Friday, November 07, 2008

Le mot Juste

A kind word turneth away wrath and saying just the right thing can create confidence. President Elect Barak Obama said all the right things and looked as presidential as anyone ever has in his first press conference this afternoon. Chris Matthews even had to admit that there was no sign of a "redistributive" mood in his tax plan although in fact there never was, and who could resist a smile when Obama compared himself to a mutt from the animal shelter?

This is a man confident in himself and who appears to be confident in his ability and confident in our country. It's in sharp contrast to the anonymous e-mail I got last night showing the Obama campaign logo as African tribesmen danced almost naked around a fire. So while I've come to feel that for once I voted for someone I believe in rather than the lesser of two evils; while I am at this moment as proud of the USA as I have been and more proud than I have been in many years, I'm beginning to daydream about blowing the heads off racists.

A christian friend of mine once said that such people were ignorant and should be pitied. I know he's right, but it doesn't help. It only encourages them. So whoever you are "floridajoker" be aware that pity only makes my aim better.


Chris the Hippie said...

I mentioned in my blog the other day that "America regained a bit of pride Tuesday." Within twenty minutes I had an angry e-mail from a friend chastising me for not having pride in America under the Bush administration. I tried to explain to him that I AM a proud American, always have been, but America has had some bad spots in our past. I went on to name a few, including bigotry and racism. I've gotten three or four e-mails from him since then, all hollering about how he's not a racist. "Just because I voted for McCain doesn't mean I'm a racist!" It makes me sad. I mention the word "racism" and he immediately thinks I'm talking about him. "Methinks the lady doth protest too much," comes to mind, as does, "If the glove fits..."

My point being that overt racism isn't all there is -- I'm from Iowa, which is predominantly white. A lot of people are simply ignorant about other races, never having been exposed to their cultures. That's not exactly racism, I guess, but I believe ignorance IS a springboard to racism...

I honestly don't think my friend is ignorant or racist, but he does seem to feel the need to proclaim his innocence for some reason. There seems to be some pressure on him to prove he's not. I think the new administration will help us to understand these feelings and motivations, simply by allowing us to talk honestly about them. I hope.

d nova said...

racism is a phobia.

a phobia is a type of anxiety disorder.

the ego uses defense mechanisms to relieve anxiety.

denial is a defense mechanism.

glove, shoe, whatever....

Chris the Hippie said...

Shoe? Works for me. I've never been a literalist, I guess...

Capt. Fogg said...

I'm nor entirely comfortable with the word "racist" since it means too many things, but too many people are uncomfortable with Obama and can't or won't explain why.

People who say they're not racist may feel that way, but still they resort to stereotypes because they can't or won't explain why they're uncomfortable. If making jokes about criminals being black or showing images of primitive tribesmen as justification for not liking a brilliant, educated man with leadership talent isn't racism, It's close enough though.

Yes, it's used against people of the same race too, but racism is about perception of the "other" and so we make up categories of otherness, like Liberal, Politically correct,heretic, etc.

I don't see much difference between racism and other kinds of hate, but I think it may be wrong to write it of as phobia since having it serves an end and phobias usually don't. The end is to exclude and persecute and to promote those we identify with. A phobic often is paralised by fear.

d nova said...

chris: nothin litral bout it.

cap: phobia does serve an end. the phobe gets a reward out o avoiding the feared object, namely, he stays safe, which seems 2 result fro the phobic behavior, so it's self-fulfilling. those things u mention [xclusion, prsecution, &c] r means o avoidance.

getting "frozen" by fear is common, but not a necessary feature o phobia. if it were, why is xenophobia so named? btw, that's so like racism i think it makes my point.

u mite wanna read first few posts on my blog 4 further info on phobias.

here's a link 2 an xcessive number o them. jus scroll 2 the bottom n njoy a few: