Activating Imagination: Stepping Away from the SUV

Posted by in Broadsides

We would do well to imagine a world of peace, harmony, equality and compassion. We would do better to snap ourselves out of our daydream between white privileged rituals and act on our dreams. The human condition has no colour, and certainly the negative aspects of our condition exist throughout the spectrum of ethnicity. But I maintain, it is North America driving the SUV. It is North America peering endlessly into the digital, each day, each night, as reality TV and FaceBook and other pleasures of electronic communication consume the body politic. It is this continent, it is a colour, it is a language, it is a socio-economic position. The view from here is, as, Ernest Becker once said, “full of carnage.” It is also the view that has the most to lose if we choose the capitalist model. It is the view with equal gains if we peer outside the borders of economic imperialism, if we allow ourselves to venture off the milk-fed welfare state path and into other chartered territories. These are maps of other colours, of other nations, other ideas about sex, gender, family, religion, belief. These are the maps that we deny when we inhabit a white heterosexual male world without critical action.

We can think these things, and I do. But we must act on these things, and that is the challenge. Who will give up not the material possession but first and more importantly the dream, the excluding escapist white wilderness of the material? People are. Am I? I’m working on it…

This post was inspired by Hector Berrones, who graciously cited a similar thread by me in April on FaceBook, of something I wrote on child soldier-turned author Ishmael Beah for Art Threat. Read that post here.