Wednesday, March 31, 2010

fear and loathing in Americka

It will come as no surprise to many of you that there seems to be a real push-back kind of thing going on with President Obama.

I'd like to delve deeply into the reasons for this push back stuff, and write eloquently about how it affects out country. We are divided. We are polarized. The conservatives have been taken over by the wide-eyed crazy wing of their party, and compromise is out of the question.

On the other hand, I felt a lot like that after 8 years of the shrub. But then that's because he was an idiot and his policies were hateful, stupid, short-sighted and favored the greedy bullies that were his friends.

This guy is smart. He can speak and write in complete sentences. His spelling is probably very good. He's looking at the long-term and trying to find solutions that are not fad diets.

Among the knuckle-draggers, he is very unpopular.

Check out THIS SITE for pictures of these teabaggers and their protest signs. Honestly, it's like a train wreck of language, grammar and spelling.

I think there are a lot of things going on in this phenomenon. For one thing, America is changing.

In the coming decades, white people will become the minority. And that scares the shit out of some of them.

I would argue that anyone who has not behaved as a bully has no reason to fear retribution. If you've been an asshole to those with less power than you and then they get the power you once held, well, I don't think there are a lot of people who would blame the new top dog for kicking you around a little bit. Not for ever, but just for a bit. So you know what it's like to be at the receiving end of your version of the American dream.

This is the same kind of fear I see from some straight men when they are faced with being in close quarters with gay men. When you treat all potential sexual partners as prey to be overcome, and then find yourself in a position of possibly being someone else's prey, well then, that's just scary.

Insecure people often engage in behavior identical to that of their oppressors. It is sad. But it is true.

So now the uneducated, lazy swath of white Americka is faced with the prospect that they might not be the schoolyard bullies any more and it scares the piss right out of them.

I am concerned that I might get painted with that same brush because of my skin color, which is decidedly pink and pale. I tend to have more faith in our friends of color than some white folks.

We have a black president and that freaks a lot of people out. Not only is he black, but he is very, very smart. Very smart. Harvard Law smart. And again, when you operate from a system that understands only power and the balance of it, having an adversary who is smarter than you is a scary thing. The thought of working with that very smart person instead of as an adversary does not come into consideration when your world is small and binary. I remember an old bumper sticker from the Women's Liberation movement years ago: "Men of quality are not threatened by Women's Equality."

And that's the deal. That's the whole business in a nutshell. People are afraid of losing what they've got. They don't understand that knowledge is a thing that grows as it is shared, that education is not to be feared, and that the world won't end of you re-evaluate what you believe and make changes to it. Growth is OK, folks. Or you can stagnate and become a dinosaur. Your choice.

There is so much more to write about this subject. I have not the time nor the brainpower this morning. Let's revisit it later, though.

1 comment:

Ghost Rider said...

You're line of thought in this post is really interesting and I'd love to see you revisit it.