The Fine Cultivation of Intolerance and Hate

Thanks to the miracle of modern media, the spectacle of Rev. Charles L. Worley declaring that all LGBT people should be put inside a big fence and allowed to die is available for all to see. Worley doesn’t say where that fence should be. He probably doesn’t realize that the American LGBT population is double that of his state, North Carolina.

All LGBT people should be put
inside a big fence and allowed to die.

Arizona is only one of the states to vie for the title of most intolerant and morally abhorrent, with spiteful laws that assume anyone whose skin is not lily white is a criminal. All undocumented persons are declared criminal by that fact alone whether or not they are actually criminal—unless of course they are white. This has led to routine violations of the civil rights of thousands of brown-skinned people with ancestors from the south. The infamous sheriff Arpaio has taken it upon himself to rid the state of all such vermin, rounding up field workers and housecleaners alike in midnight raids to abuse in his desert prison. Not even history is immune from ethnic cleansing: school courses focused on Mexican-American culture are forbidden by the overlords.

Alabama’s new laws are equally hateful, with invasive requirements for work so odious that many thousands of people with southern ancestry, many of whom had lived there for generations, packed up and left. Farmers, no longer having enough field workers, cut their production in half or less. Rental vacancies are high. Ah, but at least they are rid of all those inferior people.

Then there is the lovely Westboro Baptist Church, who never met a person or group that they couldn’t hate. Gays, dead soldiers, Hollywood stars, you name it. It’s not clear if any of them have ever heard of the founder of their church and what he stood for.

It’s not clear if any of the WBC folk
have ever heard of the founder
of their church and what he stood for.

Virginia apparently has so many talented and devoted judges that they can afford to deny an appointment, regardless of his excellent public record of service, if he is simply gay. He will bring bias to cases involving gays, they say. Of course, they didn’t explain how a judge who was straight would avoid bias in a case involving gays.

These are just a sampling of visible instances of widespread collective and individual intolerance and hate. Unfortunately, they are all too representative of the sort of thought emanating from the right. Republicans are all too willing to embrace racist ideas. Most of them won’t be forthright about it, although some are quite outspoken, but their legislative actions reveal what they believe. And what they believe is that there are great numbers of dark-skinned people who are lazy, morally suspect, and probably criminal, who spend their lives ripping off the taxpaying public so they don’t have to get a job.

What they believe is that there are
great numbers of dark-skinned people
who are lazy and morally suspect.

There are such people, of course, although skin color is not a part of it. But their numbers are small, and law enforcement regularly finds them out and imprisons them, and their crimes are dwarfed by Wall Street banksters. The vast majority of people who are forced to live on what government can provide are simply unable to help themselves. They are the aged infirm, the permanently injured, the chronically ill, or those needing temporary help. There is no great mass of freeloaders. Darker skin color is not an indicator of dishonesty or a criminal mind.

People are people, no matter where their ancestors came from, no matter what they do for a living, no matter what they look like. The systematic intolerance and hatred from the right is not a rational response to wrongdoing. It is scapegoating. It is pure racism, the all-American disease. Their targets are no more deserving of hatred than they are themselves, probably less so.

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