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What the F— is wrong with people!??

November 23, 2009

Okay, honestly, it’s times like these when I hate the U.S. Honest-to-God just HATE it.

If you haven’t already heard the big-time scandal, it appears that Obama bowed to the Emperor of Japan!!!! Oh, holy f—-!!!! Somebody DO something! How can we let a man who does something like try to be respectful of other cultures run our f-ing country!!!???

Just read this: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2009-11/18/content_8990726.htm

There are a million other articles all about it – ‘cuz good ol’ Dick Cheney is saying Obama is weak for attempting cultural sensitivity, and that the U.S. President should bow to nobody (nor respect them, apparently).* * And don’t give me this crap about the combination of a handshake and a bow, or the bow being too low, or whatever-the-f—; he didn’t do it right, but Lord save a man who gives it a shot.

Really? Really? This is what people spend their time talking and thinking about? Reactions like this are why the whole world thinks of "Americans" as ignorant a–holes – because it’s "weak" to try to adhere to respectful traditions of another culture . . . in THEIR f-ing COUNTRY!!!!! Because "we don’t need to bow to anybody."

This is why people celebrate harsh blows dealt our way. Reading this article just made me absolutely giddy in anticipation of the economic beat-down the U.S. will be receiving sometime in the next decade (or less) at the hands of China . . .

And then I check myself. Because that reaction is totally f-ed up, as well. Because the people that are going to suffer from that economic downturn are not the Dick Cheneys of the world. They’re not the idiots who have the time and inclination to turn this into something to put in serious newspapers. They’re not the jacka–es that light up the internet celebrating Obama’s "mistake." The people who suffer for our ridiculous arrogance (as well as our come-uppance) are the kids I work with in the States. Their families. People who have better things to worry about than having a pissing contest with the world. It’s the people that those same a–holes would never spend a second to think about or help that bear the brunt of U.S. obnoxious "pride."

And then I calm down a little. A little. I pull back from wishing a bout of hubris for our country – because, sadly, it’s not the bigots who learn anything from that (if anything, it just makes them worse, as bad times do to everyone). No. That’s what makes me really angry about it all – people like Dick Cheney WIN in this country, and in this world. They’re the ones who get the power. They’re the ones that get the money. And they’re the ones who never have to pay directly for all their flaws and mistakes. Which makes them even more obnoxious (and more ignorant). And so the cycle continues.

And that scares me.

That said, the one thing I always hold onto – that always helps me see other people’s humanity, no matter how mean-spirited or obnoxious their actions – is that people that are so worried about "respect" and "showing weakness" are that way due to fear, themselves. Extreme fear and insecurity. Anyone that must question themselves – or "themselves" as a larger entity, like their country – in that way just demonstrates their own insecurities and fear. And that’s really sad to me, when I think about it. That these people spend their entire lives so worried about projecting a "tough" or "strong" image, conscious of any opportunity to be taken as "weak."

These are the same people who tend to be homophobic men: they spend their lives in fear of being deemed "unmasculine" or "not-heterosexual." And this fear eats at them until their only reaction to this unending fear is hate. And bigotry. Because there is no other response. Because they hate what the fear does to them. They hate the constant battle with their own doubts about themselves. They hate the nerve-fraying struggle to watch their own every move in order to prevent "misunderstandings" about their own place on the gender/sexuality scale. It fries them. And so this self-hate and sadness and fear moves outward – towards that which they mistakenly believe is at fault for their own fears – the people who are confident and strong enough NOT to have to fight that battle. Because the very EXISTENCE of "those people" reflects back on these fearful entities who must then face their own internal questions, who subsequently think that if "those people" didn’t exist, then maybe that fear and self-doubt would subside.

But it wouldn’t.

Because "those people" are everywhere. If they’re not the LGBT community, it’s people of color – who have these different ways of being that force the fearful majority to reflect on their own ways of being. And when I say "fearful majority," I am not talking about all white people. I’m talking about those insecure, fearful, sad white folks who – just like the homophobes – cannot be strong enough in their own identities to be able to tolerate the presence of other types of identities in the world.

If "those people" aren’t people of color, maybe they are women or transgendered folks – whose difference, again, causes the fearful, sad men of the world to have to examine their own gendered identities.

Get the picture?

And that’s what gives me empathy even for the outright bigoted and hateful. Because a life of fear is sad to me. A life of tragic self-hate and the lack of confidence to just be in the world without allowing others’ existence to cause you to question yourself, is sad to me. It’s worthy of pity, really.

And I am not so arrogant to believe that I am immune to the same processes. In fact, that’s why I force myself to reflect on these very same processes whenever I get as mad as I did when reading this article. Because the worthless hate I started slinging around as a result can only be a result of one thing: fear. Because I have lived my life fearful of "those people" that say "those types of things." I have been insecure about myself and my own identity enough to allow their simple existence to cause me to question myself. That’s why I sometimes get carried away on this blog. That’s why I have emotionally hurt white friends of mine when I have gone off on some sort of "damn whitey" tirade without thinking about what I’m saying and suggesting and implying . . . as compared to what I really mean and feel; because I’m scared. I’m scared of what "those people" might do to me, or people I care about, or what policies "they" might set in motion that could adversely affect me and mine.

And so I, too, lash out in fear.

But when anybody and everybody can be "those people," then there are no "those people." They’re us. Every last one of them. I’ve lived on three different continents, and I have yet to see any group of people that does not share that aspect which makes us living, breathing beings: fear. We’re all scared of something. And we all react to it. And, usually, we don’t act as our best selves when we react to fear. That’s what links us. And that’s what tears us apart.

And so I hold onto that at times like these, so that I can let go of my drastic, spiteful reactions. We really are "all just human beings," for good or for worse. And that’s a good thing to remember the next time we get on our soapboxes and start to condemn the "other." Because if we need to condemn "the other," it’s only because they probably just did exactly what we are doing in response (with the same reasons) . . .

Does that mean that I’m always going to play nice and be understanding on this blog? Sadly, no. But it does mean that when I take the gloves off, there will be a time when I reflect on it later, and I more than welcome all your help in doing so.

So for those who criticize me – thank you. You’re only making me better. And I hope you stick around, so I can continue to improve . . . And to those who tend to agree with me, please also be wary of treading across the line of understanding into hate/fear. If we can all do that, maybe there can be a little hope for the world . . .

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