Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Comment on US American privilege

Back in 2003 or 2004, I saw a picture of an Iraqi child having open heart/open chest surgery due to injuries from a bomb. I forget it it was a bomb dropped by the US military or he was near an IED bomb targeting the US military. But that is immaterial. He was in a major city (Baghdad) and a major hospital OR for this surgery. And he was in surgery because of US decisions and actions.

And here is the reason the picture stuck with me:  the surgeons had NO GLOVES; they had NO GAZE or sterile dressings (they were using rags to soak up the blood) and the caption reported that they had NO MORPHINE or any anesthesia at all. Needless to say, the child died.

And here is where US American privilege comes in: no matter who you are - female, male, old, young, white, black, Native, immigrant, refugee, gay, straight, whatever - if you make it to a major hospital in a major US city with a wound like that, you will have surgeons with gloves, sterile dressings and anesthesia. EVERY SINGLE TIME, no matter who you are. (You many go bankrupt from the charges after the fact, however - your US American privilege does not cover that.) However, you will never find yourself in the situation that the Iraqi child found himself. Not ever.

And keep in mind, this was TOTALLY DUE TO ACTIONS BY THE US GOVERNMENT AND US MILITARY. And your US American privilege will (and has) also allowed you to TOTALLY IGNORE this reality TO THIS DAY ——  BECAUSE IT STILL CONTINUES TO THIS DAY.

There is nothing going on in the USA (during my entire lifetime) that is as horrific as the victims of our wars of aggression have faced. Nothing, nothing, nothing. And there have been some pretty horrible things going on inside the USA, today and in years past…. but they don’t even hold a candle with what is happening/has happened outside our borders that we are actually responsible for and are generally ignorant of - thanks to our US AMERICAN PRIVILEGE.

Please note the use of “US AMERICAN” privilege because we are just one subset of “AMERICANS” even though we like to pretend we are the only Americans around. Yet another example of our US American privilege.

So, I remember being told during the past election to “check my privilege” since I was stating that I intended to vote for a third party candidate rather than Clinton. This was in reference to “white” privilege (which I do have, by the way). But it totally ignored the fact that Clinton was one of the major people responsible for the horrors we have visited on millions of foreigners. And it totally ignored the fact that she did not show any real regret for the horrors she visited on them, beyond the slight and insignificant problems it caused for the USA and US citizens. And it totally ignored the US AMERICAN PRIVILEGE which is rampant in this country and has been for as long as I can remember. 

I was also told I was racist for not voting for Clinton! Even though I voted for the Green Party the last three presidential elections, with people of color on the ticket every time! A minor annoyance, to be sure.

Anyway, I am very, very angry at how US Americans have destroyed countries and lives by the millions and are totally ignorant of this reality. And I have been angry for decades. Like the Dixie Chicks “I am not ready to make nice, I am not ready to back, I am still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go around and around and around.”

Time to recognize your US AMERICAN PRIVILEGE and do something about it.

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