Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bob Minor: Virginia Tech, Don Imus, and America's Seething Anger

There's a seething anger not far below the surface of many people in America today. It's ready to explode at the least feeling of being slighted.

You see it when someone gets cut off in traffic, someone doesn't like how someone looks at them, a relationship breaks up, or the service in a restaurant is shoddy. It takes so little to set people off.

This past month we've seen it again in a horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech and in listeners defending the anger and invective, sexism and racism of Don Imus' radio persona that attracts them. Like walking through a minefield, you never know when you'll be the next victim of such anger.

There are few institutions doing any more than punishing symptoms. Punishment hasn't worked before to change any society – not even threatening eternal punishment. But we do it anyway.
and
Few people seem to have the time, patience, insight, and emotional health to sit with the problems long enough to investigate and alleviate the causes of it all. And the punishers are there to criticize anyone who tries.

We 'd like to believe that it's just the individual perpetrator's problem. To be able to dismiss them as just plain crazy means we don't have to question the values and institutions that brought them to this place. It's such a relief to know that they're not like us.
Read all of Virginia Tech, Don Imus, and America's Seething Anger by Bob Minor ~ Minor Details ~ May 01, 2007

Robert N. Minor, Ph.D. is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas and author of Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society and Scared Straight: Why It's So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It's So Hard to Be Human.
Reach him at http://www.fairnessproject.org
and read his blog http://blog.myspace.com/17016178.

3 comments:

govstudent said...

why do you think that theres so much hostility in america right now? Could it be the war?

Gabi Clayton said...

Yes I definitely think that the war creates a climate that can contribute to more violence.

Aaron said...

I stumbled upon your sight while checking up on the homework of my government student, who commented on your post. Allow me to join the conversation.

I like when you wrote:

There are few institutions doing any more than punishing symptoms. Punishment hasn't worked before to change any society – not even threatening eternal punishment. But we do it anyway.and
Few people seem to have the time, patience, insight, and emotional health to sit with the problems long enough to investigate and alleviate the causes of it all. And the punishers are there to criticize anyone who tries.


and I completely agree with this statement.

I've often said that most solutions proposed by both parties are not aimed at the root of the problem. What do you think are some of the major roots of the problems in America? I am particularly interested because I've never heard such a statement from a "left-winger". And being a conservative (NOT the same thing as a Republican, by the way!) I am interested to talk to you about where we think the problem exists.

I'll give you my best shot at the approach to an answer:
The major root of most problems are found in the degradation of the family. People are not acting responsibly in relationships, in marriage, etc. and the results trickle down through generations. In general people are selfish and entitled. Marriage has ceased to be a choice where the spouses feel a sense of duty to one another and their children. Instead, it's a convenience (or not, sadly) and not held in high regard by society.

Since the problem lie with people and their selfish actions, any solution can only be effective where it can help people act responsibly. Religion can help in this effort. Other social organizations can, too. The government should not implement any program that does not support and uplift the family and responsible decision-making therein.

The nation is only as strong as its families.

Interested to hear your response.