Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Skin tone terror

Christopher Hitchens quite accurately describes Glen Beck's Washington event as a soggy 'Waterworld of white self pity' and places it in the same zeitgeist of resentment and uncertainty raised by the worldwide changing of demographics.
In a rather curious and confused way, some white people are starting almost to think like a minority, even like a persecuted one. What does it take to believe that Christianity is an endangered religion in America or that the name of Jesus is insufficiently spoken or appreciated? Who wakes up believing that there is no appreciation for our veterans and our armed forces and that without a noisy speech from Sarah Palin, their sacrifice would be scorned? It's not unfair to say that such grievances are purely and simply imaginary, which in turn leads one to ask what the real ones can be. The clue, surely, is furnished by the remainder of the speeches, which deny racial feeling so monotonously and vehemently as to draw attention.
The Shakespearean line 'The lady doth protest too much, methinks.' has become a frequently misquoted cliche for a reason.

Lest any Canadians are beginning to feel smug and superior at this point consider our own recent outpouring of fear and hate directed at persecuted refugees who braved a terrifying journey in a ship's hold in hopes of escaping the unambiguous life of terror that is the lot of a Tamil in Sri-Lanka these days. A major Canadian newspaper despicably recommended mass murder in response and was not greeted with the mass outrage it should have been.

Then there's the latest 'Terrorpalooza' event, with mass arrests, dubious sources reporting dubious details and a passel of screaming headlines that if history is repeated are going to look very silly and overblown in a few months when the real probably far more innocuous facts about inept nonentities mouthing off to their buddies on the Internet begin to dribble out. By then of course the damage is done and the hoary old 'enemy within' motif has been heavily subsidized for those looking to have their prejudices reinforced.

One hopes, that a younger generation used to being around people with different skin tones, accents and practices is mostly mystified watching this tight-lipped panic among the older generation, but fear and hate are infectious so maybe not.

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