Saturday, June 21, 2008

My "thought" of the day

Hi all--now that I officially signed up on our blog, I thought I'd try and be proactive by starting a conversation. I got to thinking this week about 'racism' and 'hatred,' two entities that aren't entirely different. Any "ism" as I would call it, be it "racism" or "sexism" is a form of hate. You wouldn't believe how many people today, in our digitally-driven, smart-phone carrying society are still racist, sexist, whatever-ist. In other words, many people are filled with hate.

Hate--it's such a strong word, but it is the blackest quality our society has. Hate, in my opinion, is a disease. Combine lack of knowledge, lack of empathy, and the inability to examine oneself; and you've got the recipe for hate. Why is it that we cannot get over ourselves, so we can help somebody else?

We all make mistakes and pre-judge others before we've truly gotten to know them. The difference between a hateful person and one who loves others is that the latter knows that what they are saying or doing is wrong...and thus, tries to change it. Others ignore any negative side effects of their bitterness or hatred, choosing to continue on this destructive path.

I was reading an article in Rolling Stone this week (please note, I do not endorse this magazine in any way, shape or form, but I DO enjoy some of their political/pop culture articles.) written by Matt Taibbi, an opinionated, at times venomous reporter who covers the politics beat. In his most recent article titled, "Full Metal McCain," he illustrates the June 3rd speech McCain made in New Orleans, amidst a swarm of supporters.

Though Taibbi can carry things a bit too far, a portion of his article really stuck out in my mind. Referring to a group of women he spoke to in the audience, he wrote:

Cindy Oestriecher, a McCain supporter who turned out for his speech in New Orleans, is stumped when I ask her for an example of Obama's lack of patriotism. "What was that thing about anti-American?" she asks a friend. "What were they referring to?"
"What thing?" asks the friend.


"People were talking about that thing, that anti-American thing," Cindy says, frowning.

"You mean about the flag, the thing on the Internet?" the friend replies.

"Yeah, I guess," says Cindy. "The anti-American thing."

"That bothers you?" I ask.

"Of course it does!"

"But you don't even know what it is," I say. "You just know that someone else said he was anti-American. You don't even know who it was that said it!"

She shrugs.

What's my point? We all know what the deal is. When it comes to presidential politics, you either are or you aren't. And Barack Obama aren't. If you can't grasp the simple math of that statement, you don't know much about elections in this country. It's not about the war, or the economy, or the faltering Republican brand, or any of that: This is about hate and fear, and a dark instinct in our blood going all the way back to Salem, and whether or not a desperately ambitious ex-heretic named John McCain can whip up a big enough mob in time to drown the latest witch. (taken from http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/21129038/full_metal_mccain)

Something about the last passage really got to me...partially because, I know its true. Democrat, Independent, or Republican...we all know what hate and racism smells, feels, hears, looks like. It's ugly. It's rampant. Even today. Just this week, I had a coworker tell me she would never vote for Barack Obama because he's Muslim and doesn't support our brave men and women in Iraq. I refrained from arguing for the sake of being professional whilst at work.

I won't even come out and say who I plan to vote for here. It's no one's business but mine. But, I will say that racism and a desire for segregation are still alive and well, and may very well be beliefs that a Fortune 500-broker with a Blackberry and leather briefase carries inside, not just your proverbial "back woods" redneck.

8 comments:

Joshua Burbrink said...

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

faithful forever said...

It is a sad thing to witness people hate and hold prejudices. I used to think it was an indication of a small mind, but really it is the heart that is small. Love expands the heart and makes it grow, and hate shrinks it and makes it smaller every time hatred is expressed. One of the saddest things about exercising judgment is how much it limits you - the person who is being easily dismissed, may have been the biggest blessing of your life in some way, but was thrown away in pettiness, thus depriving you of the blessing that you didn't deserve. We never know what another may bring into our life, or what we may bring to theirs and I believe it is always worthwhile to keep an open heart. I think we are all most comfortable with people who make us feel they are giving us a fair chance and we are called to treat each other the way that we want to be treated. Prejudicism, racism and hatred are the opposite of the Golden Rule. It is such a simple message yet so difficult in this fallen creation, but His flock can still shine and shine we simply must for His glory. The bigger the heart, the better for the greatest gift of all is love. Our Lord and Savior is love and by following His examples and teachings we are set far apart in this weary world.

Your journalistic talents are very obvious, Kelly, and I am looking forward to reading more.

Love always.

young brother said...

It makes sense that hatred is alive and well in America these days. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be anywhere near the position that we as a nation are now in. Also, if the judgment we expect is coming, it would be unfair unless hatred, selfishness, and other forms of godlessness were, in fact, rampant.

Hosea 10:12-14 "(The Lord) said, 'plant goodness, harvest the fruit of loyalty, plow the new ground of knowledge. Look for the Lord until he comes and pours goodness on you like water'. But you have plowed evil and harvested trouble; you have eaten the fruit of your lies. Because you have trusted in your own power, and your many soldiers, your people will hear the noise of battle, and all your strong, walled cities will be destroyed."

Anonymous said...

Kelly,

Your wrote "We all make mistakes and pre-judge others before we've truly gotten to know them. The difference between a hateful person and one who loves others is that the latter knows that what they are saying or doing is wrong...and thus, tries to change it. Others ignore any negative side effects of their bitterness or hatred, choosing to continue on this destructive path."

I agree so much with this statement. It is the spirit of Christ that will convict a person of faith and they know that they stepped over the line. Trying to right the wrong and asking for forgiveness is part of the process. God our Father knew we would stumble on the path so he sent his son to show us the way.

Since my ancestors were segregated onto Indian Reservations and I reside on one I know racism on all sides but LOVE sets us free.

Yours in Christ
Sandra

NathanDave said...

Hate is often motivated by fear, and most people fear what they percieve as different. The beauty and peril of our time is the use of fear as a weapon by the dominators. However, the beauty comes in the form of a people who will see through the fear and refuse to be intimidated and controlled by it any longer.

Kelly said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone.

FF--Thank you for the compliment. I look forward to posting more, as well. Prejudice is truly a symptom of a "small heart," like you coined it. When you open your heart, you unfold the possibility of changing someone's life.

Sandra--Indian reservations, concentration camps, slavery...all forms of oppression by people who are scared...scared of the unknown or what is "different." It's amazing how fear can be so crippling. Thank you for reading.

Nathandave--So, so true. Fear can halt us in our tracks and keep us from fulfilling our God-given potential. It can also stop us from befriending someone we view as different than us, which can be a dangerous thing.

YB--I agree that hatred and wrongdoing have brought on the judgement our nation is surely seeing in these 'last days.' I think the key is for all people to stop pointing fingers and realize that we all have fallen short of the glory of God, and only through Jesus can we really make a turn around. Not that we won't fall down once in awhile, but getting back up is vital.

faithful forever said...

Indeed Kelly, getting back up is vital. Hopefully we will have learned the lesson well that was being taught and we progress in thought, word and deed to further our faith and the Kingdom of Jesus.

love ya Kelly

Anonymous said...

Kelly,
Yes you are right about those that are scared. It might have been a form of concentration camps for my ancestors but they survived and learned to fight the system and make this government stand by the treaties they signed. They broke so many but we finally got smart and hired lawyers to fight for the rights guaranteed in the treaties.

We are coming up to the 4th of July. I don't celebrate it. The Declaration of Independence was not for all people. In the document further down after the flowery words of "All men are created equal" they describe the Indians as merciless Indian savages. So much for equality.

The only equality we are guaranteed is in Christ Jesus.

Yours in Christ
Sandra