When Paradigms Trump Love
We all have our own paradigms which we think and live by. These paradigms await us in the culture we are born into and the very air we breathe at birth. Paradigms are useful unless they become a substitute for loving one another. What I mean is if we believe in free market and justify corporate actions even when it keeps some poor and some wealthy or discriminates by only placing in poor neighborhoods corporations that pollute (there are no smoke stacks in gated communities) then the paradigm fails.
One of the saddest deeds we as a country have committed is our treatment of the Native Americans. We often self-righteously worked with the paradigm they needed to be civilized or become more American (meaning white) or we would be forced to remove them or terminate them. This civilization was always for their good because we had a better way. But even a casual observer can see that civilizing Native Americans was only an avenue to take their lands. Do not be hunters be growers because it takes less land to farm than hunt. We told them to create your own towns do not scatter throughout the land. Our programs were to destroy their culture by forcefully removing their children to schools where they could not speak their native tongues of practice their native cultures. This was enforced by severe physical punishment. If the end result of the ‘civilizing’ program is white people ended with more land and the Indians with less land and living in poverty than your motivations have been made clear.
Interestingly with the black community the paradigm was the opposite we did not say you need to be white but instead you are less than white and could never achieve a civilized state. Therefore we could justify slavery and Jim Crow.
The reason I bring this up the paradigm we use for Latino immigrants (that seems to be who we are most concerned about) is they are here illegal, criminals, and a drain on our society. The end result is they are afraid to report workplace abuses and thus they work cheaper and under worse conditions than other populations in the United States. This also makes it less likely they will participate in the political process. If the paradigm separates a child from its parent by deportation it is wrong and the paradigm needs to go.
But we live in mean times when paradigms trump love and are touted despite their consequence. As I write this the United States House of Representatives just passed a healthcare bill to replace Obamacare. It does not cover pre-existing conditions, maternity leave, and leaves over twenty million Americans without healthcare. It also gives billions of dollars of tax cuts to people making over $250,000 a year. Some are suggesting this is the largest redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich our country has ever done. The picture of over fifty Republicans laughing and celebrating is all white and male with a few white females present. The paradigm is not working.
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