Monday musings: America the terrified (updated with links)

America seems to be scared out of its wits these days. At least, a significant and vocal section of the population seems to be.

They are scared of undocumented brown-skinned children showing up at our borders and asking for asylum.

They are scared of Muslims. Any Muslims, but particularly those who are part of ISIL/ISIS. Not that they really have any clue who they are and not that they seem to be capable of making the distinction between those who are and those who aren't. Again, brown-skin = scary.

And, of course, their latest terror is Ebola, the deadly virus that has killed thousands in West Africa and which one unfortunate visitor from that area is currently battling in a hospital in Dallas. The affected man is in isolation. Those with whom he is known to have had close contact (which is the only way the disease can be spread) are quarantined, but to hear the fear mongers in the media tell it, the disease is likely to spread throughout the country and kill us all by next Tuesday.

In fact, in a fear trifecta, some of our more benighted elected representatives in Congress have even suggested that the brown children at the border might be ISIL/ISIS secret agents who are carrying the Ebola infection to spread it around the country. I am not making this up. There is no suggestion too outrageous for these people.

And, of course, it is all Obama's fault which is why some Republican members of Congress are allegedly advising the leaders of the military with whom they are in contact to resign their positions rather than obey commands from their commander-in-chief. There are some who might call that sedition, but in these last days of the tenure of our first (scary) black president, that is what passes for normal political discourse.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service, which is supposed to be protecting that (scary) black president has lately seemed to be asleep at the wheel.

My recurring nightmare, and I suspect that of many people, throughout the Obama presidency has been that he will be assassinated, because I know the undercurrent of racial hatred and fear that exists in this country. I know, too, that it is the basis of the implacable, unyielding opposition and utter disrespect that has been shown this brown-skinned president from certain quarters throughout his tenure. They will never accept his legitimacy and they would rather see the country fail than for him to be able to claim any success.

Stir all of this fear, hatred, and sedition into a big pot, add heaping cups full of misogyny, self-righteous anger over the "oppression" of white men, and unquestioning worship of the Great God Greed/Capitalism (which is how they interpret Christianity) and let it simmer and what you get is conservative talk radio, i.e., hate speech radio, and the Fox News Network. It all provides great material for comedians like Stephen Colbert, but it isn't much fun for the rest of the country.


  1. I consider myself a world-class worry wart! But I must say that the fear of brown skinned children (or adults) and the possibility that I might contract Ebola do not even crack my top 1,000 worries! Must be the way I was raised :-)


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