Paul Thomas: A Difficult Father’s Day, Reckoning with Our “Gladiator Culture”

Paul Thomas had an awful day. His mother was in one hospital, his father in another, and he reflected on the competitive “gladiator culture” instilled in us.

He wondered what kind of a society this would be if we learned to be cooperative and compassionate, instead of tough and competitive. What kind of world would it be for our children?

“The gladiator culture of the U.S. is replicated exponentially in the NFL [1]—toxic and hyper-masculinity, anything necessary including sacrificing health and even life.

“And while the NFL and football mania of the U.S. are disturbing, the most troubling reality is that our neo-work-ethic of the twenty-first century targets children, specifically black and brown children from impoverished backgrounds.

“The “grit” and growth mindset movements have become (mainstream) socially acceptable ways to wink-wink-nod-nod that black, brown, and poor people are simply too lazy, unwilling to work themselves, like my dad and mom, into decrepitude for the 1%.

“Frantic—we are a nation with a ruling class snowblinded by their own privilege and terrified they won’t have a servant class—the whitewashed American Dream for black, brown, and poor children.

“The U.S. has devolved into a perverse and inverted gladiator culture with the 1% in the stands and the rest of us reduced to a dog-eat-dog existence, an artificial and unnecessary dog-eat-dog existence.

“Visit the elderly of this country, worn down by the demands that they work hard and depend on no one.”

Look into their faces and if you can their eyes.

This is the future we are demanding of “other people’s children.”

from sarah http://ift.tt/2titEEm