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Human Dignity. We stopped caring when the first man whipped another and raped his wife.
Our racist and rape culture owe their existence to “white privilege” and “patriarchy.” The enslavement of peoples has been the mainstay of the rich and power regardless of the damage done along the way. If there is a feeling of innate pride to be exercising privilege and patriarchy, forget it. History tells us it’s been a lie from the very beginning.
Human Dignity. We are all family — humankind.
At the dawn of humankind, skin color was a matter of survival and changes in the genome. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, Africans migrated north. The new data confirm that about 8500 years ago, early hunter-gatherers in Spain, Luxembourg, and Hungary also had darker skin. Over time they lost two genes—SLC24A5 and SLC45A2—which led to depigmentation and the European pale skin of today. In Scandinavia, a third gene was lost, HERC2/OCA2, which led to blue eyes and may also have contributed to light skin and blond hair.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring at the start of commerce.
Hunter-gatherers colonized into agrarian societies. Men took over the fields and women took over the home. Eventually, the question of what to do with the surplus arose. Men took over the negotiations, and in their zeal for games of chance or in the absence of tradeable goods, resorted to using family members as commodities – human cash.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when treasuries ran dry.
The main activities over the centuries seemed to be: build a house, village, town, city, area, country. After a time, when you need more resources (over-spending), attack and take over the next settlement – war, rape, appropriation, and pillage — WRAP.
Europeans tended WRAP among themselves. That ended with Alexander the Great, the ruler of the landlocked Balkan state of Macedonia. He conquered lands from the Danube River through Greece and the Persian empire. Killing thousands and taking thousands and thousands more as slaves. He entered Egypt in 331 B.C. and left one of his followers in charge as he returned to further his conquests.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when we colonized Egypt.
That man, a Greek, name himself Ptolemy I Soter, Pharaoh of Egypt in 305 B.C. During his rule, his troops formed liaisons with the natives. Intermarriage produced a large Greco-Egyptian educated middle class. However, the pure Greeks always remained a privileged minority in Ptolemaic Egypt.
Everyone lived under Greek law, received a Greek education, were tried in Greek courts, and were citizens of Greek cities, just as they had been in Greece. However, the Egyptians were rarely admitted to the higher levels of Greek culture, in which most Egyptians were not interested in any case – their own civilization eight thousand years old.
Greeks now formed the new upper classes in Egypt, replacing the old native aristocracy. In general, the Ptolemies undertook changes that went far beyond any other measures that earlier foreign rulers had imposed. They used the religion and traditions to increase their own power and wealth. Although they established a prosperous kingdom, enhanced with fine Greek buildings and architecture, the native population enjoyed few benefits, and there were frequent uprisings.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when we failed to humanize anyone other than ourselves.
The colonizers of ancient Egypt didn’t care what was there before them, the culture of the people, their needs or their history. The Greeks helped themselves to the Egyptian goods, the gold, the art, and impose the Greek ways upon the conquered peoples. It would be the same for most coquerers and colonizers. The goal was to WRAP and grow rich on other people’s effort.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when religion sanctified war.
WRAP came into play again in 1095 in the first of nine crusades declared by Pope Claremont sent men from the Christian states of Europe against the Saracens (Moslems) to secure the Holy Land, in particular, Jerusalem. Once that was done, the Pope sent “his” army to seize Spain from the Moors, the Slavs and Pagans from eastern Europe, and the islands of the Mediterranean from the natives.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when greed and power fueled WRAP.
The effects of the Crusades in Europe of the Middle Ages were an important factor in the history of the progress of civilization. They influenced the wealth and power of the Catholic Church, Political matters, commerce, feudalism, intellectual development, society, and materialism as well prompting the famous voyages of discovery. All-in-all, wealth to the white leaders, hard work/death for the soldiers, and degradation/death/slavery for the conquered.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring at genocide.
Europeans used WRAP when they arrived on the shores of North and South America and the island nations in between. The false but overwhelming belief that European explorers were better than the natives they found justified extermination. In America, it amounted to the genocide of Native Americans, leaving those that remained with broken treaties and confinement to reservations on worthless land.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring with the abduction and enslavement of Africans.
Slavery in America started in 1619 when a Dutch ship brought 20 African slaves ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Throughout the 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to African slaves as a cheaper, more plentiful labor source than indentured servants, who were mostly poorer Europeans. Some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million black slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when white men built empires on the backs of Africans
In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin and transformed the South from the large-scale production of tobacco to cotton, a switch that reinforced the region’s dependence on slave labor. By 1860, there were nearly 4 million slaves with more than half living in the cotton-producing states of the South.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when we forgot Africans were human
Now women, white and non-white, and African men and children, were commodities to be sold, bought, and traded; used and abused; raped and killed. All by the hand or orders of white privileged men, who ruled with the right of kings – patriarchy. Men who thought themselves all-powerful, ruler of life and death, demander/taker of bodies for sex. All this wanton disregard caused not a moment of guilt as they were supported by their church.
Human Dignity. We stopped caring when American corporations supported the Holocaust.
Thus, white privilege and patriarchy ruled the land. When slavery ended, the abuse didn’t stop. The myths man created were now accepted as truths and the right to abuse, subjugate, and kill women and African Americans remained part of the white male psyche. When World War II broke out and there was a chance to make uber-big bucks, American corporations rushed to Germany. Not only were they wined and dined by Hitler, their factories were supplied with FREE labor from the conquered countries and the concentration camps. The oligarchs made a fortune… and lost their humanity.
Human Dignity. We must regain our respect for each other as human beings.
There is nothing, not money or power or privilege, inherent in the color of our skin that allows anyone to hurt, abuse, discriminate, rape, or exclude another. We are all human. We are the same species. We are the same. Period.
Regaining respect for Human Dignity
- Make it your mission to change the mentality of the police force in your town. Stop the shooting of African Americans. Every human being deserves their day in court. Every policeman needs to employ de-escalation and safe-do-no-harm conversation before drawing a gun. Murder must not be their go-to action.
- Whenever you hear or see a woman or Person of Color being verbally or physically abused, “adopt” them as family. Call them away from the abuser. If they’ve been silenced in a meeting, say you’d like to hear what they have to say. If someone appropriates their comments as his or her own, mention that it the same idea the targeted person just said. If their data is questioned as a putdown, say you’re aware of the work the person put into the report.
- Right the wrongs – one at a time.
We are all human and we are stronger together.
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