If I didn't have the media to inform me otherwise, I'd say that race relations in America are actually quite good. Working with the poor and homeless at Catholic Charities, I see as diverse a crowd as you could imagine. They all get along with each other. They're at stressful points in their lives, they are riddled with self-doubt and they have nothing but clouds hanging over their heads, but while they wait to be served, they chat and smile and trade helpful tips and suggestions. They give each other emotional support in all kinds of ways, from smiles to pats on the back to simply listening as one tells their story of woe.
Where's the racism?
I've tweeted this before and my buddy Dean has responded and said that at the shipyard where he works, he sees the same thing. At the church where I'm a Eucharistic Minister, I see a very diverse congregation every Sunday and they're all getting along, too. If I had never turned on a TV, I'd never have guessed that we needed a National Conversation on Race.
I've suggested before that the left is a religion in crisis. Maybe it's more like a cult in crisis. Dig this.
Many spoke of the tremendous loss they felt as the Brethren was their entire life; loss of family, friends and identity. Those who left family behind felt guilty about the hurt they had caused and some felt that they were not part of the wider world; neither one of ‘them’ nor one of ‘us.’
Fear was another common factor - fear of the outside world, fear of not being able to cope and being alone.
"After I had stated I was intending to leave the Brethren, I had many dark warnings about the cold hard world outside, telling me that there was nobody caring, that everybody was selfish and nasty and ready to use me for what they could get and treat me as disposable afterwards."That sounds pretty familiar when you consider the way conservative blacks are treated by the left.
Maybe we don't have to spaz out over the whole thing. When racialist carpetbaggers are down to bringing their own racist signs to political rallies because no one else will, that would seem to indicate there's not much real racial animosity out there.
Instead of a National Conversation on Race, maybe we all need to learn how to help people that are in the grip of a cult.
"Maybe it's more like a cult in crisis"
Close, but you then go on to suggest that it is the rank-and-file membership that is going through the grasping-at-straws phase. I'd suggest that it is the *leaders* that are having the problem - the gravy train that they have been riding is pulling away from the station without them, and they are frantically waving for it to come back. I've seen this happen to other groups when their reason for existing vanishes, and the people in charge kind of go out of their minds while their members lose interest and wander off.
(Incidentally, I'm not convinced that racism is actually gone, just that it is no longer considered acceptable to flaunt one's racism in public. And anyone who still tries to act on their racism has to go to some lengths to cover up their motives. Still, unexpressed racism is way, way better than the way I remember people being back when I was a kid.)
I dunno, the more I think of it, the more I like the cult analogy at all levels. For a cult, everything is seen through the prism of the cult's teachings. That seems analogous to the endless analysis of how this or that affects a particular race and how racial studies have blossomed on campus. It also explains why they grab at any possible case that proves their point, no matter how obscure.
As for racism not being gone, of course not. Groups are defined by what they are not as much as what they are. That's just natural.
Metallurgists and mining engineers, for example, have always looked down their noses at architects.
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