Sometimes it’s important to state the obvious: The current Republican nominee for President didn’t invent or create racism, bigotry, arrogance, ignorance or any of the list of phobias he espouses. He simply is the prick that has lanced the boil of this puss pool.
(And, while I’m being obvious, here’s a common definition of the word…. Phobia: an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.)
Extreme and irrational fears, by their very nature, are unmoved and unchanged by reasonable discussion, the preponderance of physical evidence to the contrary or the consequences/effects they might have on a person’s quality of life.
However, gradual, repeated exposure to and experience with the source of the phobia DO tend to help a person to progress beyond the most paralyzing aspects of their fear. But many people choose to simply do a ‘work around’ rather than a ‘work through’ approach to their fears. Hence, the aversion element of phobias.
What we, the people, are experiencing in this election cycle is a reality check. Exposed for all to see is a large gap between who we thought we were collectively as Americans (and perhaps how far we had come in our social awarenesses) and who we actually are individually (and how a society cannot legislate hatred, fear and bigotry out of existence).
Underneath the political correctness of the past 50 years or so, wherein it didn’t matter as much what a public figure (or any of us really) did behind the scenes provided they spoke appropriately and frequently about inclusion, fairness and equality, there was a percentage of our population that simmered and seethed.
They have found a face and a voice to rally behind.
They are not ‘bad’ people. They’re deeply afraid. Fear’s first responder is ANGER, followed closely by Righteousness and Blame. These energies attract and enflame any similar energies they come in contact with and become a self-perpetuating, self-justifying, self-fulfilling prophecy. They are the Donald.
The truth about our country, about our society, isn’t always pretty. But the truth does need to come out into the open in order for us to address it honestly and to ask ourselves genuinely, “Who and how do I want to be in the light of this truth?”
This is life putting us on the spot.
It’s worth noting that during natural disasters, or on battlefields, or in any life threatening situation, we never take notice of the color, the gender, the garb, the sexual orientation, or the beliefs of the hand or the face of the person who is reaching out to help us or is standing by our side.
None of those matter. They never do.
Many people learn that truth from and through those experiences. Not everyone does.
As a nation, we have fought wars, foreign and domestic, against tyranny and for freedom, against oppression and for equality, against injustice and for the wrongly persecuted.
We are either going to come together, person to person…neighbor to neighbor…voice to voice and stand up firmly and clearly for what we know this country was established for…or we will pull ourselves apart and perish.
Standing firmly is NOT about beating the other person down.
Standing firmly is standing firmly…with the person who willing to stand too…
and not letting the fear filled run over us.