Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Witch hunts must be fun
I assume that's why people so readily and without any question join in Witch hunts, because they not only sound like a good idea, but they sound like fun.
I've seen too many witch hunts in action. The mob mentality that pervades the almost always bizarre and unfounded actions of those who blindly jump on the hate bandwagon is usually hysteria. Later, after they've done something irreparable and just plain wrong they're contrite and then they begin to think and maybe discover some of the facts they've not bothered to learn before running right out to be a dick.
And here we have Shirley Sherrod.
A woman who has apparently dedicated her entire working life to helping farmers and learned from her experiences that people really are just people no matter their color, no matter their profession, no matter their intelligence, no matter who they love (hopefully.)
And what did she get for all her learnin' and trying to help?
She got her ass fired that's what she got?
Now, I do not know Shirley and I'm certain it's possible that she has personal views I might abhor. But here's a woman who has worked for the U.S. government helping farmers for over 20 years, she must be somewhat capable at her job. And when someone else attempts to use her as a scapegoat and misrepresents who she is and what she's done and most importantly what she's saying, she got shown the door.
I understand that we're all dispensable and that there are hundreds if not thousands of people out there willing and able to take our jobs at any given moment and I realize that the "I'm lucky to have a job" mindset is pervasive at this time, but what does this incident say about the face of modern America?
We're still living the effects of a Presidency that taught an entire generation to live in fear, that being fearful is tantamount to vigilance. That makes us easy to manipulate. It makes us easy targets for the next scare. It makes us ever vigilant for the threat that is our neighbor.
Were we ever NOT the characters in "The Monsters are due on Maple Street?"
We have to stop looking for he enemy! To begin to attempt to understand that we can care for each other and still make this country great again. That fear and hatred are always at hand yet they're not building blocks on which to reconstruct a nation. And that the monsters are not without but within and often of our own creation.
If there was a simpler time I don't remember it. There's always some strife, some conflict, some threat to our freedom and our liberty. But I remember that defiance was the key in olden days. Walk with your head held high because you know you did the right thing and you know that you have the right to exist, and that you know your leaders are moral and thoughtful in their actions, not CEO's who need to show a profit to the shareholders.
We make the Tea Parties, and the KKK's and the NAACP's and the HRC's and all the other organizations that supposedly represent us as individuals yet manage somehow to keep us all apart and isolated. To keep things as they are we have to be kept separate. What if we compared notes? What if we learned that what we were being told by our very own special interest group was in direct conflict to the reality of a given situation? What if, Gods forbid, we were being manipulated by those who had a direct interest in keeping us on the path that benefited them most?
A brief return to yesterdays conspiracy theory post. The above is not to say that there is some organized plan by these organizations to propagandize our minds and keep us afraid so they can accomplish some specific goal. It's the job we tell them we want them to do! They're not in league with another organization! They're running the organizations we create with the funds that we give them in the manner in which we instruct! We want to be ignorant! We want to not be bothered by the messiness that is United States citizenship! We want to eat our egg white omelette's with our Starbucks and drive our crossovers to our meaningless little jobs from which we get no satisfaction while we talk to ourselves in our bluetooth-ed cars and delude ourselves into thinking that a pound of salad covered in hard boiled eggs and four ladles of ranch dressing is healthy for us and then racing home to drink beer and watch the 623 inch flat screen so we can get up tomorrow and do it all over again.
The eggs are likely from a "farm" that keeps chickens in a nest who never move and never go outside and never exercise and are fed all kinds of antibiotics which we then consume, and the coffee is imported from a foreign country where the workers make .25 a day, and all that money we spend on a cup of coffee is absorbed by the middle men. The salad fiasco speaks for itself except that we're supporting the illegal workers we so rail against when we buy all that hand-harvested produce grown in America, and that 623 inch flat screen was made in China by people who get paid .25 a day.
I wish I could remember the film that I'm about to paraphrase from, but a government official is talking to someone who is telling them how bad they are and how wrong the things they're doing are and he says something to the effect of , "And what about when the food runs out? And when you need oil? You're gonna just want us to get it for you, and you're not gonna care how we do it."
"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own for the children and the children yet unborn."- Rod Serling
Were the monsters on Main Street actually to be revealed we'd be shocked, because well...it is us.
And so it goes:
"I dream things that never were and say, why not?"