Imagine you fall in love, with a black person. But black people are not allowed in certain places, or they are likely to be shot, that has no influence on you as a white person. You are fine, some think. But we know better, you as a white person cannot go to that place anymore or now you have lack the ability to feel security and safety for your family who could now be in harms way based on how they look. Or maybe it is against the law to marry a person that is black. Then you as a white person lack the freedom to make a choice of who to marry. The idea that restricting freedom of one group means empowerment of another overlooks the fact that to ensure one group’s oppression is also to place oppressive limitations on the oppressor.
In apartheid South Africa white people could not go and live in the black areas or marry the black people. They could not sit at a table in a restaurant with a black person. This means their freedom wasn’t truly free. This isn’t imagination because this is what happened in NAZI Germany, no matter how much someone liked a Jewish friend, they couldn’t bring them to certain restaurants, they couldn’t hire them or accept them at a school. If someone found a great job candidate who happened to be Jewish, they were not free to hire them. If they found a product that fit their need and it was made by a Jew, they could not buy it. This also was a change from a once free nation to one that severely limited it’s population based on the idea that it was this interaction between people is what harmed the nation. But we know, that what happened in actuality is that the idea of one ethnicity ruling others, that one is free and the others aren’t is an illusion.
Martin Luther King said that when any people are limited, all people are limited. He was right but I think we don’t grasp it because we couldn’t see how or why but if we look closely at any oppression we can see it’s effect on the oppressor. For instance when women can’t earn enough, the household suffers a lack of money and so the kids can’t get for school or for food, especially in a society where dual incomes are a necessity. The man suffers even more in this case during a divorce as he has to pay his wife more in spousal support. This is a big reason why so many divorced and working men, are homeless.
But this affects more than just the family, it affects the entire economy, so our economy is not as free to perform optimally in a repressive society. When women don’t get paid equally they do not participate in the economy as much and don’t spend as much and this our society doesn’t get as much in taxes or in earnings. If gay marriage is not allowed, my freedom as a straight man to attend a friend’s gay marriage is harmed, even if I don’t get married to a gay person. My freedom to earn a living is also harmed because think of the 10% of population which no longer gets married so that is a economic harm of 10% to the marriage industry. There are countless more examples of how limiting a basic freedom harms our freedoms to live and work which ultimately is a harm to people to do business and to make a living.
So why do we make these limitations? Because a few people don’t have preference for black people, or gay people or women or any other group? There is a component of our society that chooses to make decisions based on feelings instead of what is factually better. When they have control of our government, all decisions are made this way. As a result, we have drug laws, death penalty, racism, economic oppression, abortion laws, etc etc etc. Is that a smart way to make policy that harms people’s basic freedoms and their livelily hood and a nations economy? Of course not, but this is the way some people were born, they live by dogma, by religion by rules that are given without reason or explanation and blindly followed.
This way of making policy through personal preference of people is makes no sense but it exists. This is why truly free societies are so much more prosperous, because all people and all talents contribute. This is why our prosperity is in danger, when terrorism and anger of white people in this country harms the non-white people in this country we are all in danger and to avoid the danger requires a struggle, sometimes a violent struggle. This is why the white people who fought the Civil War, didn’t just fight for the freedom of black people, but for their own freedom to not be bigots, or slave owners.
When we gain the power over minorities through Trump, we must fight that, because we are enslaving ourselves and once our rights are relinquished, they are not easily taken back. So to the people who think that by fighting for white power, for white dominance, for male dominance, for straight dominance, it is important to remember, that you are giving up your own freedom to live, love and work with anyone you want. By attempting to get white power, you are creating an illusion of power but in reality, it is giving up your freedom to do as you like with whomever you would like.