Lawrence, KS - Events Local News Groups Contact
The Problem Isn't the Color of the Oppressor's Skin - the Problem Is a Meme
By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
Feb 6, 2015

Have a look at this 2 minute clip from the film Schooling the World: The White Man's Last Burden:

The clip went viral on Facebook, generating 120,000 shares and over 2000 comments.

The subtitle, "the white man's last burden," comes from a 1899 English poem, which epitomizes the racism and 'humanitarian' delusions of white colonial culture during this era. Given the subtitle, it's important to note that the problem isn't inherently a problem with white people. The problem is a meme, or set of memes, which grew from the many dominator cultures of the past several thousand years and which eventually spread to inhabit the minds of white European culture.

If you raised a white child among an indigenous tribe without these memes,
the child would have no conception of the racist, colonial/superior/inferior complex that afflicts colonial culture.

This meme in its simplest form is: "Our way is the one right way to live and everyone else should live the way we do." And, "Those that don't live the way we do are backwards, wrong, inferior to us, etc."

This "one right way" meme has infected our conceptions of virtually every aspect of life: one right economic system (capitalism), one right religion (pick one), one right country (ours), one right way to live (European civilization), one right sexual orientation (straight) etc.

It also follows from this meme that there is a hierarchy of superior and inferior. White > other colors. Male > female.

Thankfully more and more of these oppressive and delusional hierarchies are being challenged. But of course many hierarchies remain invisible or remain oppressive despite the historical gains.

Sexism for instance remains rampant despite everyone more or less agreeing that sexism is wrong. Colonialism continues today under the banner of the more
euphemistically benign term "globalization."

But the problem isn't the inherent identities of the oppressors, it is rather the memes in their heads which they were socialized to believe in from a very young age, to the point that they are mostly unaware of them.

Barack Obama is a good example of a non-white person who was socialized by the dominant culture and has come to represent the interests of that dominator class (the interests of empire, the rich, etc).

The same will hold true if Hilary Clinton gets elected next year. The gender will have changed but the memes which have infected rich white men will still be in charge of the country.

This is why diversity in politics is pointless if the ideological beliefs remain the same.

This is also why I believe in MLK Jr's strategy of 'defeating evil, not people.' It's not the people that need defeating, but the toxic memes that live inside their heads.

 

 

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don't think it will be based on the color of the skin...”


― Malcolm X

4.5 ·
3
Trending Today
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 11,578 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 5,303 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 2,655 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,893 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 1,128 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 1,033 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 802 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 591 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 480 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 444 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 437 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 336 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Live Before You Die
6 min · 317 views today · Travelling the length of the country and back again with a pair of horses and gypsy caravan, Live Before You Die is the ultimate horse-drawn road movie, following a band of...
The Age of Anxiety
Grace Blakeley · 314 views today · I began to experience the crippling power of anxiety in my third year of university. The panic attacks were one thing, but the most horrifying thing about anxiety, the thing...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 312 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 269 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Regenerative Agriculture: Our Best Shot at Cooling the Planet?
Jason Hickel · 266 views today · It’s getting hot out there. For a stretch of 16 months running through August 2016, new global temperature records were set every month.[1] Ice cover in the Arctic sea hit a...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 226 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 187 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 177 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
The Problem Isn't the Color of the Oppressor's Skin - the Problem Is a Meme