Racism casts a group of people with some common, innate, intrinsic traits into a moral cesspool of evil, weakness, and inferiority. The last decade has witnessed Americans from all walks of life creating ideological “races” based on gender, religion, class, origin, attitude and belief.
The growing prejudice among these “races” flourishes in the content-hungry media, and the “yellow press” internet. Blanket characterizations cover both platforms like rancorous kudzu. Redefined “loaded & coded” terms replace accurate neutral vocabulary. Smug assertions and attributions garnish baskets full of hatred. Facebook pages bulge with “New Age,” lofty, pseudo-aphorisms of love and peace, adjacent to vitriol-laced propaganda. Bumper/window stickers are the new armbands of superiority over, and condemnation of “the others,” we deprecate.
For me, these growing expressions of helplessness and hopelessness reveal a citizenry’s weakened faith, and fear-fed anger. We have become the paranoid, intolerant “house divided against itself…” to which Jesus and Abraham Lincoln referred.
Both Jesus and Abraham Lincoln were murdered for their efforts to bring peace out of hatred. In our case, I fear American pride, unity, and national identity will succumb to senseless fratricide.
What will it take to bring us together again looking to our future shoulder-to-shoulder instead of nose-to-nose?