One of the remarkable ways humans act is by pushing towards the edges without realizing that they exist. And in a second move trying to bring things back in order.
A friend shared for example that across the last century more than half of the wetlands disappeared in France. Among the many advantages they have for our eco-system, there is also one that is linked to climate change. Their presence influences rainfall throughout the year. Given the prediction that the future will consist of dry summers and wet winters there now is a growing effort to reinstall the wetland areas that disappeared. The growing urbanization is confronted with a push back.
Similarly, the focus on individuals and the attention towards differences has established numerous groups of interest. Combined with the presence of social media, allowing them to be very vocal, these groups have become more visible than what could be called the center or the majority. The latter seemingly becoming less visible and audible, has led to competition for attention between the different interest groups. Instead of remaining part of the general discourse with the majority, they compete with one another, losing the sense of belonging to something larger than themselves.
Instead of sensing a tension between belonging to a larger society and an interest group, the pull moves towards the interest group. Groups, that in some areas then start to exercise such a pull on their members that conformity with the groups becomes the way to belong. At this moment the competition with the other interest groups is fierce. It has become a us against them. It’s the way out of individuality as conformity is the only possibility left to prove that one is a member of one’s interest group.
We need interest groups to be vocal and visible. However, this includes the voice of the majority as well as the one of the group of which all interest groups are part of. It can only exist as long as everyone keeps a sense of belonging. Once this connection has been lost no one is left to speak up for it. It is time to remember that diversity is a feature of society, whereas conformity is a feature of interest groups.
Anti-racism may not be what you thought it is.