The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, April 12, 2010

Are We Becoming a Nation of Intolerance?

From my perspective, America is less intolerant than it has ever been. When exactly was this golden age of American understanding? Our culture has struggled to believe in the equality of human beings and their essential goodness and/or worthiness from the beginning. I see less oppression and hatred than I ever have, and the very vocal-ness of the lunatic fringe is nothing other than the fact that sane, rational Americans are flipping over the flat rocks of bigotry. Yes, it is disgusting and even frightening to see what comes scuttling out--but it has ALWAYS been there, and used to be so woven into the social fabric most people couldn't see it. Human beings inevitably assume "the other" is less than they are, and that has colored societies, conflicts, and military struggles since the beginning of civilization. If you are short-sighted, it can seem things are "worse." I love this country, and feel like I'm watching its birth struggles as it transforms, yet once again, into it's 21st Century avatar. Human beings rise naturally to higher levels of connection. But the process is not always pretty.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


coxcrow said...


Scott said...

Hey, look, a possible genengineering fix for racism:

Vern McGeorge said...

It's clear to me that over the past our level of tolerance on a small scale has gone up as our tolerance on a larger, political scale has gone down.

I don't care if the Tea Party-ers started it, or Move On/Code Pink, or the impeach Clinton crowd, or the anti-Reagan/Bush, or ...

All I know is that unless we in the center can fix this, it's going to get uglier.

Of course, our current financial, military, and social problems have only turned things for the worst. There's nothing like fear to bring out the worst in people.

Vern McGeorge said...

Oops! I meant "... the past 30 years ..." - proof read, then publish!