Humanist theories conveyed by great thinkers and philosophers of the 20th century in particular have in no way put an end to the debates on racial issues , even less to the conviction held by a certain category of people that one race is superior to all others.
Those who had been gullible enough to believe that the good Christians of the United States would be the first to defend the principle that men are equal on earth as well as before the Creator are flabbergasted to realize that they are up front and center, supporting white supremacist, racist and exclusivist theories.
The current American president, Donald Trump, now running for a second term, has loosened all tongues and provided an outlet for an extremism that was always just below the surface. Today, people who are most aware are afraid for this America, always promoting its “exceptionalism,” because they know it is impossible, and they shouldn’t even try to return to the era of national segregation, which is not such a distant part of American history.
The America that no longer makes you dream, feels the racism in its bones when it goes to bed at night and when it wakes up in the morning. It’s difficult to imagine Jacques Brel singing today: Madeleine’s “Tis of Thee” / She’s America to me / It’s true that she’s too good for me / (That’s what her brother always says).
Alas, racist talk and racist acts are thriving not only in America. Leaders and citizens are unhinged more or less everywhere, resulting in some odious killings. Bruno Cande, a 39-year-old African actor, was shot in cold blood by a white man in his 70s in Portugal. Upon his incarceration, the convicted man said, “In Angola, I killed many like this one.”
The current environment invites each of us to look at our own color, and to question our own origins and the motivations of those who exacerbate racial issues. Everyone, in one way or another, is affected by the debate, as we all indeed come from a place and have a skin color. Antagonism may still flourish for long centuries to come.
Under economic pretenses, the United States closed its borders, although immigrant workers have always driven the economy. And any excuse is good enough to prevent even students from entering any more.
Multiculturalism is what made this country attractive and exceptional. When the president of the United States signed the Executive Order on Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices with the Interests of American Workers, the entire American dream went down the drain; a country where one finds fulfillment through hard work. Even if we all know what is truly hiding behind this “fulfillment” for most immigrants — the violence of capitalism and liberalism — and how many bodies and souls have fallen by the wayside as they worked from morning to night.
A few avatars were born, hit by the spittle of fundamentalist speeches; from the north to the south in America, and onward to Asia.
The more murderous, vulgar, fundamentalist or populist the discourse, the more it attracts a predatory right-wing crowd, longing for some old order or for a world that might operate according to a single point of view.
Some works that have no merit whatsoever are long supported by their authors until they completely exhaust the most forgiving public. Contempt of the other, ignorance and exclusion only infect wounds that have yet to heal from deportations, slavery, Ku Klux Klan injustices, the civil rights struggle and daily abuses against minorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only revealed everyone’s frailties, it is exposing and resurrecting many truths about the relationship between wealth and liberty, and it is pushing us to create new equilibria to prevent the world from collapsing.
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