I am thrilled for my deeply liberal friends who believe America sucks the way it is, and needs to be modernized. This week, they now have a prototype, a new country in downtown Seattle named CHAZ (Capital Hill Autonomous Zone). My liberal buddies finally have a chance to do it their way — the framework for a happy, utopian society, void of police, old fashioned laws, and privileged white oppression.
Since the 1960s hippie movement, idealists of the time lectured about the need to modernize our world, and our thinking. Noble causes such as racial integration, equality for women, environmental stewardship and others, were the order of the day — and in most cases, thankfully so.
Having grown up in uber-liberal, mega-taxed Montreal during those years, I can now see I was a disenfranchised guy. I moved to Seattle in 1983 with a conscious commitment to leave Quebec and pursue the American Dream under Ronald Reagan. From a purely personal standpoint, it felt right.
Back then, my new American friends were surprised to hear I was actually fleeing Canadian government oppression, and Quebec’s rampant racism. Being an english speaker, collectively labeled Anglophone, I grew up in a minority population. At the time, Quebec’s english population hovered around 12%, roughly the minority status of blacks in America.
And indeed, the rationale by militant french separatists (those demanding Quebec separate and become independent of Canada) was the english deserved any “racist” wrath they received, and deserved to be collectively punished by the french majority, in the name of retribution for past improprieties. Much like Black Lives Matter in the states which references slavery, the french independence movement blamed a colonial, imperially english Canada as a darned good reason for their current woes of feeling repressed and marginalized.
And sadly, for most westernized countries today, much of the radical, divisive posture and rhetoric born in the 60s has spilled over to a new, historically clueless generation of loud protesters who feel oppressed and marginalized at every turn by their “unfair” societal structure.
Enter Seattle 2020.
The new prototype country, CHAZ, is a fresh start for passionate, ideological liberals; a golden opportunity for peaceful and progressive ideas to shine to the world within these six (privately owned!) blocks of downtown. Understandably, the new country is surrounded by barrier walls, armed guards, and an ID check before entering. CHAZ is endorsed by the state governor, Seattle mayor and city council. The mayor speculated the experiment to be a “summer of love” no less.
I’m thinking, Haight Ashbury with a modern day, fully armed touch.
The new country is still young; only a week old. There has already been a bit of Lord of the Flies infighting, a temporary food shortage (due to homeless people stealing the country’s food supply), a smidgen of extortion, and other societal challenges. But the CHAZ experiment continues to grow daily, and only the future will reveal if it thrives, disappears, or something in between.
I honestly don’t know if there will be an actual war in Seattle in the coming weeks, but the battle lines have certainly been drawn. It’s been a divided and brutal war of words and ideas, so far. Let’s see how things turn out.
Ok, fasten our seatbelts, and get the popcorn ready.