I am always amazed how rumor and innuendo and become truth and fact if they are repeated enough. For example, if the news media or anyone with a powerful voice says something often enough eventually it becomes “true.” This is the case with “black-on-black” crime. If one listens long enough to the rhetoric it becomes possible to conclude that “black-on-black” crime is a raging epidemic in the USA. All this talk about “black-on-black” crime leads at best to irrational fear and stereotyping and at worst it gives license to do harm to any black person who comes with our field of vision – stop them before they harm us.
There are other ways to describe what listening to this rhetoric is – brainwashing and indoctrination are two concepts that come to mind. Why are we so easily persuaded to believe half-truths and lies? It embarrasses me that supposed Christian pastors think that all Muslims are only interested in destroying America. Yes Muslims believe differently, but different does not equal evil or bad; it is just different.
Is this the kind of society any of us want to live in – a society that defines different as bad, as evil to be destroyed? Aren’t there are enough real things to fear, things like: a government that is too easily persuaded to go to war, the environmentally dangerous fracking practices energy companies are engaging in, and lack of access to affordable healthcare.
It takes courage to confront irrational fears. After all there is a tremendous amount of peer pressure asserted to keep our enemies our enemies. Can you imagine a world where rhetoric and innuendo are quickly dismissed as silly and unimportant ramblings? Can you imagine a world where we start by assuming the best of each other? It almost sounds like the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus was so fond of talking about. The kind of world I want to live in.