The Hidden Meaning of the Protest

by Fernando Perfas

| Photo courtesy of health4everyday.com

What we are witnessing now is the result of tyranny of the majority and stigmatization of the “different.” In America, the majority would be white folks and the “different” would be colored people, or otherwise known as the minority.

There is a nuanced dynamic in the interaction of the two groups that arises from how the human mind works. As in any social organization the majority often sets the norms that in turn sets the standards on how society should function. These are not only operationalized in laws and statutes passed by legislative bodies but also expressed in mores and culture. Anything that diverges from what is common and familiar creates a kind of cognitive dissonance that results in defensiveness or sometimes aggression.

“It is the mind employing a shortcut strategy for dealing with what is unfamiliar and difficult to understand based on its mental model of the so-called norm or normal.”

The source of threat is demonized and what is perceived as belonging outside the norm or different is stigmatized. It is the mind employing a shortcut strategy for dealing with what is unfamiliar and difficult to understand based on its mental model of the so-called norm or normal. These concepts are social constructions that when verified become justification for all sorts of social discrimination and injustice.

It is highly unlikely that the framers of the Declaration of Independence had in mind races other than the Anglo-Saxons who colonized America. Or that these United States will one day become a robust and dynamic multi-ethnic country. And that the word American is not monochromatic but rather a rainbow of different races and nationalities. Nonetheless, the overarching idea, the soul of that declaration is the ideals of an all-inclusive democracy. This entitles every American who swears allegiance to the United States of America the same basic rights and equal protection under the law.

“The founding fathers couched their declarations in timeless ideals and sound principles. However, these do not necessarily translate into actual human behavior. The way we think and behave are subject to the human imperative of how the mind works”

The founding fathers couched their declarations in timeless ideals and sound principles. However, these do not necessarily translate into actual human behavior. The way we think and behave are subject to the human imperative of how the mind works. For better or for worse, our social brain often operates based on its own biases and prejudices. The fundamental belief of “white supremacy” is a harkening back to a bygone time. For centuries, white people ruled this land and there has been relative peace among its citizens. Ethnic cleansing and genocidal wars were largely tolerated and so was racial discrimination.

Oppression soon reared its ugly head when an openly democratic United States began to swell its ranks of other races that came from places far and wide, in addition to blacks and Native Americans who have taken the brunt of historical trauma. The fear of being overrun was met with more inequities in the form of unequal access to political and economic opportunities. Civil Rights did not eliminate racism. It drove it underground in the guise of shallow political correctness. The status quo was shaken and the fear of other races overwhelming the white majority has mounted.

“Sheer quantity may not be enough to turn against the rising tides of the coalition of an enlightened populace that represents the true America of today.”

Old habits die hard, mental models can be impervious to change. There is power in number but the inertia inherent in the established order can crumble under the weight of an anachronistic system. Sheer quantity may not be enough to turn against the rising tides of the coalition of an enlightened populace that represents the true America of today.

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