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Obama, Putin and the Prospect of Being Wrong About Everything

Due to colonialism and world events leading in to World War II, including the rise and fall of fascism and then the Civil Rights era in the United States have solidified a notion in most people's head, even if it is not outwardly expressed - persecution and oppression is a fault of white men, with "people of color" always the oppressed.

This assumption of how the world works is so deeply ingrained in the minds of many that it takes on religious proportions. As a transitionary global conflict seems to engulf most of the world, violence between the black community and the larger US community (and it needs to be remembered that it is both groups who perpetuate it) is amplified and politicized while other groups caught in whatever it is going on get not nearly as much attention given to them. It's an act of hanging on to a fading narrative as the world transforms and re-aligns itself on a level that could be even more dramatic than the second world war.

Unfortunately, that narrative just doesn't apply. It's not "white men" that are scaring the crap out of the world and using the tools of genocide to dominate and instill fear in 2016 (at least not in the sense of what Americans seem to think of as "white," as many Muslims probably are technically "white," if white really is even a thing). It's Islamists, who from Orlando to Paris to Aleppo, are carrying on a path of genocide like nothing seen since WW2.

And on their side, making the whole job easier, is a political class of neoliberals - the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and neoconservatives like George W. Bush and his camp before them. An implied belief of "post-racialism" and diversity engulfed all three of them, even if they seemed seperate from one another in US politics. What would happen if this class of American and European leaders became historically tied, through oafishness and greed, to the rise and acceleration of one of history's abominations?

Imagine the last two American presidents tied in history as helping to coddle, create the environment for and then even defend radical Islam. Then imagine Vladimir Putin in the role of a historical hero - a Russian Dwight Eisenhower or George S. Patton - who has helped to sweep ISIS and Islamism from the world with the harshness that requires. The current contrast between Russian and American behavior could not be more stark. The United States allows terrorists to gain weapons domestically to kill its own people while then bombing the Syrian Army, which is fighting ISIS. On the other hand, Russia clears towns of ISIS and then holds Bach concerts for survivors. Who is really the civilized country?

If Russia, with its "sovereign democracy," and a host of authoritarian but socially stable countries, often with senses of national identity that would seem bigoted by US progressives, in tow came out from this current crisis relatively unscathed, how would that change how we perceive this world? I'm not sure how we would but I'm confident that such a result, which seems to be what we're headed for, would absolutely devastate the social assumptions that American and other western progressives have taken as a given. The world simply is not like they think it is and it is proving it every day.


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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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