Friday, February 12, 2021

Bigotry, Hatred, Xenophobia, Ignorance, Violence, and the Disregard for the Truth in America

It has become quite evident in regard to recent events, including the riotous attack on the nation’s capital on January 6, 2021 and the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, that significant parts of the nation have remained mired in a system of beliefs founded on the spurious notion of white supremacy. This underlying worldview has come in direct conflict with the necessarily complex and diverse nature of the American population and the human species on planet earth.

This worldview that sees whites as being innately endowed with superior qualities and attributes can only be sustained if the reality that is everywhere evident and that is reinforced by the cumulative knowledge gained in the realm of science is denied and replaced by an intricate tissue of patent lies, misstatements and falsehoods. In fact, science has clearly established that there is no significant difference in any member of the human species regardless of the color of their skin, place of origin, gender, and sexual orientation.

Viewing reality through the notion of white supremacy necessarily leads to a profound ignorance, a concomitant distrust of that which is true, a tendency towards a virulent and hateful xenophobia and ultimately to an embrace of violence. Collectively, these affectations are completely congruent with the characteristics of fascism. The underlying driving force of this particular constellation of characteristics is the pervasive sense of personal insecurity and fear of being left behind by the forward-moving arc of history and the ever-changing nature of social relationships especially as it relates to the modern world.

It is demagogues like Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump who personify this displacement and exploit the emotions of those most affected. They effectively channel this inner desperation into a kind of uncontrollable rage. It is this rage born of raw emotion that can lead to disastrous consequences. It is this deep-seated frustration that can unhinge an entire culture, for without a respect for the truth and an acknowledgment of the worth and intrinsic value of all members of the species, the future path is one of chaos and disarray. Democratic institutions cannot thrive and develop under such conditions.

Alternatively, a possible route to true stability, peace and social harmony would necessarily involve two significant steps. The first would be the universal acceptance of the fact that the notion of race has no substantial basis in reality, and that we all are deserving of an equal opportunity to thrive and develop as human beings. Secondly, we need to come to grips as a people to the grievous mistakes we have made in the past and seek reconciliation and strive for some measure of restitution. As a people, we need to take complete ownership of our missteps not only toward each other but to the planet upon which we live. Once we collectively do this, we can then go about the business of repairing and reforming not only our human institutions but also the natural environment upon which we all depend. It is through this approach that we can truly change the world.

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