The obsession with group identity and the engagement with tribalism and the oppression of dissenting viewpoints is very problematic. However, it is very important to understand that there is two forms of tribalism.
First, positive tribalism which is a tribalism that focuses on our common humanity and built on high social trust. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King points us to the path of epistemological modesty that prevents us to become zealots and to keep our intellectual balance and expanding our horizons.
More, a deep belief in human dignity and love as forms of civic religion and disinterested service. A culture of beautiful humility and self-effacement where I am no better than anybody else is but no one is better than I am. Thus, a culture of purpose, kindness, empathy and a commitment to a true and proven productive worldview rather than ego, vanity and self-destruction.
Thus, Dr. King described segregation and injustice as forces tearing us apart. He appealed to universal principles and our common humanity as ways to heal prejudice and unite the nation. He appealed to common religious principles, and a common language of love to drive out prejudice. Hence, a form of civic religion that allows us to keep the faith with our brothers and sisters in the prophetic tradition. Within, this prophetic tradition is finding one’s own vocation, heart and soul and locating what are the big problems of the day and what can we do to contribute in solving them. In the CL2P, solving the problems of human rights and tyranny and finding paths to justice and development are big focuses.
Second, a negative tribalism that focuses on a common enemy. That tribalism always seeks an other to hate. This negative mindset is based on scarcity. The idea that resources are limited. The world is dangerous. Group conflict is inevitable. It’s us versus them. If they win, we’re ruined, therefore, let’s stick with our tribe. The ends justify the means. Thus, the assertion that the way you see the world is determined by your single tribal identity. …In so doing, negative tribalists cultivate mistrust, division, and emotional frozenness.
More, tribal politicians don’t even make very good national figureheads, because their tribalism make them despised by a chunk of the country with as much fire as they are loved. There is little doubt that this kind of tribal dynamic only gets worse with time to the point that presidency’s ceremonial, non-partisan function cannot take place without boycotts and controversy.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King taught us the lesson that people pursuing the path of hate are always self-defeating. The reign of terror and the demonization of people who do not deserve it are counter-productive` for all including tyrants. Frantz Fanon left us with the wisdom that oppression degrades both the oppressors and the oppressed, particularly, when politics replace morality and turn into holy war.
The Commitee For The Relase of Political Prisoners (CL2P)
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