Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Bigots

I’ve really never understood bigots, I’ve never understood why someone would hate someone they don’t know when if you get to know a person you can find a much better reason to hate them.

So all this summer I’ve been totally baffled by the rise of all the vocal bigots in the news. I understand that many of the feelings have been under the surface and not reported until now. I also understand that under stress the human fight or flight response is activated and it is easier to target individuals like gays, immigrants, and Muslims than the people who caused the stress Wall Street traitors traders, the Corporate Control of Government, and so on. But I’ve got no idea how so many people can listen to and repeat the terrible things that the haters are spewing.

How is it that the great melting pot that used to pride itself for taking the best of what each culture offers and make the sum greater than the whole is now filled with such hate?

This summer I’ve seen old people going on tour to promote homophobia, laws being enacted that make it illegal to drive while brown, protesters trying to ban a Muslim community center in a Muslim neighborhood, A preacher who wanted to burn the Quran, and 9/11 rallies that are nothing more hate mongering.

In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor FDR told the nation that, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

Today when we as a nation face the worse crisis since FDR’s time there are people who are out there trying to spread the message that, “The only thing we can cling too is fear itself.”

I do understand that now that the old foundation of our economy that was kept hidden for thirty years has been shown to completely false some people would want to try and rebuild an unworkable system that is known rather than move forward into the scary unknown, and are expressing their fear by lashing out on the most convenient scapegoat. But it is time to move on and embrace change as we forge a new path.

Right now America and maybe all of humanity is at a crossroads. Currently there are people and companies working on new clean technology that will lead us into a new age of industrial production where the products we use today won’t destroy the future generations. There is a growing movement to have reality injected into public policy, so if 97% of scientists say something is happening that doesn’t mean 97% of scientists are liberal and we should give the other 3% an equal say, it means there is a 97% chance that something is happening and we should adjust our policies towards that.

On the other side are the people who are arrogant in their ignorance. Those who think we can revive the failed policies of the past and instead of using any logic and feel the one who screams the loudest wins. Those who feel that rather than looking for solutions we can just lash out in blind panic at whatever group is most convenient, be it gays, Hispanics, or Muslims, or some other group and blame them for all the problems in society and that will solve it.

The lashing out in blind panic reminds me of other group, Bison. When Bison are calm there was nothing before the introduction of guns to the west that could take them down. They withstand most primitive weapons and could kill a man or any other predator in seconds. The Native Americans knew that so rather than try and take them on when they were calm they would make the Bison panic and use their blind fear drive them off a cliff to their deaths.

So to all the bigots and hatemongers out there who are driven by their fear of the unknown and have turned their rage onto those in society that they feel are weaker, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, the old world is gone and hatred and bigotry will not bring it back. You can join us in ushering in a new age based on tolerance and constructive deeds, or let blind fear and hatred send you off the nearest cliff, the choice is yours but don’t expect the rest of us to follow.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts


Shakespeare said...

But it's a primal response. Something that is unknown is feared and hated first.

And it's easier to fear and hate (and thus keep the something at a distance) than welcome and risk having to change one's ideas or paths. We resist any form of change, so anything new or previously unknown is to be avoided. Hate and fear make avoidance (i.e., shunning and killing) very easy.

What can battle these? A stronger sense of oneself (so that one is not easily threatened) and more education/thought. We fear and hate to keep from thinking.

Really well written post.

Stephanie Barr said...

I say look to history.

In the long run, the haters, bigotry, and intolerance ALWAYS lose.