offered up from this group, to give the appearance of blind justice, the punishment is far less severe.  This, despite the fact that usually a whole lot more money is involved, and yet less time is given.

These are two separate worlds connected only by skin color, not by economics, and not by power. Consequently, POC and poor “whites” tend to be in the same boat; used as pons on a chess board protecting a king that does not have their best interest at heart. But hey, at least you are not like “these inferiors.”

So the beat goes on and impoverished “whites” are turned against “those Blacks” who can’t seem to fit in and make something of themselves, or “those Brown colored immigrants” from the “sh#thole” countries trying to come here and take your jobs, or “those Asians” that are taking the place of your kids in the halls of higher educational institutions and bringing you these pandemics shutting down the country, or how about “those Natives who are wasting space?”

It’s always “the other” that is responsible for your problems, but never the one who holds the wealth of a small country while everyone else is left to fight over a few left-over crumbs. 

But we will make it easier for the less melanated folks to get those crumbs to help them keep hope alive and continue to buy into the madness.

And so here we are two years later, following an inside job by American citizens who attempted to overthrow the country. Two years following a twice impeached disgraced criminal con man and former president of these United States who continues to promote the lie of a stolen election with a list of charges longer than your arm who has announced his run for another term as the ship’s captain.       

So yes, those of us who have been used as pons in this game of control and conquer, need to come together as we did in Bacon’s rebellion and find strategic methods to, as Public Enemy says, “fight the power.” Collectively as the “permanent underclass,” come up with ways to band together and support causes and legislation that works in favor of ALL of us, not just some of us. We have to renounce the false narrative that we are each other’s worse enemy and use our collective powers to force that tiny minority at the top to share power and wealth as opposed to hogging it. Power is never simply conceded out of the goodness of one’s heart.

In the words of Dr. King,freedom is never given voluntarily by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

And as the Biblical scriptures teach us, it is the love of money that is at the root of all evil.

We have to be able to see past our superficial differences and unite around much more deeply rooted commonalities. In keeping with the South African rallying cry against the ravishes of Apartheid, Mandla! (Power) Awethu! (it is ours) Power to the People, not the establishment! America must be forced to live up to its claim to be a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people! ALL People! 

By Tobias Houpe

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