Blog (18) Events (14) NonFiction (14) Poetry (14) PAST POST (13) Exploits (11) Fiction (11) China (9) Video (8) DREAM (7) Dragon's Bane (6) Merchandise (5) Meme (2) Rest In Peace (2)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Against Xenophobia -- Sword Points

I understand that humans are a tribal sort. We started with small, insular bands and the world was dangerous and we had to fight for every scrap of everything, whether it was food, or water or a place to pitch our teepee or hut.

Back in the days of old when we couldn't trust other humans to not try to kill us in our sleep because we didn't know better, I understand that kind of xenophobia. Whiter skinned folks don't know that the browner skinned folks don't really want to hurt them. The ape brain in all of us mistrusts people who don't look like they could be part of the same tribe as us.

That's why Sapiens fucked/killed Neanderthals out of existence. They looked just different enough that they seemed threatening.  That's why white cops kill black people, because they look different enough that they seem threatening.  In the ape brains of the white cops, the ancestral memories see the darker skin and sometimes larger bodies and think, "This guy is going to attack me and steal my food/water/mate/etc" even though that is far from the truth.  It's a reaction born of millions of generations of having to fight tooth and nail, spear and knife, arrow and sword, gun and bigger gun with multiple other supposedly civilized societies.

There's a word... civilized... we are supposed to be civilized. Civilization: the stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced. Think about this for a second.  We are supposedly at our highest evolutionary potential. We have access to unlimited energy in the sun (example, we could cover the Sahara desert in solar panels and it would generate enough power for the ENTIRE WORLD). We have tools that can make our oceans drinkable so we have nearly unlimited potential of water. We have land enough to live on for everyone despite people crowding in cities.

Humans have won. Aside from a few mishaps, we don't die from animal attacks anymore. We have people who know what plants we can eat and what plants we shouldn't. We know what kinds of plants to cultivate that can feed us.

The only thing we have left to fear is each other.  To borrow a snippet from Frank Herbert's Dune, "Fear is the mind killer."

We are part of a civilized world. We have the luxury to stop, take a deep breath and look at where we are. We are in the Goldilocks zone of life.

We don't need to subjugate anything, too many men feel the need to subjugate women because women literally produce life from their bodies and evolution wants us to make as many babies as we can before we keel over.

We don't need to kill anything.  I'm not vegan, but I know that the world could go vegan tomorrow and nothing would change. We have clothes made of synthetic and naturally harvested materials, we have meat that could be grown in labs without the slaughter of any animals.

We don't need to take anything, the world gives us everything we could ever need.

We don't need to own anything, many native cultures existed without the perception of ownership, interlopers told them things and people and places belonged to someone.

We could just live.

There are people on the planet, who all they want to do is cure diseases. They love doing this.

People exist who love to build buildings and create structures.

People exist who want to entertain others and bring joy to their days.

People exist who want to feed others. 

Some people love numbers. Some people love letters.

Some people love talking with others about their problems.

Every job that is necessary for human existence has people who want to do it more than anything in the world. Some jobs might seem more important than others, but everyone's time is worth the same amount.

What I'm trying to get at here is, if we throw away all of our preconceptions of tribalism (nationalism), xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, we can do great things.

It won't be easy to do, there are a lot of ancestral scars that we can see in our DNA. There are things we can't just forget and we should never forget them. We need to embrace these scars on a global societal level, wear them like badges as reminders of what NOT to do in the future.

Maybe someday people will realize that life will be a whole lot better if we work together instead of against one another.

Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst by day and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press.