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October 10, 2008
Wanted: Sanity In Society

I've been reading and listening to stories of the increasing levels of racial violence in this country and I'm more than concerned.

There is racism in the USofA. There are a few people who are not only unable to get past the lizard-brain reaction of "Different! Dangerous!" but who are entirely unwilling to even try.

Bigotry is so easy. No having to think about complex policies or accept any responsibility. And, look! Important People are saying it's true! Brown people are evil! (Don't tell me that the rightwing political speeches against "illegal immigrants" were anything other than thinly disguised racism.*)

Today, the racist voices are all over the country and the racist voices are getting louder. Not, I think, because there are more racists these days, but because people are scared. They don't understand why the "American Dream" failed. They're looking for scapegoats and it's easier to blame the brown face next to them on the bus than it is to understand the failure of the neocon policies.* *

And, more than that, those voices are getting louder because an opportunistic political campaign, devoid of strategy or solutions, is courting them.

A day or two ago, I didn't think McCain and most of his inner circle (not including Palin) were actually on board with running as the party of unfettered racism. I just think thought they started something without knowing where it would lead, and now they don't know what to do about it.

Now I have my doubts. There's been more than enough time for McCain to come out strongly against the hatemongering, but with his wife, his campaign advisors, and his VP pick all contributing to the problem, I'm starting to accept that he's not going to speak out against it--not really. Not until he sees if it's going to work, anyhow.

(I'm a bit worried. Every time I think a Republican campaign has scraped the bottom of the nastiest barrel in the pile, they come back out a couple of years later with an even skankier barrel they can dip from.)


* Most illegal immigrants working in this country are working at jobs that "Americans" are too good to do. The illegal immigrants are the faceless people picking our vegetables, cleaning our houses, and washing dishes in our restaurants. They're the maids who clean that budget-rate hotel room, the busboys who pile up the wreckage of your fine steak dinner, and those annoying lawn-care guys out mowing the neighbor's grass at 5:00 am. These are not people taking "our" jobs unless you're saying that you dreamed of your son or daughter growing up to be a migrant farm worker.

I lost my job, not because of corporate greed and fiscal mismanagement, but because those terrorist immigrants keep coming up here and washing our dishes and picking our fruit! They're destroying our way of life!


* * These are the soundbite citizens. They take in most of their opinions from the thirty-second news coverage on the 6:00 evening news (and god help us all if they are FOX viewers) or the headlines and first paragraphs of the daily paper (they always mean to read the articles more closely later, but there's never time) and they build these snippets into a world view.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:37 PM


soundbite citizens

I love that phrase. I'm quoting you immediately.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at October 10, 2008 04:00 PM

The Republican Party caters to the extremes... the religious nuts, the racists, the bigoted, pro-life nuts, etc. They play on the reactionary, ill-informed and willfully ignorant. Unfortunately, these people also vote.

Posted by: Lab Kat at October 10, 2008 11:12 PM

Heehee! Fame! Thanks, Jonathan.

Posted by: Anne at October 11, 2008 10:19 AM

I'm not saying, Lab Kat, that there aren't wingnuts in the Democratic Party.

But, as you seem to be saying, I find the extremes of the Repbulican Party to be more frightening - perhaps because a population of them have seemed to be running the Party for several years.

One of my real concerns (it was the original point of the blog entry, but got lost in other issues) is that the hate and anger that the McCain campaign is tapping into won't die down. That these people, having come so close to getting a major candidate in office who seems to agree with them--that these people will stay politically active and create an even large gap between Left and Right. Not just a political divide. A chasm.

Posted by: Anne at October 11, 2008 10:24 AM

Oh, I agree there are extremists in both parties. However, you don't hear people screaming "Kill Sarah!" at Obama rallies.

Posted by: Lab Kat at October 11, 2008 01:20 PM

However, you don't hear people screaming "Kill Sarah!" at Obama rallies.

Why not, I wonder?

Certainly there are folks on the left who are enraged, bewildered, hostile, hotheaded and big-mouthed.

Could it be the lack of hostility from the podium, the infrequency with which Democratic leaders engage in ad hominem attacks?

Posted by: Ahistoricality at October 11, 2008 10:00 PM

Your last few posts on this subject have been outstanding, Anne. Thank you.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at October 12, 2008 08:08 AM

I think you're right, Jonathan. And you, Lab Kat. :) But my response got too long for a comment, so now I'm writing another blog entry on it.

Posted by: Anne at October 12, 2008 08:58 AM

Thank you, Elayne!

Posted by: Anne at October 12, 2008 08:58 AM