When American's begin to speak of love and relationships I tend to cringe a little, throwing up a proverbial "Berlin Wall" because fundamentally I believe it is impossible to be a citizen in this particular environment and achieve love; it's a contradiction. Though many sensationalists will immediately react to my principle thesis, I would urge those readers to indulge me for a moment as I seek to establish a set of facts which help to support my idea. First, the vast majority of American's rely on their "labor salability" in order to finance a basic living, providing themselves with shelter, food, clothing, and transportation, which constitutes the first priority of all American's. Secondly, we live in a country that actively practices the concept of Social Darwinism - a philosophy of "survival of the fittest;" or one which places the blame for failure on an American's own lack of initiative and/or inability to secure an opportunity in an environment of tremendous resources. The final fact I would like to establish, so as to argue the point that true love is impossible in American society, cultural racism (the biggest factor in the polarizing of the population) reinforces the measures taken to keep the people at the bottom of the social order "in place;" forcing them to rush into haphazard unions easily severed when new opportunities arise (a condition that weakens the institution of marriage fundamentally). It is the above facts that in my humble opinion creates a host of "Lumpenproletariat Relationships," which are more rooted in lust then love, which is possibly why the American divorce rate is among the highest in the world, and we are seeing a rise in egregious reality dating shows such as Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, Real Chance of Love, I Love New York, The Bachelor, The Cougar, and For the Love of Ray J; each representing a "Social Atomic Bomb" within a volatile American society.
One of the phenomenon that we are witnessing within our society is the fracturing of the American economy as the jobless rate has grown to over 6 million Americans. We are witnessing a rise in violent crimes of necessity, bank robberies by grandmothers and other women, and a collapse in the housing market, which is increasing the rate of homelessness in the country, all phenomenona directly connected to a failing banking system. What this boils down to is an inability of many American's secure the basic necessities of life, or a serious reduction in spending patterns (which have been outrageous over the past two decades); which ironically affects the way American's interact with one another. This problem affects the single mother within American society the most due to the fact that there is no pain (in my view) greater then a parent watching thier children "do without." It is not uncommon for struggling people to live by a "by any means necessary" attitude, putting them on the hunt for greater opportunity as they struggle for survival. If financial problems have the power to split people up, is it then possible to believe that struggling people can selflessly love? What about single parents?
Along with the above ideas think for a moment how the concept of 'survival of the fittest' works into the thinking of the struggling American. I believe that in times of financial crisis it is not uncommon for people to use whatever it is that they have available to them in order to 'barter' for basic needs. During a trip to South Africa I encountered two heart wrenching situations that helped to reinforce my belief that necessity often breeds decadence: 1) the extraordinary phenomenon of women leaving their villages as early as 4a.m in the morning in order to travel hundreds of miles by bus in order to prostitute for minimum reasources, and 2) the unbelievable 'cab wars' in which transport companies had shoot outs if their turf was being worked by the "enemy." When applying this phenomenon to the American situation, we live in a country that lives by the conept of "sex sells;" and the American's tht this benefits are those who are desired most. In this environment many women turn to prostitution; especially those who struggle the greatest, or are in positions where they are relied upon (predominately within the lumpenproletariat). Is it possible for love or a developing relationship to exist with these types of scenario's present?
Racism has been polarizing American's since the slave ships landed on these shores, and to hold a view today that the thinking that breeds within Americans in delusional. Until the American Government has figured out a way to provide the basic necessities of life to all of its citizens racism will always be a factor within the American landscape, which means some will secure a living, and some will not; a condition that in my view unacceptable considering how this country began. It is impossible for true love to grow within such a socially hostile society.
One thing I enjoy about the American spirit is that we always remain optimistic about the possibilities of the future. The fact that we have an amazing example of love within the image of President Barak Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama is evidence of the potential of all American's to capture what they have. I would urge all American's (especially African-American's) to read both "Dreams of My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope;" along with Steve Harvey's new book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man." We can make love possible in this environment if we qualitatively change our point of view about how to be 'our brothers keeper.'
Written by Bee Quiet