Bigotry and bias

Donald Trump, the Ku Klux Klan, racism, partisan politics … the political pot has been boiling for weeks. But the private conversations, the talk in the street, the personal attitudes and prejudices … spilled over on national TV Tuesday in a way no one expected.

On CNN, a discussion between Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, and Van Jones, a former Obama staffer, drifted from their discussion of Trump’s “malfunctioning earpiece” interview to a very personal exchange about the KKK and party politics. Two well mannered, educated adults, barely constrained by the live cameras, let fly.

I was both appalled and fascinated. No longer were race and bias confined to the streets, to be dispassionately discussed by TV’s talking heads. The talking heads were now just as emotional and embroiled as everyone else.

It was unnerving to see. The veneer had cracked. Education, status, experience, position. They didn’t matter. Bigotry, party politics, and bias came to the fore.

Not that I’m any less biased than anyone else. But I find it very disturbing — frightening, even — that the anger and animus in our country is so close to the surface.



Categories: Election 2016, Politics, racism

13 replies

  1. The “talking heads” turned into the “battling heads”. I saw this, and couldn’t
    believe it. The women on this panel seemed powerless to intervene!

    • I think they chose not to intervene. Instead of the usual stupid bickering, this was an intelligent conversation that got really intense but stayed polite. They and I kept watching to see what would happen.

  2. ” The veneer had cracked.” This is the unusual that we are not witnessing. So much anger and conflict in the open by so many.
    We’re tuning out as much as possible and going outside trying to find sanity., (but also trying to stay informed, just not listening to the continual battering by all sides all the time – will this election never be over? – it is so ugly already.)

  3. It makes me want to stay inside until it’s all over.

  4. Met a couple from Canada at dinner one night…of course Trump came up…first time I’ve ever been an embarrassed American.

  5. Mollie and I just returned from a one-week cruise in the Caribbean on the Holland America line. The captain and most officers are Dutch, the crew is multinational, from mostly SE Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia and the like. All are fluent in English and all appear to get along swimmingly with the passengers who are mainly from the U.S., Canada and Europe. It is a microcosm of the global community, but of course in a unique context. The staff is motivated by ambition for upward mobility and their jobs are no doubt very competitive.

    Unlike the old days, the interactions between the servants and the served are typified by personal exchanges and even humor, attitudes that are encouraged by the company’s culture. We were previously on a ship of a different company where that was not the case and it makes a difference. But, under the surface, the reality is the same. The challenge is whether a reasonable balance can be maintained in a world where brute passions are controlled by rules and laws.

    You don’t have to dig very far down to uncover the reality. Maybe it’s all for the best that raw politics exist – it’s a balancing act and the pit is not far below. My hat’s off to the Democratic Party for keeping up the effort to make it all work. I can’t say the same about the GOP these days; they are looking into the abyss.

    • Last night I was reading some posts from four years ago and there was a lot about how the GOP was in serious danger of imploding if it didn’t stop pandering to its rightwing extremists. (Hard to believe it’s already been four years.) Remarkably, here we are four years later, with the GOP still rushing pell mell toward the abyss, still unaware of the danger to its longterm survival. I wonder if the party will survive to 2020?

"There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees." ~ Michel de Montaigne

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