The CB radio blurted out, “This here’s the n@@@@ shooter, world-wide n@@@@@ shooter, readin the mail.” We wonder if he watched Amos and Andy on the TV as a youth. Did he have Ku Klux Klan hoods in his clothes closet, a Confederate flag for his truck, and a supply of crosses to burn in his barn? A reply comes back, “N@@@@ shooter, this here’s the tar baby. Give me your address, cause I’s gonna come down and whoop you’re a##!”
There was a time when we denied black jazz musicians the right to stay in the same hotel that they entertained in. Pride held that blacks owed America more than America owed blacks.
Patrick Buchanan, in his book, The Death of the West, writes that liberals are revising history when they portray American Indians as environmentalists instead of savages. He wrote that universities are islands of totalitarianism in a sea of freedom.
At a rally, Ann Coulter introduced a Donald Trump of Biblical proportions who would lead America to a place without immigration. Live drone shows with a two drink minimum would entertain the public and secure the border.
Odin Zeus McGaffer’s book, Does God Get Diarrhea, has been called disrespectful, but it has a front page warning about its content. Sigmund Freud’s book, The Future of an Illusion, contains no such warning.
Three thousand years later, the faithful speak of Canaanites as less than human, a conclusion justified by divine right to their land. But the decedents of Ham, Noah’s second son, were not black and not a valid justification for slavery.
The ancients thought that there were oceans in the sky that explained rain, but the Bible is not a science book. When our astronauts returned from the moon, someone asked them, “Did you meet God in Heaven”? They replied, “Yes, and she is black”.
Were they politically correct?
Brain scientists find that we have made our decision subconsciously before we realize it and act. We can be involuntary bigots. Rationality, incomplete and flawed that it is, takes time.
Human reality appears when fishermen tell the story about the one that got away. Doubtless one did escape. Humans need to communicate their emotions. The precise details of the fish are less important than the sharing of the experience. Leadership understands this. A great leader does not have to be expert fisherman, but he has to know enough to tell when someone is “pulling his leg”.
Little is much when it’s all believed simple. Donald Trump highlights this when he speaks of political correctness and anchor babies. The human reality behind it can be traced to the old fairy tale about the townspeople who praised the king’s beautiful attire when only a small child had the courage and lack of caution to say the obvious truth. The king had no clothes on!
We may have had hard times in the past that we overcame. “The way things were” takes on a fond nostalgia that casts things in a more favorable light than when we were suffering through them. We lament the changes our society has gone through and say, “I wish my grandchildren could grow up and know a wonderful America like the one I grew up in”. We complain that worrying about political correctness has constrained our freedom and moan about a liberal counterculture becoming dominant.
Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s article, The Coddling of the American Mind, describes college students’ emotional fragility and dislike for unintended “micro aggressions”. They go beyond hate speech to include “culture war” subjects such as history, philosophy, literature, and politics. Professors worry about their job security and universities are concerned about their marketability. They offer choices and warnings for students who are easily disturbed. Sensitive students need to be warned that they might be exposed to thoughts that are uncomfortable. Can they learn from someone they dislike or disagree with?
Conservatives say that opposition to affirmative action does not imply that they are racist and that their belief that women are not fit for some jobs does not brand them as sexist. Torture is moral when it is done for us. Opposition to immigration and gay marriage does not mean that one is a nativist or a homophobe. The prudence of the mean claims that the virtuous books written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John need study instead of those by Karl Marx, Soren Kierkegaard, Paul Tillich, and Stephen Hawking.
The questions are: When does political correctness become licentious? When does it get in the way of critical thinking? Where do you break the feedback loop so you can distinguish between cause and effect?
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation …” Many regard the Constitution like the Bible, written by God, unchanging, never contradictory, simply and literally true. That the Holy Spirit motivated our founding fathers to lay the plan for God’s chosen nation does not change the reality that the Constitution may be outmoded and was intended for a smaller less complex society. Some see the Constitution as a way of enforcing their particular beliefs on issues such as gay marriage, abortion, the separation of church and state, and “anchor babies”. The conservative, Glen Beck, wrote about what he sees as our human reality.
“All persons who successfully sneak into the country will be allowed to stay indefinitely.” This statement plays on our darker side, stereotyping “them”. They don’t all sneak into the country. Many come on the airplane and overstay their visa. Some were brought here illegally by business people. Many are deported, sometimes breaking up families. The waiting list to come to America is thirty years too long. America is a nation of laws that needs to show the world how we will fairly and compassionately deal with those contributing who have ties on both sides of the border. Recent border crossers are expedited back, but there are issues related to sanctuary and refugee children. We must control our borders if we are to have a country, but we have to conduct a cost-benefit analysis so we can rationally decide how best to do that. We will not solve immigration until we know why they migrate and address the root causes.
“All crimes committed by those lawbreakers shall be ignored.” This is fear mongering. It is not so. The reality is that there are more than ten million illegal immigrants who fear deportation and commit crimes at a lower rate than American citizens for that reason. Many were brought here because they were talented and work for less, not necessarily because no one else would do that job. We can’t afford to imprison them for a burnt-out tail light. Web sites claiming that aliens are tipping elections to the Democratic side by voting in the hundreds of thousands ignore that fact that there is no evidence for this and that no one in their right mind would risk becoming a deported criminal for a single vote.
“These non-Americans will be afforded free health care at emergency rooms, free education, and special in-state tuition deals at colleges, not afforded legal citizens.” This one plays on envy. Somebody could be getting something that Glen thinks they should not have. Emergency rooms don’t turn anyone away. The alternative is to leave the dying on the hospital steps. Society has a collective responsibility to not deliberately create an uneducated class that will lead to more poverty, crime, and social unrest. Immigrants pay taxes. Citizens can get scholarships and student loans. Hillary Clinton has proposed that junior colleges should be free. Our Arizona attorney general is spending taxpayer money to deny drivers’ licenses to the “Dreamers”, children of illegal immigrants who grew up here and have committed no crime. Representative Bob Thorpe takes it further, in a spiteful manner, when he threatens to write a bill that would deny all out of state tuition to universities who allow dreamers who have grown up in Arizona to be classified in-state.
“All children born of these lawbreakers shall immediately become citizens of the United States.” It is situational. It’s not about gaming our complex immigration system at the cost of responsibility for a child that is a means to an end.
Was Glen politically correct?
More problems: The fourteenth amendment is about more than “anchor babies”. It concerns protecting civil liberties from state impairment. Our politicians who want to take over government lands and arrest the feds are going to argue their view of state rights.
A Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in both houses and ratification by three-quarters of the state legislatures. Alternatively, two-thirds of the state legislatures can ask Congress to call a convention to revise the Constitution. The proposed amendments must be submitted to state legislatures or special state-ratifying conventions which have to achieve three-quarters consensus. This method would likely deal with issues related to the functionality of the Constitution instead of narrow parochial interests.
Curtis Marean, director of ASU’s Institute of Human Origins, an expert on human reality, explained that the reason for Homo sapiens dominion over the earth came from a genetically determined propensity for cooperation. It wasn’t because of his large brain, thumb, climate change, or use of tools.
Does human communality help to hold us together or lead to disagreement, intolerance, and chaos? Theoretically, sociality is promoted by ruthless competition for limited resources and groups in conflict defining “those others”.
RationalBy not presenting controversy, we run the risk of slipping back and undoing the progress towards tolerance that has been made, but corrosive stereotypes, once formed, are immune to modification even when human reality reveals that they are invalid. That is why all groups, parents, schools, churches, courts, and governments must avoid forming them. We must learn to seek our own welfare in concert with others instead of at their expense.