Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A cancer on the body politic: I believe Imus is part and parcel of some typical "conservative" shock jocks in America. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about these radio/TV personalities. As a matter of fact they are the very essence of those traits they claim conservatism is against. They clamor and decry the vulgarization of America but they are the ones who most often generate callous, uncaring, hate filled rhetoric. Why do they do this? Because audiences listen and listeners turn into money. None of us is immune to it.

There is and perhaps always has been a cancer on the body politic of this country and it is the fact that the country has often not lived up to its ideals and many refuse still to admit this fact. An American conservative movement comprised of a so called "moral majority" has developed in the last fifty years. It has been designed to reject and deflect much of the academic criticism of this country with respect to most especially race and foreign policy. I suggest Imus's racist spewing has much to do with this phenomenon.

The modern conservative movement was a movement begun to counteract the late 60's cultural revolt. If the New Left called into question what historian Howard Zinn calls American exceptionalism the American Right rejected that criticism and became angry. From Vietnam to Iraq; from Mississippi to Boston this "moral majority" has refused to see the real immoralities of this country and created a reactionary movement in opposition to those who would illuminate our hypocrisies. Race is a part of it. It continues to be one sore on our body politic that festers; the cancer that will never go away. Imus is merely a reflection of an age old malady. Race concerning blacks in America has deep historical roots. Whites often cannot admit it and worse many do not care about it. We must care about it. The Imus volcanic eruption should teach us we must be very careful what we say and to whom we say it. We must confront our inequities as a nation or like cancer our malady will ultimately consume and kill us.
Remembering the Holocaust: Someone recently said to me in 100 years no one will even remember the Holocaust existed. I suspect, although certainly its occurrence has application to all people and for nearly every social relationship known to man, it will be primarily the Jew who remembers it if even they do. In a PBS documentary about the Holocaust, an expert was asked by the commentator if the Holocaust had any meaning or purpose whatsoever. He simply answered "no". Anger about that nearly approaches for me the anger I have of the event itself. To think that no one will care or that no one will remember that six million lives (great scholars and scientists included) are gone and that there REALLY is no good reason why or no lesson to be learned from the Shoah makes my blood boil.

I have seen the cartoon clip remembering the event which was attached to an email I received during Yom Hashoah last year and it seems this year world events have waxed worse. The Middle East, thanks to putrid US and western foreign policy for over a century and certainly presently, is now ablaze everywhere with more carnage, I suspect, to come. Israeli policy too has had its immense blunders and miscalculations. The Arabs are empowered. This is not good for the US and it is not good for the Jew especially an Israeli one.

I surely do not know what the answer is or why the Jewish people have been born to suffer for over 5000 years. Perhaps there is really no higher purpose to explain the tortured history of the Jews. The Holocaust though will always remain sacred in my heart and, perhaps, if there is indeed a God it will always remain sacred to Him too.

Lets hope for a better year.

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