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Bigotry: alive and unwell in America!

Territoriality is deeply rooted in human evolution.

Even chimpanzees patrol the perimeters of their territories, KILLING chimpanzees from elsewhere, for more territory!

Sometimes I wonder whether bigotry (the obstinate or intolerant devotion to your own opinions and prejudices, especially when you  regard or treat the members of a group [as a racial or ethnic group] with hatred and intolerance), is deeply rooted in human evolution as well, perhaps as a CONSEQUENCE of territoriality. After all, territoriality and its boundary lines divide human beings into two groups: US and THEM. :-) This bias fits in VERY well with Myers-Briggs “thinking-judging” types (especially JUDGING! :-) ), who “groupthink” a lot and represent upwards of 90% of the people in corporate executive management. These folks have a NEED for scapegoats, because they have a hard time accepting responsibility for their own actions.

(Note added October 15, 2011: Despite well-intentioned attempts to defeat “bullies” in childhood and elementary schools by such groups as Sesame Street, I believe that “being a bully” is a natural pitfall for certain personality types (like ENTJs) and that there is plenty of evidence that personality is genetic. Not only that, it is SELECTED FOR in corporations and some other types of organizations. Again, I think that Sesame Street and many school systems are well-intentioned, but that their premise, that bullying is “learned behavior,” is seriously FLAWED.)

I never thought that I would write this blog entry. A former director of mine once said that he tends to keep politics separate from business. American corporations don’t discuss politics, for FEAR that it might disrupt their primary directive: the flow of money to the top 1% of income earners (the most important of their stockholders). I am not in that 1%, and politics is too important to ignore or suppress. Tonight, I plan to touch (briefly) on that OTHER forbidden topic, religion.

I never thought that I would write this blog entry, but then again, I never thought that I would be living in the kind of America in which I find myself. What happened during my lifetime? Two recent news articles confirmed that bigotry is alive and unwell in America. The first is entitled “Against the grain, Dayton, Ohio embraces immigrants.” My wife is from a small city near Dayton, OH. Both her small city, and MY home city, are 98% White (I mean Caucasian). At the time we were growing up, we probably did not consider our hometowns to be racist, but in fact, they were at that time. At a time when states like Arizona and Alabama are passing laws that discriminate against segments of the population based on ethnicity or national origin (Didn’t we already go through this once with Alabama, back in the early 1960s? I guess those “thinking-judging” folks and their offspring are still there!), Dayton, Ohio is welcoming immigrants!

(By the way [BTW], it MIGHT do Alabama, Arizona, and a few OTHER states some GOOD to watch the movie, “A Day Without a Mexican.” As the movie demonstrates, the use of convict labor to replace Mexican farm workers who disappeared, didn’t work out so well. :-) )

Dayton, Ohio, population 140,000,  is 54.7% “White alone” and 40.5% “Black alone.” The word “alone” should provide a clue to you. The myth of “race” leads to the disease of “racism.” Let’s hope and (for the religious among you) pray that Dayton’s example is NOT “against the grain!” The welcoming of immigrants is in the finest tradition of mainstream American thinking and practice. We are ALL immigrants here, even the Native Americans, who simply got here FIRST.

Dayton Mayor, Gary Leitzell, (is that a German or Swiss-German name? :-) ) did not discuss the “Welcome Dayton” plan (approved unanimously) with CNN, but referred CNN to his blog:

“This plan is designed to enhance the potential of Dayton as a competitor in the global economy by attracting immigrants who bring new ideas, new perspective, and new talent to our work force,” Leitzell said in the statement. “In order to reverse the decades-long trend of economic decline in this city, we need to think globally and recruit the very best from around the world.”

YOU GO, Dayton! Wake up the rest of these bigot maroons. :-)

The SECOND article that caught my eye was about Texas (why is it always Texas?) “megachurch”-pastor-and-Texas-Governor-Rick-Perry-supporter Robert Jeffress calling Mormonism a “cult” at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. :-) The object, of course, was to vilify Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

No, I am not a Mormon (or LDS, “Latter Day Saints,” as those folks prefer to call themselves).

Former Education Secretary, Bill Bennett, replied to the comments by Jeffress:

“Do not give voice to bigotry.”

Oh, we have bigots in California – likely MILLIONS of them (of ALL ethnicities and “races”) :-) – but most of them have learned to keep their mouths shut about their biases. The cultural and legal systems here, while attacking Second and Fourth Amendment Rights, seem to hold the First Amendment pretty sacred. “Hate speech” does not “sit well” with Californians and the multicultural lives that they live (plus, it can be “downright dangerous,” when you find yourself in a VERY heterogeneous “group” and “groupthinking” does not apply! :-) ). And unlike Dayton, Ohio, it is mighty difficult to make divisions by “White alone,” “Black alone,” or “Anything-else alone” – once again demonstrating the myth of race.

From CNN:

“When asked about Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, which bans a religious test for the presidency, Jeffress said the clause only applies to the government, not individuals.”

How convenient! 😉 I wonder whether the Founding Fathers would agree…. :-)

Jeffress said:

“We have every right to impose a litmus test on the kind of person we prefer,” he said. “You can show preference without being a bigot and certainly without violating the Constitution.”

Dear pastor Jeffress: you do NOT have a right to impose a religious litmus test on the kind of person “we” (not “THEY!” :-) ) prefer for President in MY country. One possible solution for you and people who “think” (“judge?”) like you might be expatriation.

A “feature” of bigotry, like corporate “greed” is that it knows no limits! One can start out hating one group and scapegoating another and expand it to accommodate all of the prejudices that one develops over an entire lifetime! :-) You can read the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, or any other source and BEND its words to support your bias.

All it takes is a closed mind! :-)

Fortunately, for me, my interest in Republicans bashing each other with hate speech is purely academic. I find that I cannot support politicians who only support the top 1% of income earners and don’t support ME! And don’t get me wrong! I am very much in favor of rotating incumbents of EITHER major party who don’t support “The People,” in and out of Congress and the Executive so fast that it makes their heads spin – until they “wise up.”

We have the NUMBERS (99% :-) ) to do so! (If you think that the top 1% of income earners MIGHT be responsible for a lot of your problems, objective evidence would support that view, much of the time.)

I find myself agreeing with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (you know that I trust the Judiciary more than the other two branches), who recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Americans “should learn to love gridlock,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. “The framers (of the Constitution) would say, yes, ‘That’s exactly the way we set it up. We wanted power contradicting power (to prevent) an excess of legislation.’ ”

We have a LOT of legislation in California, and a HUGE Democratic majority (“equal time,” remember?) that rams the legislation through. Much of the legislation is garbage. Some of it is recycled garbage that keeps coming up year after year after getting defeated, until it finally passes, much to the detriment of Californians.

Well, folks, that’s about it for tonight (if you’ve made it this far). If you find that you have to hate a particular ethnic, “racial,” or religious group, or groups, please seek professional help.

It is YOU, not “THEY” who have the problem.

(Note added October 14, 2011: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has blocked the enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration law, known as HB 56, in Alabama. :-) )

-Bill at

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