Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tortured about torture: I am loath to think about the US torturing anybody. It goes against every amber wave of grain in every thought I have about my country. At any other time in history it would be unthinkable. I say no to torture and then a little voice in some buried synapse of my brain says the threats to our country are even worse than any imagined in the good war, World War II. No one had the bomb except us. Now so many have it and so many want it and there are possibly so many lose nukes out there for an enemy to potentially steal. So when I say no to torture and that little synapse says but what if, I say perhaps.
The Perils of Preaching Loudly

A preface: I will always love Bill Moyers.

I am riveted to most Bill Moyers interviews. Unfortunately, Dr. James Cone's interview did not inspire. I always want to give my honest assessment and hope you will indulge me my criticism. I loath being preached to and yelled at. Dr. Cone's loud diatribe lost me and at one point I turned the channel. I have the UTMOST empathy for the historical plight of the black man in this country. I must because I am a Jew. I know full well the impact of racism and its exclusion and what it does to a people and to a human psyche. My people were slaughtered for centuries, ghettoized and excluded often seemingly with no hope. Anti-Semitism exists en mass to this day. Jews had to come back from their near extinction and did so wherever they could through savvy intelligence, communicative abilities, education and hard work. While no two group's experience is the same, the similarities of racism, I believe, are profound.

Dr. Cone's sentiments, I thought, were cacophonous high decibel rants. While we should never forget man's inhumanity to anyone, Dr. Cone's utterings were a bit tiresome. I utterly agree with Bill Cosby. At some point one must take responsibility for one's own life. There are so many contributions blacks have made in every field. Yet, when one looks at many black ghettos one sees violence, drug addiction, crime, all manner of other illegalities and commonplace immoralities. Worse, one sees gangs which refuse to work with authority, commit murder and impose their own "justice" which means no justice at all. I see white's responsibility in part for this historically but I see present day behavior of some black people to be responsible today for their own deep malaise.

In our culture most people care about their own day-to-day lives. Sadly, this is not a very caring culture. As difficult a reality as that maybe be one has to work within that as best one can to create a better life because no one else will do that for him. Reading, education, effective communicative techniques, I believe, are some of the road maps out of the quagmire of poverty, horrific murder and crime. No one is going to give one the desire to achieve that. One must have those values instilled fundamentally in the family unit and one must use those values to make a better life.

I thought Bill Moyers was a little cowed by Dr. Cone and perhaps afraid to disagree or argue points with him either on race or religion. I thought Dr. Cone was preaching loudly to me and, frankly, I'm tired of the sermon.