minniev wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:29 am
Charles Haacker wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:55 am
First, Min, beautiful picture beautifully rendered! Then the food for thought.
Glad you liked the picture, Chuck. And I liked your essay. It’s true that the names of most Indian tribes are simply names given them by other tribes, and usually derogatory. They considered themselves “the people” or the “real people”. It seems to be a longstanding characteristic of human groups to choose “their own kind” and exclude the “others” who look or think or worship differently. What is troubling is that there seemed to be a general recognition that there was something dishonorable about this kind of exclusive thinking, but now it appears that it’s become popular again.
Thank you for sharing this!
I suspect that kind of exclusionary thinking has always been just beneath the surface, lurking. What's made it recently popular, at least in this country, is a man in office who thunders against "political correctness," who appeals to what I think of as the baser instincts of The Base. I have my prejudices and biases. I am human and I am certain that it's (as I say) baked into our DNA. But I hope I understand that my own baked-in bigotry is irrational
. All "PC" is is walking a mile in the other fellow's moccasins. Trying to get an understanding. Recognizing for myself that I absolutely wallow in White Christian* American Male Privilege, which is pure and total accident of birth, like being "royal." One of my triggers is men, males who seem not to "get IT." I like to think I do get IT insofar as a WCAM can. I try. Maybe that's all PC is: trying to get IT, realizing the other human has a viewpoint and it's not mine. Ya think racism isn't so bad? Are you the victim of it? Ya think sexism isn't so bad? Are you the victim of it? "But I'm not racist or sexist! Why're you looking at me?" "Because you think you Get It but you can never Get It without experiencing it so just try to empathize
. Y'folla?" (* I have no religion but I was raised Christian.)
Humans are aggressive and opportunistic. If that tribe over there has something that will help us we should go over, bash 'em and take it. The other tribe, adapted to being hyper suspicious, prevents getting bashed to death by being more aggressive than the bashers.
We are still hyper suspicious, plus we live in a world that gets smaller and smaller thanks to an unprecedented degree of connectedness. Due to appalling atrocities all over the world, all of which we know instantly about (or at least us crazy news junkies who should know better do), refugees go flooding out of conflict zones to slightly less conflict zones and in the process cause great fear on the part of the current occupants, especially because not only are these newcomers not "us," they dress differently, smell differently, WORSHIP different OMG EVERYTHING THAT'S NOT EVEN THE RIGHT GOD! And thus they terrify us! Because that fear and loathing of the Other is baked into our DNA over tens of thousands of years of just tryin' t' stay alive. But so is empathy and sympathy. Many, many caring people look beyond their own fear and try to help. Problems arise when the fear-and-loathing crowd starts to moan in greater and greater terror that "these people" are a threat!
They threaten our lives and jobs and homes and land and gods! And, in fairness, some of them do. The ones we called "terrorists" because it fits can and do use refugees as stalking horses to go into other lands and do their evil. Some of the fearful are not wrong about that because it's documented; it happens. But statistically it doesn't represent that great a threat --- yet. We can't know what they are up to or how bent they are on, say, replicating 9-11. So yeah, it is reasonable to be prudent, but I don't think it is reasonable or prudent to be so terrified that we, for example, allow fleeing humans to drown in the surf because we fear --- what? (Well, they're only Muslim...brown...whatever... The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil...)
Well, I gotta shut up. My computer is running out of ink.