The intolerance that is still part of us has exposed itself and is fitting into and changing the social and political landscape to something looking very much uglier and meaner than what we were used to back in the last quarter of the 20th century.
Our shift from a more tolerant and civil society into the anxious, fearful and hateful society we seem trapped in now began with 9-1-1. That is when most of us were knocked off our centers and many of us began to embrace more radical outlooks on the world as we knew it. Dormant negatives of our character rushed in to play a more dominant role in our response to everything. The world around us had not changed as much as our view of it had. This enabled the ever ready purveyors of sleaze and evil to push their agendas by using lies and exaggerations to enhance our fear and foreboding.incident that played out in April, 2023 in Jonesboro, a town up Downeast Maine on the coast. After firing some shots in the air a man named O'Brien, verbally accosted an interracial couple who were walking their dog on the private road that passed O'Brien's house.
The quote that struck me and indicated how emboldened the closet racists have become was:"O’Brien added that he ‘should be able to get away with shooting one [racial epithet] as long as he didn’t have to bring him in to tag him,’ ......... "
Because of the obvious racist factor of this interaction, the Maine State Attorney General jumped on it and the man was found guilty of a crime. Since no physical violence actually occurred, at least the man was convicted and the crime made the news. Good outcome I guess, but I would like to have seen Mr. O'Brien be charged with a felony, not a misdemeanor.
The sad part though, is the realization that racial , gender, and social bias run deeper and are more widespread than even I had thought. I thought our country was heading in the right direction. Now, I am not so sure. Seems all we did was bury our hate just deep enough to not be seen and shallow enough that it did not take much to whip it out to reveal our true selves.
When the pervasive evil and hate we embrace now finally peaks, we are in for a long period of recovery once we are on the other side. I don't think the self inflicted damage to our nation is fatal. I prefer to consider what we are going through as a necessary purging and relocation of our center. Where that center ends up depends on how many of us actually give a fuck.
Marvin Gaye's song, "What's Goin On", seems a natural fit for this post. At least for me it is. The song evokes a sense of bewilderment about Life at that moment. I am certainly bewildered about what's goin on.