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Sporadic» Blog Archive » Nuanced Hate and friendly Muslims

Nuanced Hate and friendly Muslims

I was running yesterday and I was also thinking about the Tea Party.

I am trying to understand why they exist. It makes no sense to me that people from lower middle and middle class would support politics that actually affects them in a negative way. The great majority of people that self identify Tea Bagger, are folks that are not of a wealth class that benefits from any of the tax cuts that are being put forth by the party they identify with. I think we have an issue of nuanced hate and fear of change. To understand this I think we have to compare historically to modern times.

So let’s start by painting the whole room “President Obama is bad and isn’t doing the right stuff” colored. That way all the conversation we have going forward can be in the President Obama’s bad room. I imagine that the room is sort of Robin’s egg blue but maybe the tea baggers would say the room has been painted black.* It’s important to recognize that for what I consider largely irrational reasons the entire right side of the political spectrum has decided that President Obama is to be handled by digging in their heels and refusing even the most basic of compromise. If the President declared that he was for kittens the Right might very well put out a bill to have all kittens catapulted** into the sun.

Now into this freshly painted room let’s put three tables. A table of the past, a table of the present and a table of the future. Let’s start by sitting down at the table of the past.

The folks in the Tea Party leadership space are all in the late 40’s and early 50’s, which means they all grew up in the era of the cold war. The cold war was easy to understand: All of our enemies were communists and all Russians were communists. All you had to do was be afraid of foreigners who weren’t either British or Canadian and you were good to go.

It's easy!

The cold war, graphed

The thing about the world today is that we now have the relationships switched. All the people who used to hate the larger group and know that they had everything covered now have to understand more complex interactions.Let’s more over to the table of the present.

All terrorists are Muslim but not all Muslims are terrorists. In fact it’s a tiny, tiny sliver of the larger group. Now instead of hating an entire people, the Tea Party has to hate just  .0001% of a group.  That’s hard to understand, and frankly the folks in the tea party aren’t really used to working with nuance. These are more broad stroke brains**.

Oh crap! That dot is looking at me funny!

The Dangerous dot

So the problem is there. People who are used to hating others because of the language, religion, the color of skin or what-have-you, now have to understand that here’s a huge population of people who are smart, decent, friendly, hard working and generally pleasant have a tiny subset of lunatics. Those lunatics who are out to get us who are a very small number (globally) are the people to be hated and not “all brown people”.

To get an understanding of how this might work in another subset, what about we show the group that say Timothy McVeigh came from. Who were they? Oh right Americans. Oh and subset of that: right wing jingoistic Americans… the self same place that the Tea Baggers live in. Now come over here and take a seat at the table of the future.

Let’s also take a look at the room we’re in. Whoa that’s a funny paint job. Let’s also look at the state that the government wants us to live in. Why do republicans insist that President Obama is wrong? What’s he done that is wrong? Why was the thing that people said about him during the campaign “He’s a Muslim” viewed as a bad thing (just to be clear he’s not)? Well because we need a big room to hate. We can’t just hate the people who are out to get us, we also have to hate anyone who looks like them. So if you aren’t white, christian and male… you’re up to no good. President Obama was missing one of those.***

Here’s what I really don’t get: How come President Bush, who really did lie and cheat and screw stuff up, gets a free pass and President Obama, who has tried to save the economy the Bush screwed up, get us out of the war Bush lied to get us into and give the poorest people a chance to have health care, doesn’t.

I was about to say something about how why do people support politicians who vote differently than their economic bracket (i.e. vote for republicans who are shopping for tax cuts for people who make 90% more than you do) but then I realized: I want programs for the poor and I do well for myself. I don’t believe in cutting social services. But really, I should be a supporter of screwing the poor and letting them figure out what to do on their own.

Damn you compassion!

Anyway. So that’s what I came up with. I think the Tea Baggers just don’t understand nuanced hate.  It’s why they are so excited about the Sept 11 anniversary. It brings them back to a happy time when they could hate people because of the color of their skin or where they came from. Sorry to tell you, Baggers: This century we have to hate people for the stuff they say or do!****

Stupid Russians! Stupid Arms Race for destroying a perfectly good villain!

* Hello Irony

** See what I did there? Kitten? Cat-apult? Cat?

***And maybe not the smartest bulbs either- looking at you Mrs Palin.

****Guess which!

***** I always said that I didn’t understand racism because there were so many really good reasons to hate people on an individual level that it seems pointless to group them.

***** Thank you to This is Indexed for the stolen Venn diagram idea*

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