Friday, December 24, 2010

SOME DYNAMICS OF HATE AND HATE CRIMES

A few years ago, I wrote the following post that I'd like to reprint here in a very slightly edited form. I wish you all a very good Christmas and a most blessed New Year:

There is no Resurrection without their first being the Crucifiction! Most of Christendom, particularly in a relatively affluent country like America, focuses on the Resurrected Christ (when they even think about Him at all), and eschew the Crucified Christ and His demonstrated life that required, as it does in all of us, a Crucifiction before our Resurrection!

Our crucifiction can and does take many forms, and occurs in many different forums in, and aspects of, our lives and in our life as a nation that "prides" itself on being a "Christian Nation," without seemingly having the foggiest idea as to what that term really means. Those who bandy this term around, not the least of which are many clergy, evangelists, and their followers, use that term as justification for the enmeshment of most of the organized Church in the polity of society; partaking of the very same political and cultural values of that society (usually the most reactionary values of that society), without acknowledging the essential need to eschew the partaking of "the culture of death," to use the late Pope John Paul ll's telling phrase, by dying to self, and dying to the "death-culture," so as to receive, right here and now, a truly liberated, Resurrected, life!

Embracing the culture of death (or, at least, turning a blind eye to it) by most of the institutional Church has handsomely paid off for it in terms of the world's definition of "success," and has also paid off for its leaders and many of its followers in material, psychological, and political terms. Hence, the very loud silence regarding the institutionalized condemnation of others, particularly those "others" who are viewed as relatively "safe" targets to persecute, God's LGBT children!

When there is far more revulsion exhibited by most of the institutional Church toward those who are "liberals," than toward those who engage in hateful rhetoric, as seen by a lack of "church trials" for the proud, haughty, mean-spirited clergy who virtually make a career out of demonizing LGBT people; when there is virtually complete silence by clergy and most professing Christians when hate is geared toward LGBT people, and their denial of full and equal civil and sacramental rights exist, the presumption of those clergy and their followers that they represent Jesus, the Prince of Peace, not only rings hollow, but is a stench in the very nostrils of God!

Indeed, most of the organized Church mimics not only those in the power structure who have a vested interested in the status-quo from which they quite handsomely profit, but it also mimics the power dynamics of the dispossessed who feel they need others to persecute, particularly if those "others" are seen to be in any way "liberated," or even view themselves as having the right to exist as full human beings.

The tragedy of this state of affairs is of special poignancy when it occurs in the "subculture of violence" that often characterizes the lowest social classes, the classes that Marx characterized as the "lumpenproletariat." The poignancy rests on the fact that the oppressed classes, once (to whatever degree) emancipated, frequently engage in the very same oppressive actions against other minories to which they, themselves, were subject in the not too distant past.

Don Charles kindly suggested that I post my writing to him regarding my take on the fact that there is a great deal of misogyny and homophobia in much of the black community; perhaps unequaled in the black community by those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder; among those who are the subject of the greatest oppression both objectively speaking and/or by their willing embrace of the "victim" role. This is what I wrote that I hope provides some food for thought:

...there is so much self-loathing in the black community, as is represented in much of rap music, that it manifests itself in self-abasement and disrespect to others, creates both a perpetual state of perceived "victimhood," and a permanent subculture and underclass of angry people quick to exact violence against each other and against "the other" (such as Gay people) for merely existing (such as women and Gay people) who would dare threaten their fragility by merely publicly existing and showing themselves to be "liberated": something that threatens those trapped in, and who trap themselves in, the subculture of victimhood and violence. It is not politically incorrect or politically correct to demand that our airwaves and media stop being polluted with terrorist speech, be it in the form of lyrics, art, or any other medium! Beyond the coarsening of the culture, such terrorism creates a climate of violence directed against others, be they women, LGBT people, or anyone who is perceived as "the other," one who can be (and, therefore, perceived as should be) attacked for merely existing. If we are serious about fighting a war against "terror," we begin with the likes of an Imus, a Savage, certain rap music, etc. And we have and enforce laws that terrorist speech directed against any person or group is to be civilly and criminally punished! And that includes clergy! For example, if a clergyperson says that being Gay is sinful, that is not hate speech; it's merely ignorance! However, if a clergyperson says that LGBT people don't deserve full and equal civil rights, that is terrorism, demeaning the legitimacy of LGBT people to fully exist just as any other citizen, and that is not merely hate speech; it's terrorism, and that's what should be recognized, acknowledged, and treated accordingly.
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2 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

This is a real revelation, Jerry, the distinction you draw between Bible bigot ignorance and Bible bigot terrorism . . . but the ignorance is no less dangerous and no less repugnant to the Lord.

Jerry Maneker said...

I absolutely agree, Don Charles! Best wishes, Jerry.