“Up in Arms”
It has been well-defined and well-documented, no matter who denies it, that this country is divided. First and foremost, one would be inclined to think that the demarcation is racial; white people and everyone else. That isn’t it. Or maybe it’s republicans and democrats, and the answer again would be no. One last shot at it. Conservatives and Liberals? No. The divide is between the 1% and the 99%; the haves and have nots; the wealthy and then everybody else.
Now, I know you’re wondering: “I make $100,000 a year; I’m not in the 1%, but I’m doing pretty good.” Right now, you may be, but things can change in an instant. The stock market could plummet. One’s business could tank, or a job could be lost, and then, that salary doesn’t mean a thing. 99% of the country walk that tight rope everyday of their lives, myself included and it’s scary when you think about how precarious one’s survival really is.
And the likelihood of survival is not improving. The one percent consists of the majority of the politicians; all of congress, the president and the Supreme Court. It also consists, of course, of all the major banks, lobbyists, major corporations, Wall Street, the media, both political parties and so much more. They are also known as the Establishment, in other words, not you. They are the puppeteers and they are pulling the strings. They can tax how they want, they can steal from who they want, they can say what they want, they can diminish and/or eliminate whatever rights they want and they can kill who they want; and it doesn’t matter. They cover for each other, they lie and they step on the throats of those who want a change, need a change or promote a change.
For the longest, our elected representatives talk about this country being a democracy; they talk about this country spreading democracy, but that is nothing but a falsehood; a fog words to quote Sedrik Cannady of Comparative Reasoning. The United States isn’t a democracy. If it were, we the people, would vote specifically on individual laws, but we don’t; we elect officials to do that for us and that is where the first chink in the armor of the people is located. To go one step further, the United States government inserts itself into every major international conflict, attempting to ‘spread democracy’; but the only reason why they want to do this, is because if they can stick the US brand of democracy into other countries, then they can buy and sell those countries and their people, as easily and as readily as they do their own.
And no, this country is not a democracy, it is a republic. A republic is defined as a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch. So, in the very least we do not have a monarchy, no kings and queens. But what we do have is an oligarchy, which is defined as a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution. The republic is dead; nothing that the people say, want or vote for makes a difference. The Establishment has set the deck before we even walked into the casino.
The Oligarchy of America is governed by greed; plain and simple. It’s all about acquiring as much wealth as possible. What for? Only they know. But they can’t have enough to live properly and well. No, no. They have to have it all; and while they take it all, they distract the rest of us with racism, sexism, denial of rights and murder; so that when we finally open our eyes and see what is being done; it’ll be too late. Greed. Now, the fundamentalist Christian conservatives will tell you that homosexuality is what led to the fall of Rome, one of the largest empires there ever was, but it wasn’t. It was greed. That is what has led to the fall of every great empire at its core, greed. No matter how noble the intentions might have been at the outset; that is what it boils down to.
And that same, infinite greed is what will destroy this country, too. The 1% are living like they’re bulletproof. Untouchable. Nothing can phase them. Nothing can take them down. The problems with living that way, is that it’s a façade, pipe dream. But none of them see it while they’re flying high over the heads of the rest of us, the unwashed masses. The 1% are living like they’re bulletproof, but what they fail to understand is that we, the 99%, are holding the gun. We’ve had the weapon in our hands for a while, but as time goes by, we forget what to do with it.
Now back before the American Revolution against Britain, the colonials were holding the gun, and it took a little time, but they loaded it and took aim. They fought and died for their independence and the right to govern themselves in a free nation, and that’s what they did. They had to use that weapon, in order to facilitate change, and for them, it wasn’t figurative, it was literal and actual.
Since that time, many different groups have realized that they were armed; they just had to aim and shoot; but they did it in a civil manner. Women used it via protest and constitutional amendments in the early 20th century. Even after the emancipation of the slaves in 1863, it took nearly 100 years for blacks to realize they were armed, too. They had to merge the tactics of women and the colonials, but rather than literally pulling a trigger, they pulled the trigger on their American born right to protest, via boycotts, protest, sit-ins and spreading the word internationally. They fought politically and many died for equality in voting practices, employment, education and much more. Sacrifices that we enjoy the fruits of today, and sacrifices that are slowly being tread upon due to greed and love of wealth.
Now some sixty years later, we, the people, find that once again, we have the weapon of change in our hands. So what are we going to do with it? How will we load it? And at whom will we aim? Back in 2008, we loaded it with Barack Obama, but it turns out that those cartridges were blank. He has helped the rich fly higher and get wealthier, even at his own expense. Every time he succumbs, they snicker at his weakness and either he never saw it or he never cared. In this year’s primary election, we loaded the gun with Bernie Sanders; live ammunition, but the DNC insured that every shot fired missed; allowing the establishment to choose their nominee. But many of those who follow Bernie’s example and his rhetoric, his revolution, as he has coined it, still realize that they are armed with the weapon of change. But there is so much to change and it may seem difficult to find a target, when there are so many and no way to shoot a every target at once.
So where does that leave us? Gun in one hand and what in the other? That might be up to us. But let me tell you what the other side is doing with their guns; they are using them. They load them with live ammunition, they aim and shoot at black men, they shoot at homeless, they shoot at the disabled and they shoot at the poor. Trump fired his ammunition of division, fear and hate; and it acquired him the republican nomination for President of the United States. His supporters armed themselves with violence and hate speech and it propelled him to where he is with Pence, as his VP nominee, who is loaded with hate as well.
In the urban dictionary, a new word has popped up, Trumpence. A trumpence is the punishment or fate a society deserves to receive. If that isn’t telling, I don’t know what is. We’re armed, whether we choose ammunition of protest, of spreading the word, of constitutional amendments or of live rounds, is up to us, but we need to load our gun with something; fast and soon, because the oligarchy is gunning for us; and failing to act will bastardized all who fought and died for our freedom before us. We have to prove that they aren’t bulletproof. Load it, cock it, aim and shoot.
“Load it, cock it, aim and shoot.” And “Living like we bulletproof.” From “Bulletproof” By Raheem DeVaughn.