Why They Hate Resistance
Here’s the (more frequently needed) reminder that I’m not just a business student, but a social science researcher, among other things.
Brooklyn is currently in a state of police occupation. After the fatal shooting of a 16 year old, allegedly brandishing a firearm at undercover police officers, many residents of Flatbush took to the streets to protest. The protests grew into active resistance as the police presence began agitating already angered (and exhausted by systemic and multi-faceted oppression) protesters. To further fuel the resistance, the NYC Medical Examiner has found that the 16 year old was shot three times in the back. This fact throws a hard to overcome wrench in the NYPD story that the teen was brandishing a firearm at officers when he was shot.
This is a good ol’ fashion American resistance story if you ask me! It has many of the fundamental qualities:
- Systemic government oppression and squelching of resident concerns.
- Overt disrespect for residents. This finally is embodied in an abhorrent and unjustified violent act by the government, at first framed as a justified reaction by the government.
- Resistance occurs in response to not only the unjustified act, but also the systemic and reoccurring oppression.
On my Facebook page, I’m rather vocal about these types of socioeconomic, political system failures. So with this in mind, I’ve always had to wrap my head around the reemerging few that would otherwise class themselves as holding American values, some even patriots, that hold disdain for or even fear of this Brooklyn situation, and similar ones.
Of course, what does become painfully obvious is what a lot of social theory around the subject supports: 9 times out of 10, the people that vocalize their dislike for resistance to me are light skinned men. I specifically say light skinned men because that classification, and not necessarily race, is the key catalyst for the reaction.
It’s clear when you consider the economics of resistance, and cross that with what we know from color and gender theory. In resistance, there are potential marginal benefits and losses. These benefits and losses, and the risk involved, usually revolve around the degree to which the status quo would be changed. For the resistor, perceived marginal benefits could be very high compared to costs: arrest or in some cases death may be seen as a risk well worth taking versus continued oppression from the system. The opposite is true for the resisted, and those who benefit (or at least are satisfied/surviving) from the system the resisted has created. For them, the possibility of more liberation (at least as they would perceive it) is only so large a benefit in comparison to the risk of systemic collapse (or worse, resistance that turns on them next!).
History has further validated this concept. The status quo is almost always supported by those that can survive in it, or even benefit from it, regardless of how destructive it may be to others. The American Revolution’s initial estimated support by only a third of the colonies’ population speaks to this.
Bringing in color and gender theory, we should ask ourselves who normally benefits the most socioeconomically from the status quo in America? Historically this has been those that are “White” men, and any of the men that are welcomed into that category. Again, history demonstrates that the race “white” has essentially been a club used to exclude when necessary. Ethnic groups considered “white” today could not have said the same centuries or in some cases decades ago. Therefore it is better explained that light skinned men, with non-white light skinned men having the social mobility to navigate between their race and “white” as necessary for exclusion, are the ones that probably benefit most from this situation’s status quo.
That explains a lot. Of course, there are sure to be light skinned men that hate the resistance for reasons other than status quo preservation. There also will be light skinned men that feel the previous sentence pertains to them, when it really doesn’t. This issue is why patients shouldn’t diagnose themselves.
There will also be light skinned men in support of the resistance. No blanket statement can pertain to all people. Theories are used to explain behaviors that fit a presented pattern, all other variables being the same. The point is that successive events that fit within the pattern can be explained generally.
So in Brooklyn, as with any resistance, a few fed up people have begun to make their voices heard by force. Some know they will probably end up with little more than handcuffs and pepper sprayed eyes. Others hope to change a status quo that has been plaguing them and their neighborhood for years. On the other side, power players try to keep what they have after all other attempts to address the problem by ignoring it have failed. And behind them are a few people: historically, these people hardly benefit from the status quo. They’ve been given the impression of benefit, so they’ll frown at the sign of resistance, but most are in the same boat as the resistance and simply blind to that fact.
All the while Frantz Fanon weeps in his grave!
The Real Welfare Queens
Conservatives want to attack welfare inefficiency? Start at one of the most socially helpful locations: slumlords!
The ghettos of the U.S. are littered with landlords running buildings that act as nothing more than a tax on the government.
These landlords run buildings mostly serving people that use government assistance to help pay a majority of their rent. Knowing this, many of these landlords charge market or just below rates to keep demand maintained.
The issue arises when these landlords do not invest enough of this government backed rent to at least maintaining a livable property with the most minimal overhead necessary. We can only guess a good portion of this government cash inflow goes toward owner dividends or salaries. Because, from the lack of heat, lack of common area utilities, and lack of repair of broken pipes or walls, it’s clear the money certainly isn’t going into maintaining living conditions.
Allowing someone to build a fortune through government taxation by taking advantage of social inequalities in access to judicial recourse is the definition of a welfare queen. Addressing this problem nationally and effectively can begin a necessary process of healing for all involved.