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Kaytlyn Van Allen

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The Safety Valve of Discrimination

We have come to consider our behaviours rational and our society civil. We have lost our

humanity in the trade and have emerged as practicing capitalists. As we examine the changes in

history which have allowed our present state of genocide, we notice that genocide is getting far

more dangerous and more powerful. Like a boulder rolling down a hill, knocking into trees and

flattening bushes, it gains more speed with its size. But in the modification of genocide, in its

learning from past genocides, it has come closer to us. It is no longer something that we fail to

witness because it is out of our line of vision. It is closer to us not only because of its calibre but

because its ability to affect more people. Each time the name of the invaluable changes, more

people are implicated.

The poor and destitute are necessary to the functioning of modern society. A class system

is only inevitable. We have examined the past in hopes to find answers on how we came to this

modern capitalism. It seems that it has been mapped out for us, the path through history which

has led us to this place. This explanation of the past helps to situate the poor and destitute and to

compartmentalize and dissect these methods of capitalism, but it takes twice the energy and

double the power and commitment to effect change. Certainly this will not happen over night. It

will take centuries to undo what we have done. It is very likely we will never be human again.

We have been robbed of an existence where we all eat at the same table. We have always

pushed people to the bottom. We will never know the essence of humanity in modern society

because we are incapable of it. There once was a time when we were civil but we have no

recollection of a time like this. We have recollection of a time before we learned of this, but

never in our lives have we witnessed true humanity on a large scale.
What is a society to do when they have no one to exploit? The practice of emigration as a

method in population redundancy was an acceptable development. But with so many other

methods changing over the years, why have we chosen to continue this practice? The doors to

immigration will never close because we will always need to have a class that is capable of

success, and a class that will exist to fail. This failure is systematic, it is comes from such an

intense desire and inhumanity. Is it any wonder the poor and destitute retaliate?

The masses have no choice. They can drink or smoke their woes away with a

government cheque. They can engage in escapism to explain and forget their situation. They

come from a place where they are known, they understand the rules and regulations of that

society, they are members. They are transferred to a life where they are needed but not valued.

They are non members. They are needed here, but this is bittersweet because of the hostile

environments they will face in this foreign nation. Their criminal activity is logical in a life

where no generosities have been granted. As the criminal activity turns to more severe, vicious

acts of violence the criminal is incarcerated and institutionalized once again. They are being

forced to this unremorseful animality because they have nothing left to lose; they are in a country

that is not their own, speaking a language the host country does not accommodate, in poor living

conditions, receiving a welfare cheque to sit at home. This monthly ‘donation’ of money to those

who are unable to secure work is to subdue them. They can afford rent, some food, alcohol and

cigarettes to get them though the month until their funds are exhausted. Once on welfare, it is

nearly impossible to get off it. When the government announces cutbacks, those who receive

near nothing must retaliate. With no money to pay for those luxuries that numb the spirit, there

is no choice but to turn to viciousness. They are only treating others with the same ‘kindness’

that they have been treated with.
The more we examine history, the quicker we see what we are. Hitler’s Nazi Germany is

the logical extension of what we are today. Hitler is a modern man in this case, because the more

modern we become, the more aggressive, the more destructive, the more we are willing to kill.

Is this our fate? Is this what my generation has to look forward to? More mass killings? We

look back in history and shake our heads and sigh, “Oh, that’s so sad!” and we are glad to be past

this time. But I do not agree we have evolved beyond this. This may be pessimistic but why do

we insist that we have changed? Our very own racism has a strong presence in our institutions –

granted, small modifications have been made to insist on equal treatment of non-whites, but the

fact of the matter is, they continue to receive insufficient treatment, poor living conditions, lower

incomes, etc. I fear that the compassion for those “less fortunate” does not extend outside the

classroom. So as we put on our glasses which have allowed us to see the truth, we hang our

heads and say, “Oh my, the destruction!” but not enough that will fight to change it. If we are the

lucky ones, the ones who have just enough food in our bellies and knowledge of genocide, then

we have been chosen to step out and start fighting it. Must we educate the malnourished? Must

we find them food first? This list of where to start seems endless.

Freda Adler, President of the American Criminological Society for the 1994-1995 term

once stated, “Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is

anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit.” Excuse my negativity. Excuse my

frustration. But if Hitler’s Nazi Germany is what I have to look forward to, then please, count

me out. If this is what it means to be Canadian, to systematically exclude those non-worthy, then

maybe I do not want to be a Canadian. Is this in our blood? I have said before, “We have to own

this crime.” Does that not also mean, we have to accept who we are? In even a

sociology/nursing class of our size, how many of us will fight for what we believe outside the
classroom? To whom will we give charity to make ourselves feel better? We bear with us the

illusion of humanity. We have brainwashed ourselves into thinking that we are human. What

other delusions can humanity accept as credible?

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