There are a number of extreme lies that make people excessively rich, not least of which includes the myth that economic growth is the root of environmentalism. On its face, the myth is obviously ludicrous. For example, putting a building in the middle of a field means that the earth beneath the building no longer has direct access to soil nutrients or sunlight. What about a tree that might have to be cut down to make space for a parking lot for that building or connectivity to a transportation network, which also means oil and gas leaks over that area? None of the previous issues I mentioned even begin to address the disruption of the ecosystem–yet people make money exploiting contractors and charging exorbitant rates, even if that building houses an environmental thinktank. What makes people rich is almost never good for the majority of the population because wealth is defined by unequal distribution of resources, but wealthy people have no impulse control or self restraint. Therefore a number of lies are often distributed by the elite populations to the masses, and we indoctrinate ourselves to repeat them so that abusive, wealthy people can continue extracting from us to their hearts’ content–another lie, because they are never content.
It never ceases to amaze me that people are still parroting this lie after a literal congressperson camped out on the Capitol steps because the federal government was obsessed with ending eviction moratoriums, maliciously demanding profits again. The only reason that this lie continues to survive is because many politicians have real estate interests–of course lawmakers want to build for “affordable housing” when they make money from it. Folks have already discussed how the monsters are hoarding housing, but because all the news outlets are owned by wealthy people, there is no incentive to be honest by explaining that the fevered building frenzy stems from wealth accumulation. People with control and resources would gleefully evict everyone if they could make one extra dollar, which is why the mainstream media reports on housing is whether or not rich people are buying it, instead of ending homelessness. This lie will continue to exist until people demand that all vacant housing be reported, and that the government seize, reallocate, and reduce rates. The real estate industry has shown that it has no remorse; people need to stop enabling it.
People love going back to the days of redlining when discussing segregation and displacement because most of that happened when a bunch of people now were barely alive. Even though there are currently places where people are fighting to expel the remaining Black populations, so many folks in power would rather lie and point to the past. Truthfully, governments have been violent and neglectful to non-White communities–bonus for Black neighborhoods–and the dominant narrative has used the press as a smear campaign against those who say otherwise. No matter how much activism and community engagement occurs, “somehow” communities of color are always negotiable for real estate expansion. Racial indifference is what many BIPOCQ communities have towards the dominant narrative: we stay in our spaces and do what we need to do to live our lives. Racial hatred is how the dominant narrative feels towards us: because rich people demand to steal, we are painted as irresponsible, and rich people are enabled to destroy us and our communities. There can never be a successful endeavor as long as people feel comfortable spreading the lie that Black people are worthless unless the dominant narrative can get rich.
The United States is a nation of platitudes, and we love saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” implying that if people make it hard enough for the government, then the government will be forced to respond. Unsurprisingly, just like the other lies above, the dominant narrative loves to repeat this platitude to get money in various ways, and people have gone out of their ways to extract money from the pain of racism. Last year, everyone was talking about defunding the police, and the parasite Brene Brown latched onto Tarana Burke as quickly as possible to be seen as an “ally”–nevermind that Black women have constantly had to fight people desperate to speak over us, including Robin DiAngelo. Speaking of Black women, many of us worked tirelessly to get many of the Democrats into office last year at risk of our health, and those politicians laughed all the way to the bank with their investments while eviction rates will hit us the hardest. The Black community’s frustration has been so exploited and extracted for the maximum benefit of the dominant narrative that we no longer trust the offices where we used to work for fear that someone will stalk us for manipulation and control. When pain makes money for someone else than the target, people have no reason to trust exploiters to hear our voices anymore.
Everyone believes that people have a really good reason for believing these lies, which is why people are finally becoming excessively defensive when called out on cheap talk and no action. Part of emerging from the pandemic requires actual honesty, and instead of looking for ways to make wealthy people richer, people need to see why all previous methodology fails. If the unhoused population is rising, building homes and multifamily complexes solves nothing. If everyone has a really good excuse for failing to eradicate discriminatory policies on multiple government levels, the degradation of Black communities is not on the residents. If only non-Black people are getting rich from Black pain, the actions being taken are not addressing anything. People who need to be hierarchically above others cannot connect with “those beneath them,” so wealth needs to stop being the goal of everything. After all, putting up a sign in front of a house is really easy when one is never held accountable for their purported “beliefs.”