Not Woke, But Waking Up

It’s been WAY too long since I wrote anything, for a myriad of reasons. The past year has been all over the place, a true emotional roller-coaster for many of us with a variety of ups and downs, cut-backs, corkscrews, and barfing all over the place. This time last year I was transitioning off of a long consulting gig with a medical device company, having ushered in a new process which was created with some brilliant engineering and regulatory minds.

I was heading to a new job at a great retailer of outdoor and active gear, Eddie Bauer, which is celebrating its 100th year in operations.

I was coaching a talented group of kids through a season of rec-league soccer, on our way to the playoffs with some amazing wins and some good lessons learned in defeat.

I was learning more about how to communicate and work through issues in the house with my wife, truly conversing with her when we needed to find a solution.

Above it all was this pervasive idea that America was trudging toward something darker than it had seen in recent decades. The history of white people in America is dark and oppressive to non-Whites. This idea of a “Great America” is furthered by denial of the unpleasant roots of White History in America, and how it is not presented often enough, if at all, in most public schools. This allows for a willful ignorance to perpetuate through year after year of education. It wasn’t “us” so we shouldn’t be responsible for any of it! How can I be expected to be accountable for something people started 400 years ago? It’s not like it helped me! (Perhaps, but if you’re white in America, the color of your skin likely hasn’t held you back.)

Well, at the very least, acknowledge that the idea that America’s justice system has been inordinately oppressive and violent against non-white people, or BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color). If you’ve yet to watch the documentary “The 13th” and have any desire to understand how Black communities seem like they “just can’t get it together,” get your ass on the couch for 2hrs and watch that.

Freed slaves had their land and property seized if arrested. So there goes a chance to build a life and generational wealth for a family. The “police” were nothing more than overzealous watchdogs cruising through areas largely populated with freed slaves. And that arrested party ends up doing what? Performing labor for the State, free of charge. It’s not an accident that it plays out like that, it’s fully by design. And it lands heavier on Black citizens than Whites.

Next would be how divided we are as a nation, and it seems more now than ever before, due to politics, right? I’d say “Nope.” I’d say it’s due to social media, and the unfettered access to it by people leaning both Left and Right on the political spectrum.

Before I dive in that end of the dumpster, there is a proven difference in How the brains of Liberals and Conservatives work. The most basic summary is this:

People who identify or vote more “Left” are found to be more open to new ideas, experiences, and empathy. There is a higher tolerance and understanding of inequality.
People who identify as “Conservatives” have a more rigid response to change, see “order” as comfort, and have neurological responses more associated with “fear” than “acceptance.”

from the article:
“Whereas liberals see the poor and destitute as largely being victims of misfortune, such as the unlucky fate of being born to poor minority parents, conservatives emphasize the role of personal defects, such as drug dependency, and unwillingness to work.”

So we’re now 6 weeks from The Election of Our Lifetimes. The amount of swirl – both from the Media and our own Minds – is unprecedented. I personally don’t think we need ANOTHER OLD WHITE MAN as the President. Abolishing the Electoral College would help there, having a greater-than-2-Party system could be ushered in with a 3rd and/or 4th party, and more people could be represented by the government.

We currently have as close to a Dictatorship as we’ve ever had. It’s corrupt from a standpoint of having sycophantic followers and donors being placed in vital Federal seats. Money speaking louder than qualification. And our courts are being packed with lifetime appointees with Conservative leanings. So here we go…

I’m not “woke,” but I’m waking up to a lot of things that I haven’t seen in as bright a light as is on them right now. There is so much work to do. A lot of people will never do it. They will never break out of whatever shell of comfortable ignorance surrounds them. A lot of us are trying to get educated so we know what to look for and how to truly be allies with our neighbors in a diverse nation. We can do better.

We can Make America Great Eventually.

About Geoff Lott

Geoff Lott is a "thinking person's comedian" as much as a "drinking person's comedian." Born and raised near Seattle, his writing and comedy is Cloudy with a Chance of Hope. Less offensive than your average nightly news program, Geoff is opinionated with intent, and a rebel without a clause. A comedian, actor, dad, husband, co-worker, weirdo, and great friend, Geoff Lott has a sense of humor like a sommelier's sense of smell; aged well, with a hint of dark chocolate, Irish whiskey, and leather. Credits and press kit available upon request!
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