Fear – the Handmaiden of Intolerance

Talking Points Memo has the Robert Reich oped piece on intolerance. Intolerance, violence, bigotry seem to be in the air.

In times of fear, Americans will compromise their most basic civil rights for the false promise of security. Need an example? Look back at Japanese internment after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Reich’s piece is dead-on imho, but it is an uphill battle reaching the cerebral cortex of america when the reptile brain is responding so strongly to the fear-mongering.

What did FDR say? All we have to fear is what? Japanese among us? Mosques at Ground Zero? Communists in the State Department?

No, it was all we have to fear is fear itself. Come on, step up, be brave.

clipped from tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com

The Anatomy of Intolerance


Connect the dots:
Many Americans (and politicians who the polls) don’t want a mosque at Manhattan’s Ground Zero.
An increasing percent believe the President is a Muslim.
Most Americans approve of Arizona’s new law allowing police to stop anyone who looks Hispanic and demand proof of citizenship.
Most would deny citizenship to children born in the United States to parents who are here illegally.
Where is all this coming from?
It’s called fear. When people are deeply anxious about holding on to their homes, their jobs, and their savings, they look for someone to blame. And all too often they find it in “the other” – in people who look or act differently, who come from foreign lands, who have what seem to be strange religions, who cross our borders illegally.
Economic fear is the handmaiden of intolerance. It’s used by demagogues who redirect the fear and anger toward people and groups who aren’t really to blame but are easy scapegoats.

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