Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Other Extreme

Namaste readers - there was another post I wrote with this same title that I subsequently took down because, well, it was me at my most inflammatory and angry, and I said some things in it I probably should not have said.

That said, I feel I need to write a post with this same title again because I feel it's a duty that I should explain to my readers what I sometimes go through. When it comes to emotions, I feel them more intensely than most people, at least it seems to me. Sometimes these extreme emotions in my mind manifest themselves in negative ways...some of you have probably already seen the results.

Controlling my emotions and my impulses has been on top of my list of things to learn how to do. It keeps feeling like I fail miserably, though, and sometimes what I have learned about life and dealing with these emotions goes right out the window when my brain keeps upping the signals to "do something!" Maybe there's something medical behind this phenomenon, but this wouldn't be the place to discuss it.

Anyway...what originally got me going in the first place were the racist comments made towards the Indian descent Miss America winner. There are some calmer things I wish to say about it now that I've regained control of my anger.

First of all...well, sadly the side effect of free speech in the United States of America is that we have to deal with the bad speech as well as the good. While it's not all correct or good, it is almost all legal. So as far as these spewers of hate go, we can't really shut them up...but what we can do, is counter their hate speech with speech of our own.

See, there's a difference between critical speech and censorship, and what's needed to combat these hate spewers is critical speech. We need to criticize these people. Thankfully some American organizations are already doing so, such as the Anti-Defamation League.

The point is, what I did last night with my initial post was sort of akin to letting them get under my skin so much I became like them momentarily - intolerant and irrational. And being that way is not going to solve anything, I've learned.

So I would say just keep up the fight against racist ignorance like we've always done. This particular event has become a lightning rod, but the goal of fighting against racist ignorance is still there, and it's still needed. We should fight this ignorance not with more fire, but with water.

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