With Independence Day just around the corner, maybe it’s time we really thought about ways we could continue to free ourselves of certain things. Things that hold us back as a people. Things that keep us from being the best we can be.
Here are just 8 of these things we ought to liberate ourselves from.
8. Cyber Pile-Ons
The more we try to make cancel culture a thing, the worse we end up looking.
The reality is, cancel culture doesn’t really put a stop to anyone so much as actual legal action and real-life repercussions for terrible actions do. Even then, that never stopped us from jumping on the hate bandwagon over every person who met our ire — especially those who really wanted it because they were a walking red herring in the first place. And we all fall for it. Repeatedly.
7. Casual Racism
The fact that we still need to debate whether or not blackface is a problem in a country that has historically discriminated against our Aeta brethren should say everything about how deep-seated our racism is. We don’t even notice it half the time.
“Ang Pinoy talaga, ganito…”
It’s high time we stopped thinking that Pinoys are the best or the worst at particular things wholesale. We’re not a monolith, and the more we realize that we are not alone in this world, the faster we come to terms with the fact that if we’re the only one doing something *cough*wearingfaceshields*cough* then unless it’s a purely esoteric choice, there’s a good chance there’s something wrong with it.
5. Colonial Mentality
It’s a difficult balance to strike, we know. We are global citizens, yet at the same time, we can’t just turn our nose up at our own culture. Hating on something purely because it’s local is just something that has got to go. True, “loving our own” has ended up with us defending some pretty terrible things, but if what we have is truly good, why shun it just because it’s Filipino?
4. Privilege Blindness
In a country where discrimination is usually most blatant along economic lines, it’s hard for privileged people to recognize privilege outside of economic lines, too. How could a guy with no job feel privileged? Well, he’s probably got less to worry about than an educated, employed woman walking the same street he’s hanging out in, but until people understand that privilege isn’t always economic, this discussion will just go round and round in circles. We can’t even say something like “white privilege” as a catch-all, because guess what? We’re not white.
People seem to think that rallies are okay only if it doesn’t inconvenience them — completely missing the point as to why rallies occur in the first place. There are simply some important things out there that don’t actually affect us directly. Unfortunately, this has been our go-to excuse to not get involved — until we get dragged into the middle of it, kicking and screaming.
Today, we’re not the target. Tomorrow, who knows?
2. Snake Oil Salesmen
Speaking of targets, everyone seems to be a rube lately for charlatans and quack doctors peddling their snake oil and given lots of airtime and a powerful platform to spread their lies, all while fleecing us of money. Worse, when they get called out for lying through their teeth, they pretend it’s just an opinion and opinions are never wrong.
Spare us. Andres Bonifacio didn’t die just so you could tell us garlic cures cancer and expect us to pay you money for it.
1. Our Quick Fix Mentality
Every single problem this country has isn’t wanting for a solution. The solutions are there, but they’re mostly boring. Why work towards a long-term plan towards poverty alleviation when someone is promising us he’ll turn the country around by removing criminality in 3-6 months?
We are all looking for a quick fix. Even now, we think that 2022 will be the panacea to our problems when the reality is, doing 2022 right is only the first step. Remember that when we declared independence on June 12, 1896, it took us nearly another six decades before we finally rid ourselves of colonial rule. Then Martial Law happened a couple of decades after. Independence didn’t come overnight.
But it needs to start somewhere. So why not today?
What else should Pinoys free themselves from?