I have been living in a world of make believe for the past six years, and I suspect you have been too. In that rosy world, racism and bigotry were blights of the past, and people had become enlightened and were now able to tolerate deviation from the “norm,” so much so that they were able to walk a mile in one another’s shoes.
Yes, I was misled. I was misled by the election and reelection of America’s first black President.
As I read the reports of disrespect and hostility towards Barack Obama, I wonder how I could ever have been so sanguine as to expect anything else.
America was not ready for Barack Obama. The world was not ready for Barack Obama.
The backlash his election has created is overwhelming. At home, his approval rating is at its lowest ebb ever, people are walking out of political rallies when he speaks, Democratic candidates are distancing themselves from him in their desperation to get elected.
Abroad, his influence is dwindling, his policies – driven by humanitarianism and tolerance – are failing, his legacy is being tainted.
That’s the picture I get from the news, anyway. It could be slanted. I suspect it is.
There’s so much “spin” in the news that the truth is impossible to discern. But “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” There’s an underlying reality there somewhere, and it’s an ugly reality.
While there are many enlightened and progressive people in America – and in the rest of the world – there are more people who are stuck in the primitive past, where tribalism, fetishism, ignorance and brutality reign supreme. Many more.
Yes even in America. In the world’s leading democracy.
I had hoped for better. I was wrong.
I see daily report of civil rights violations by police and regressive civil rights rulings by the courts. I see increasing evidence of the rise of a tide of white supremacy, as xenophobia, tribalism and just plain ignorance proliferate throughout the land.
A predatory philosophy of exclusiveness and greed becomes ever more acceptable as America’s white majority closes its ranks against change, as America’s aging turn on the young, as the rich turn on the poor, as the strong turn on the weak.
What am I to make of this horrible epiphany? What is to blame for the bleak picture that I see?
Is it the fault of the education system? The media? The churches? Or is humanity simply beyond redemption?
You tell me.