There is a lot to be upset about these days. Most people don’t feel their needs are being addressed. The world is suffering with the loss of life, infection of many, first responders over worked, and in many cases economies frozen. It’s scary and the unknown freaks us out, not a surprise.
Wars are conflicts escalated to acts of violence. However, violence is not always physical. Conflicts can be cultural or religious. They can be about class, race, or socio-economic status. There are individuals facing personal conflicts as a result of their standing in the world and feel powerless and hopeless. How have we gotten to the point where we’re so volatile?
Let’s think back in history to fights or conflicts that plagued the country. Slavery impacted many and the genetic trauma lingers. Segregation is something we’re still facing. In the past week I saw a story about an African American delivery guy being held by those representing a homeowners’ association of a white community. How about the manager of an Olive Garden who was fired because a guest didn’t want a black server and the manager gave in to the customer’s request.
Moving forward, our country has dealt with women’s rights. Women make less than men doing the same jobs. Women’s health and reproductive rights has the country torn apart, each side fighting it in the courts. We’re the richest and most powerful country in the world, and yet, have never had a woman president, and the number of women in Congress is not representative of the population.
The LGBTQ community have only received the “right” to marry in 2015. We’ve superimposed values upon each other and pass it off as a means of saving our country. Why does oppression pass as an act of protection? How have we gotten so good at masquerading hate for acts of sacrifice for the common good?
The haves and the have nots, those who have access to an education and those who don’t. We’re facing food insecurity where 1 in 6 children is facing hunger. Currently, foodbanks are finding ways to feed those most at risk and the numbers of families served has increased exponentially.
Yes, there is a war in our culture, but we’re not all fighting the same war. What war/conflicts are you fighting in your life? How do you combat the negativity facing us daily? Where has your own oppression shown up as a tipping point for your actions?
Greg Katz, MS, PhD is a collage/fiber artist. He works as a visual anthropologist helping individuals and organizations use art as a means of public discourse. For more artwork you can use as a creative prompt visit his Instagram page @drfiber. More information is available at http://www.gregkatz.com
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