Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sincere Fictions Pt. 4: The Magnificent Myth by Jersey Campbell

Sincere Fictions Pt. 1
Sincere Fictions Pt. 2 
Sincere Fictions Pt. 3

The conclusion to JC's Sincere Fiction series. Read, and be inspired.

Any fiction that we promote and circulate through discourse should not impede progress, but encourage it. If the dominant myth is believed by the multitude, this myth must be majestic. The truth is the only thing we as people should be concerned with, but if we must use a fiction as the driving force of our society and our politics, only tall tales similar to Plato’s Magnificent Myth are allowed.

Plato’s Magnificent myth- conjured up in his philosophical/political dialogue “The Republic”- was meant to keep the three distinct classes in check, so that the state may maintain its unity. This portion of the immensely deep book concerns creating a perfectly just society (such a society only exists in people’s minds of course).  The myth is the sole and primary false tale to be discussed amongst the people of this imaginary state.
The Magnificent Myth is titled so because it truly is magnificent. The myth itself is magnificent- the people of this great state are all descendants of Mother Earth. She fashioned some of us with bronze, some with silver, and some with gold. The metals represent the three classes. The state must secure the preservation of these metals and retain them in the proper categories. If mixed or used improperly the state will dissolve. The essential magnificence lies in what the myth wishes to preserve, or the purpose of reciting this myth to the people. This tall tale is meant to replace all preexisting national traditions, legends, and fairy tales, whether they are harmless or have corrupting capabilities. Strengthening the loyalty to the state and to each other is the ultimate goal. The intent is to express the kind of community it is, or wishes to be, rather than state matters of fact.
Disregard the message of Plato’s Ridiculous Myth, the intent is our focus. In contrast to the sincere fictions of the America, this fiction signifies what that society wants to become, not necessarily what it is. We already believe that enough has been done to rectify the wrongs of slavery; that there is nothing more to do when it comes to discrimination. We believe that Supreme Court decisions, executive mandates, and legislative laws that have ruled against discrimination means there is nothing more to worry about. The sincere fiction isn’t an obscure concept that we are striving to achieve, it is the reality right now!
Our Magnificent Myth in America is concerned with keeping the status quo, and ensuring government programs don’t go too far in their anti-discriminatory efforts. For this reason, we claim the failure of the black community to be self-inflicted. When we speak of the state of blacks in America rarely do we mention that we are actually referencing black people. We say “urban communities”, “inner cities”, or “poor people”. This way, we don’t attribute the sad state to white and black, but to right cultural values and wrong cultural values, or failures by individuals.
The myth is meant to protect the dominant clan, keep the family unobtruded and comfortable. One of the reasons mentioned for keeping people of color out of traditionally white settings and institutions. The introduction of an Afro would compromise the comfortability of those in the group. It is said that we have a natural affinity towards other individuals of the same color, so it follows that in a traditionally white institution, a person of color will feel out of place, an outcast in a country that claims to be color-blind.
Instead of blaming themselves for contributing to the racist society, there is a blame-the-victim approach to dealing with negroes in this country. The differential treatment is supposedly based on non-racial grounds, on a social system based off of merit, instead of an effort to continue systematic racism. Then we use this loose notion of freedom to justify discriminating against people for various reasons, whether it be race, gender, or sexual orientation. If we ever reconciled the sincere fiction in society, it would spell the end of our white male dominated culture.
Whites do not recognize difficulties with living in segregation because they can only see it from their perspective. Privilege in invisible, therefore, the privilege given to the dominant culture isn’t discussed, analyzed, or criticized. Only when threats to compromise said privilege are the inherent benefits noticed. This is why we have cries of reverse discrimination, a concept reeking of bold-faced racism at its finest, with a tincture of fear over losing previously enjoyed privileged status.
Anytime a family has a dysfunctional uncle or a derelict brother, they tend to cover up their defects, and give all sorts of extraneous explanations for the shortcomings of their uncle, or brother. This is exactly what goes on in white society. They cover up their racist brethren to protect the sanctity of the family. They go through great lengths to preserve this ideal, to act as if the derelict brother is a perfectly normal human being. Well, guess what, that derelict brother is racist as all fucks and needs to be taken to therapy, or taken out back and shot in the head.
Yes, we know that white people today aren’t to blame for the slavery of yesterday, but we can’t sit here and act like they haven’t benefited immensely from that system, while afros were left to toil in their desolate situations. They relinquished property-based control over afros, but they still hold all the control over the overruling system.
Our sincere myth is a two-pronged ideology that lobbies against positive social shifts and promotes injustice as justice. Anti-discrimination efforts are misinterpreted as hindrances to freedom and the American way due to our sincere fictions. Pointing out these apparent injustices supposedly subverts our glorious American Way. In real life, discussing the ostensible race problems in this country would help us all out.  I reiterate: it is not enough to idly stand by and let discrimination and racism occur. Not being racist is nowhere near enough. Let us get to a point where these sincere fictions no longer occupy a space in our national discourse. If we’re going to be claiming outlandish ideologies as facts, let’s strive to get to the point where they aren’t so outlandish anymore. Let the fiction unite us, not divide us into quarreling factions with no sense of prudence or proper judgment. Let our myth not inhibit, but inspire. Convert the sincere fiction into a magnificent myth that will require the truth to reign, with reason and the love of our fellow brothers and sisters as our compass.

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