Photo by Mark J. Terrill..jpg

#BLM: THE BREAK OF THE PSYCHE 

POLITICS | by HAZEL SWAID | 09 JULY 2020

What we are seeing unfold in the United States is a break of the psyche. The series of events that have unfolded over the past 3 months was the catalyst of the BLM movement. Police brutality is not something new, although we can all agree it shouldn’t happen at all. The psychotic break I was referring to is a direct result of the overindulgence of the American people. We got too greedy, our own infrastructure was crumbling beneath our feet and we didn’t even notice because we were stuffing our faces with avocado toast. This revolution should not be a surprise. To the people asking “Why all of a sudden?”.. I’ve got some news for you, baby. This has been a long time coming - you just haven’t been paying attention.  

PHOTO BY JONAS EKS

Here’s where it gets sticky. We are seeing the self proclaimed “victim” erupt all over the country and band together on the back of the BLM movement. This next statement is going to get a lot of hate, which is why this is called a “hot take”. 

 

I’m more concerned with the people on the streets saying “It’s so beautiful to be a part of something bigger than myself” instead of saying “We’re protesting for system reform because the old law and order has failed us”. A friend of mine marched in the protest and when I asked him what he felt, he said “euphoria”. Euphoria? Of course it’s euphoric! What could be more euphoric than realizing that you matter? What could be more euphoric than nobly fighting for justice? Realizing you aren’t just a speck of dust on the face of an infinite planet but actually that you cataclysmically matter? Waking out of your grudgingly boring and meaningless life and walking into the light of the truth? Nothing. Nothing is more euphoric than that. Unfortunately with the feeling of euphoria, you can’t quite put your finger on it. You can’t easily conceptualize what it looks like, you just know how it feels. The problem with not having a solid, firm ground to walk on is that you will quite literally fall for anything. 

 

That same friend had no idea what systemic racism even looked like. He had no idea about the redlining of lower SES communities. He had no idea the prison pipeline of inner city school districts. He didn’t know about the insidious crack cocaine epidemic. He was unaware of the healthcare disparities of the black community or the food droughts all across the country. That is what scares me. People really have no idea what exactly they are fighting for- they’re just angry people who need an outlet and have latched onto this movement because it fills the void of personal responsibility.  

PHOTO BY BRANDON RICHARDSON

The same could be said for those twats holding AK’s “fighting for their freedom”. Freedom from what, sir? Freedom to hold a rifle and feel like a man for once in your miserable life? You have a low IQ, 85 pounds soaking wet, ostracized by your community, underdog in high school and now miserably coasting through life without a backbone. All of a sudden an opportunity arises in which you can put on a washed out baseball cap and an old American flag T-shirt from Old Navy and call yourself a freedom fighter. You now have purpose. You never felt like a man in your own reality so now you forge a new world view in which you have power over another man who doesn’t have a gun in hand. 

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER OQUENDO

“God is dead and we have killed him - and we will never find enough water to wash away the blood” - Frederich Neitszche. I don’t care whether someone personally believes in God or not - that’s none of my business. I just can objectively recognize that the loss of God and subsequent fear of existential importance has eroded the psyche. We have a society of angry, nihilistic people on both sides of the political spectrum. All of the psychological precursors are there. This war is going to happen- maybe not now, but soon. And when it does, don’t ask why - ask why not sooner. 

Hazel Swaid is a graduate student of clinical psychology in Washington D.C.

PHOTO BY MARK J. TERILL

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