unless you live in rural america. jollyroger wrote a post recently- and it ties in with my thoughts lately so thanks jolly :)- where he asked whether or not there was any hope of moving these types of folks into the 21st century. my quick answer is no- but that isn't really where my thought patterns are going lately. my question is- what is it that makes some folks- or some groups of folks- cling so desperately to the past? it isn't just america- but i live here so i can be critical (plus, i am not a big one for all kinds of change either). america is touted as one of the most educated (most college degrees) in the developed world and yet- we still have people voting based on reactions to skin color and gender.
anyway- i wonder if it's a genetic thing- or a learned thing- or both? this horrible fear of other human beings that look and sound different than us? oh- that sounds enlightened doesn't it? it isn't. i can be just as petty and mean as any bigoted person with prejudice- because i am human. i try hard not to be- and it is a deliberate thought process on my part because i think about how the other person would feel to be sliced and diced by me. and it demeans me to slice and dice. doesn't stop me when i get mad- that isn't bragging- it's being honest.
it isn't just west virginia or kentucky- some of the most small minded, bigoted, prejudiced people live right here on the border of pennsylvania- a hop, skip and jump from scranton, pa- here in upstate new york. in fact, more than a few live here on my block in a fairly diverse small city in the middle of a sea of white. very blue collar and mostly white but there has been an influx of immigrants from eastern europe, asia and southeast asia, and black and hispanic folks from new york city. that has the blue collar whites' knickers in a twist let me tell ya.
anyhoo- i have been giving it thought lately because i have been nailing clinton to the wall- and i have to say it might be a bit unfair. why? because it has been mostly the clintonistas- her minions who i have had the most problems with. now, granted, she courted them- but they ran with it. these are the same people who i hear women of color and lesbian, bi, and trans women complain about being exclusionary. these are the same people who, under ordinary circumstances, would vote mccain. my beef with hillary is that she is a liar. and i thought more of her than that.
oh- right- the bigots in west virginia. it has been bandied about that throwing more education in places like that helps. emmm.... perhaps. some of the most educated bigots have seats in our highest places of government and industry. i come up short on how to change hearts and minds. because really- when it boils right down to it- how do you stop people from hating other people when they seek out people to hate? they seek reasons to hate you or me- or obama or clinton or muslims or catholics- or whoever. i don't think that those women shown on the video that stewart showed necessarily meant to sound horrible or that they aren't as nice as can be- with their own kind. it is almost an instinctual thing for them because i doubt few have been out of the county where they were born. perhaps that's it. with such a limited world view- how can we expect these people to consider anyone else as people- especially when they don't look like them? i am not making excuses- just thinking out loud.
when you have insulated communities, you get isolationist, us-against-them mentalities. it's easy to be prejudiced when you don't live next to the people you are prejudiced against. but that really doesn't work in places like bosnia or the middle east or parts of africa- those folks kill their neighbors. sigh. i don't know. any thoughts?