I took the above picture in 2014. This is in Nairobi, Kenya. Specifically the Westlands central business district, coincidentally on Westlands road. I remember the exact spot.
Humans evolved the ability to stand upright. Was it due to the beneficial ability to look at our surroundings give us? Looking up could result in better nutrition, threat detection, environmental awareness resulting in a healthier body more likely to reproduce. Perhaps gazing at the stars and ponder worlds beyond your own could even spark further brain development.Whatever it may have been, we are certainly empowered by the ability, though at times only see what we want to see.
Dare to Look Down
About a decade ago having just left the United States of America, I thought that the problems the country was facing what’s due to the fact that it was so far ahead from other places. It’s since developed into an analogy of a long distance race. The group starts off at a similar pace but soon the abilities and choices made before and during the race begin to create space. The people left further behind lose track of the group, and imagining the low chance of catching up may choose to give up. The middle of the pack feeds off each other as they pass some and try and catch others. I imagined the States as the one person far ahead in the lead. So far ahead they had long since forgotten how it was to compete with, let alone the passed by others.
This analogy can be applied broadly. I fear these marches were a similar cancer, not quite the inability to, but instead the privilege of being unaware of one’s surroundings.
It’s all too easy to take things for granted in first world nations and the civilized world. In the large, mostly western cities where many of the protest took place you did not need to see the concentrated version of it in a March to notice the effect. Just walk out any other day and look at the people walking by. Notice those that walk around blissful about their status in life. Occasionally looking up at the wondrous buildings around them, built by countless man hours. Sometimes down into the supercomputers that capitalism has made affordable to them.
The Western woman may be the most privileged class of human that has ever existed in recorded history. It is quite something to see how easily they can look down on people without being able to see those very people.
It was my privilege to attend the inaugural weekend. It is also a privilege to have to time and ability to be at such events. It is even more of a privilege to have friend accompany me to this march. These privileges were earned through my life choices and that of others. One thing that I did not earn was my skin color. I happen to be black. So when I decided to have a sign that simply stated Trump is a white male, the ability to stand under the sign without it’s been considered blatantly racist is an honor and privilege some grant me due of my skin color.*
Walking through the crowd some looked at me then glanced at the sign, at times glanced back to me and the sign, before sheepishly looking away or to the ground. I saw that. I saw the effect of my privilege, and the lack of theirs in those moments.
It has been and continues to be my privilege to be able to live my life that gives me the experiences and time to share my thoughts in the manner that I do here. During this life I have been able to experience priceless moments. I’ve experienced things that large amounts of money bought and others that even a small amount of money would have rendered non-existent.
I challenge anyone that marched in this Saturday to tell me what rights they were marching for. Tell me what inequality you sought to address? What’s drove you to walk out there and proudly declared that you were achieving something? Is it because Hillary Clinton did not do the due diligence needed celebrate a win, let alone appear, under the literal glass ceiling of the Javits Center in the early hours of November 9th 2016? Do they imagine it represents the figurative glass ceiling for women all around the world? If so what say you about the glass cellar?
A cellar in which vastly more men than women do menial and/or dangerous jobs and are homeless and/or without aid.**
I’m not saying this is a uniquely American or female trait. The picture above is of a Kenyan woman. I do not know the circumstances that led her to be on that sidewalk, let alone the ins and outs of mine. I was out getting food but did why that time and place? Why notice things like these, people like her, when others seem to comfortably walk by? Why have the hand-to-eye coordination to be able to take a photo without holding the camera in a position to see what i am doing?
Did I stop and check to see what they were going through. No.
I did however just march within a multitude of women, whom despite appearances, claim their rights are threatened and are in need assistance. I was privileged to be accompanied by two friends that happen to be ladies, that were as baffled and put off by the scene we were witnessing.
I’ll end here as I want to keep these realizations at a readable length. May be time to start audio/video versions. Thanks for reading.
- This is part of the Protesting Planned Parenthood Protest series.
- *Many showed support for the sign.
- **Tom Woods Show : Ep. 832 Do Men Really Have All the Power? Paul Elam on the Men’s Movement
- Because I need the levity. We may all.