The United States’s status as “Leader of the Free World” & American “citizenship” are in peril, threatening to take away Constitutionally granted & human rights freedoms from both Americans and the world.
It must be said and remembered the United States’s status as the “Leaders of the Free World”, and further the word “leaders”, “free”, and “world”, and the notion “Free World” need to be reconsidered in order to understand the perils to historic and modern democracy today.
It must be said that “citizenship”, especially now more than ever, becomes an apparent transport to access to “first-world” resources; that “citizenship” is treated as a commodity and does grant certain survivable privileges beyond the vast majority of the world population.
It must also be said that there are certain overarching hegemonic forces which have identified and treat the world as “first”, “second” ,and “third” “worlds”; and that capitalism is but one global economic power that reinforces these social “worlds” that are also reinforced through political means.
That said, it must also be stated that collective society, modern society, society as it is and was governed, exists largely in social, economic, and political spheres.
The dream and idea is to exist with complete freedom while aligned in one’s ideal social, political, and economic spheres.
The “American Dream” is paramount and tantamount to the United States’s base notion of “the” “Leader of the Free World”: to own a home, work a full-time, steady job, have enough reasonable income to accommodate a family with room for vacation — and even so, this is a capitalistic endeavor, but overall the idea is a ‘happy’ life (although happiness is not necessarily an economic metric according to capitalism).
American citizenship is tantamount to every kind of politics. We are “Leaders of the Free World”, only because our birth-right citizenship granted us the privilege of our geopolitical lottery of a birthplace. Our citizenship holds the key to the freedom for others globally. And, yet this is still theoretically problematic.
One: nearly every present racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic group represents diaspora; this is the beautiful anomaly of United States or “American” citizenship; it is a global citizenship simply because most of “the People” represent a diasporic root. I say nearly because, two: there were pilgrims; and these pilgrims grew; and these pilgrims are still on their own “Manifest Destiny”, except it has the globe as its prize; and now, there is a global white power structure that is emerging and threatening citizenship from “the People” — particularly people of color, and especially Black and African Americans.
It’s a common social amnesia from public discourse and acknowledgement that Blackness is citizenship, citizenship Blackness; and so when Blackness’s fundamental Civil rights — as they were, and are, still violated — it is also an affront to citizenship everywhere nationally and internationally. When there existed (at least de jure) segregation, it was an institutional assault on Blackness that was also an averse assault on true democracy and citizenship.
In the modern age, there are multiple fronts assaulting “citizenship” and its inherent powers to affect change within and throughout the world; but, there is also a global anti-Blackness that is threatening the full extent of a global, moral, ethical socio-politico code. This anti-Blackness limits the full scope of “the Free World” of which the United States is the supposed “Leader”.
This points toward the question: what type of “world” is actually being created? Actually being the operative word: that which is what it is.
According to Denton and Massey’s “American Apartheid”, and to paraphrase, Black African Americans have been systematically stifled since slavery, and this continues to modern day. It’s apparent that the United States’s very inception was anti-Black, white patriarchal and hierarchical.
What changed — the sociological American ‘big bang’ — was Emancipation, and this subsequently allowed inevitably to the Civil Rights Movement; this movement still exists today, and the dream, so I’m extrapolating but perhaps not hyperbolistically so, was the complete conquest of the hegemonic sphere which allowed even the inception of slavery in the first place; to possibly allow a reversal or a healing to occur at the hands of those who were personally and generationally victimized via colonization.
These acts of rebellion are acts of freedom against a very real system and machine which capitalized on dehumanization; slavery is evil, and so its system — that which created and required slavery — is definitively Nietzsche’s “beyond evil”.
This evil, this real evil, that which allowed slavery needs to be remembered as something real, because it is re-emerging via modern politics.
The “Free World” was never meant to include people of color outside of subservience, but yet we are here: surviving and thriving, just as we always have.
In the face of police murdering citizens, gentrification and displacement, eroding public schools and building unnecessary prisons, we are here in the “Free World”: free…free…free… But for how long can only be answered when either evil has finally prevailed or our complete, true, and global freedom is finally won.