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The Social Blindspots of "Red America"
Historical positioning and forces make many blind to the pain and social (and economic) systems outside of their immediate environment, social circle, or income bubble.
There will be On This Day posts released this week! Don’t worry!
A lot of the drive to ban history education within segments of self-proclaimed “conservative” America is born out of a belief that young people have been too inundated with the dark sides of the American story, and now view more traditional portions as irredeemable. More “conservative” Americans fear they are not being forgiven for being products of their environment and historical forces. They feel cowed for their social patterns, social blindspots, and self-perpetuating fears of an overburdening (and multicultural) federal government.
Good conversations and exposure can remedy some of this but also human nature can be predictable in regard to people’s ability to adapt to rapid change, whether it be technological, economic, or demographic.
I understand this pathology and also understand how pointing out a lack of diversity, as well as pointing out white supremacy, makes many uncomfortable because they fear it may be painting with too broad of a brush and not forgiving people for just being clueless. The hard work of informing and educating sometimes means laying out hard truths. But it also means reflecting on the nuances of those truths. White supremacy in America is frustrating and demeaning as I feel I constantly had to prove I was American enough throughout life.
But I also get that past policies and our natural inclination to build in-groups out of survival instincts makes the racial and social blindspots of portions of the nation inevitable and a natural outcome of historical positioning and events.
Be kind to ourselves but don’t waver when explaining hard truths. But also leave room for the self-reflection and meditation that opens doors to nuance and greater understandings.
(I’m a big fan of Family Guy and American Dad.)
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