It’s not as easy to hate someone when you realize that the object of your derision isn’t a one-note caricature, but a complex, multi-faceted human being just like you. That’s all I was trying to say with yesterday’s posts about empathy. That’s why propaganda during times of war sets out to dehumanize the enemy. It’s harder to pull the trigger when your target is a thinking, feeling person with family, friends, hopes and dreams. It’s harder to blow someone’s brains out after you’ve enjoyed a laugh together or sat down to share a meal or bonded over common interests.

So many of the issues we hate each other over are petty and generated by those in positions of power who play us like chess pieces in their quest for world domination. The love of money is the root of all evil. All of society’s ills are rooted in greed. All of them.

They might get us all riled up and fighting with each other over ideology, but the people in control are in it for their own personal gain. They’ve just manipulated you into doing their dirty work.

I won’t play their game. My contempt is reserved for the wicked puppet masters who would divide us and keep us in subjugation with the chains of our own hatred.

Think about it: why do we give the rich and powerful so much more leeway for their misdeeds than we do ourselves?

Why does the justice system mollycoddle the rich and powerful villains amongst us and allow them to continue perpetrating acts of extreme evil for decades before facing retribution?

Jeffrey Epstein fucked little girls in plain sight with impunity for a long, long time. A long time. Harvey Weinstein did his thing for a long, long time. Bill Cosby spent a good chunk of the ’90s chastising rappers and other comedians for using words he didn’t like, even as he was drugging and raping women on the reg.

Why is Wells Fargo still in business after breaking the law on a massive scale over and over again?

Roman Polanski made critically-acclaimed films while hiding in plain sight in France for decades. People just ignored it and heaped praise all over his work.

What kind of sketchy shit has Donald Trump done? What kind of nefarious activity has Bill Clinton gotten away with? How did Ted Kennedy get away with killing a woman and continue his life and career with zero consequences? If the Michael Jackson allegations are true, how was all of that allowed to continue? Meanwhile, some brokeass loser shows up at what he thinks is a 13 year-old girl’s house with some condoms and a case of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and finds Chris Matthews in the kitchen, inviting him to take a seat. That guy gets tackled to the ground and hauled off to jail. As he should, of course. But they should’ve busted down Jeffrey Epstein’s door 20 year ago, dragged him out of his house and locked him up with no bail, like they would anyone else.

We talk about this disparity, but in the end we just sigh and accept it.

Imagine if poor black, white and Hispanic people all squashed their beefs and said “This is bullshit.” What if we got tired of the Emperor Palpatines of the world leering at us from the shadows over bony, steepled fingers with big shit-eating grins on their faces, egging us on? What if we just, idk, stopped doing what they say? What’re they gonna do about it? By robbing them of that power, we’d essentially be throwing them down a hole. So what’s holding us back? I mean, you fix that stuff, topple that power structure, and institutional racism eventually corrects itself. Yes, that’s right, the core of racism is institutional oppression. Not your next door neighbor. So again, what’s holding us back?

A lack of empathy.

So keep on harping about “the law” as it pertains to illegal immigrants, while simultaneously ignoring/forgiving much worse offenses by much bigger people, if you like things how they are. If you don’t, get to know or try to understand someone who doesn’t make sense to you. Right now. Strike up a conversation in line at the grocery store. Ask a stranger how they’re doing today. Listen when people talk. Think about it. Don’t run your mouth when you know you don’t know what you’re talking about. Be polite and civilized in your daily interactions with people. They’re all going through struggles, just like you. Don’t just assume that guy with a sign on the corner is running a scam. Give him a couple bucks in good faith and know that your heart was in the right place. Quit assuming things about people you don’t know. Find out. Throw evil down a hole.

We keep demanding that our keepers poke more breathing holes in the boxes they keep us in, instead of demanding they let us out of the boxes entirely. Well, I want out of this fucking box.

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