On Racism, the Holocaust Museum Shooting, and the Other

alex01thumbI’ve been struggling all day to write this post, but I haven’t been able to find the proper words. I just don’t understand people and their fear of the Other, which, as a wise Muppet once noted, leads to anger, leads to hate, leads to suffering.

Anthropologically, it makes sense. We fear the Other because it is not like us – we recoil from things that are different. Doubtless it saved our collective human skins when we were growing our brains in the wilderness. “That thing doesn’t look like us, and it just ate Jack. Okay, everyone: Avoid that furry thing with the big teeth.” But not in today’s society. We’re supposed to be evolved, more sentient, ‘higher’ beings, and thus be able to ignore our crocodile brains, the ones that tell us, “Danger! Danger! This person is different – this person is enemy! Crush! Kill! Destroy!”

Apparently not. The fear and vitriolic hatred of the Other is alive and well in human society, and it’s even taken on new and exciting forms. Continue reading

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Reverend Wright, “Them Jews,” and the Holocaust Museum Shooting

Bigotry, murder and genocidal hatred are not left/right issues.  They are the product of the fringes of our society, outliers to the civilized political process.

Outliers like James W. Von Brunn, now in custody for today’s shooting at Washingtoon, DC’s US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

To perfectly illustrate how this type of bigotry is divorced from liberal vs conservative politics, earlier today, Politico reported some new crazytalk from Reverend Jeremiah Wright:

“Asked if he had spoken to the President, Wright said: ‘Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office…They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. … I said from the beginning: He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.'”

Wright has the bad luck to have made his statement for today’s news cycle, and I’m sure the coincidence will be lost on no-one.  What will be made of it, I can’t say, but I’m pretty sure it will be the wrong thing.

Also coincidentally, Melissa Clouthier advanced an extremely relevant hypothesis earlier today which illustrates how some will handle the Von Brunn/Wright coincidence.  The subject was the Left’s “ownership” of David Letterman, et al, in response to something I wrote this morning:

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