The Dystopian Boil

Chaos, confusion, fear and anger. Horrific racism. Generations of pain fueling rioting and violence. Death and illness. Faltering systems and leadership failures. Market crashes and jobs lost.

Communities are divided. Home lives are disrupted. Meanwhile, cities all across America are literally on fire.

The dystopia is here.

I don’t know how to say the right thing. I don’t want to get it wrong. It’s important that I listen more than I speak. But I also feel a responsibility to participate in provoking positive change.

The truth is that I am a beneficiary of systemic racism. As a white man, my life is the result of tremendous privilege. I can walk down any street without unease. I can run anywhere without apprehension. And everywhere I go, doors swing open. Because of this, it doesn’t feel right to weigh in on this historic moment of cataclysm. And yet what is the point of this privilege if it isn’t used to empower the voices that too long have gone unheard?

The world is in chaos because we, as both individuals and as members of a society, have time and again failed to truly redress the toxic racial divide that is woven into the very fabric of this country —  a nation birthed out of a violence not entirely dissimilar from what we are seeing today.

This pot has been brought to its current dystopian boil by galling failures in leadership. Countless infuriating miscarriages of justice. Foundering efforts at true social reform. The rise of brash authoritarianism buttressed by an increasingly militarized police state that perpetrates violence unchecked. The weaponization of media. And broken economic and political systems that aggrandize power and accelerate the rapidly growing divide between the very few haves and the countless and invisible have nots.

This moment should come as no surprise. Because disenfranchisement cannot be decoupled from the anger, confusion, fear and chaos it creates. And the silenced must be heard.

I do not condone violence. My heart grows heavier with each new report from the rioting frontlines.

But humanity is facing a choice — crash or rise.

I choose rise. May this burn not be for naught. May the ashes of this devastating upheaval ultimately unite us to finally reimagine and recreate a society that values true equality — and opportunity for all.