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 /

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 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 33,553 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 13,519 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 13,369 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 11,002 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,762 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...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 8,639 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 5,340 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 5,018 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
The Important Difference Between Love and Being Loved
2 min · 1,979 views today · We talk of love as if it were just one thing: in fact, it’s two very different moves, Loving and Being Loved. You start to grow up when you stop focusing on the latter and get...
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 1,940 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,909 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...
Bird Watching on Lesvos Island - A Poetic Call to Stand With Refugees
3 min · 1,903 views today · Born in Darfur, Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Emi Mahmoud is the 2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and the Women of the World co-Champion of 2016. From a young age Emi...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 1,885 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 1,719 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 1,511 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out
Nadia Prupis · 1,231 views today · Doing so would constitute 'double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change,' report states
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 971 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
World's Low-Cost Economy Built on the Backs of 46 Million Modern Day Slaves
Deirdre Fulton · 938 views today · 'Business leaders who refuse to look into the realities of their own supply chains are misguided and irresponsible.'
Are You Lost in the World Like Me?
3 min · 871 views today · Animated film by Steve Cutts for 'Are You Lost In The World Like Me?', taken from These Systems Are Failing- the debut album from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. 
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 869 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Problem Isn't the Color of the Oppressor's Skin - the Problem Is a Meme