Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scapegoats and red herrings

When times get hard we humans look for someone to blame. The natural tendency is to blame someone less powerful than you, some one you can hurt without consequences to yourself. The classic story is when little Johnny gets hit by his father, he goes and hits his little brother. He knows that he can't hurt his father who caused his frustration and pain, so he makes himself feel better by becoming like his oppressor.
Americans are hurting economically, we are struggling, and we see our country failing, declining. We don't dare confront those who are responsible for its decline. We are afraid to turn off the television, afraid to examine what's happening, afraid to confront the corporations that run our government.
We are told by Fox news and by every teaparty demagogue to blame the foreigners, the brown people, the ones who are different from us. It's all their fault. If they would just go away,  (who cares what happens to them or their children), we would be happy again.
How convenient for the corporate masters. We completely overlook the fact that they, the richest of the rich are siphoning off the vast majority of all the wealth we produce. They tell us to blame the poorest of the poor, the voiceless, the powerless. We can vent our frustrations on the workers who clean our toilets, and build our houses and grow our food and pay for our safety net. That makes us feel better and doesn't threaten the fat and comfortable class that is the only group to prosper during the past decade.

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