Sunday, November 23, 2014

NaBloPoMo: Take "The Other" To Lunch

"I'm deeply disturbed by the ways in which all of our cultures are demonizing 'the Other' by the voice we're giving to the most divisive among us. Listen to these titles of some of the bestselling books from both sides of the political divide here in the U.S. 'Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder,' 'Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot,' 'Pinheads and Patriots,' 'Arguing With Idiots.' They're supposedly tongue-in-cheek, but they're actually dangerous. Now here's a title that may sound familiar, but whose author may surprise you: "Four-and-a-Half-Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice." Who wrote that? That was Adolf Hitler's first title for Mein Kampf -- My Struggle -- the book that launched the Nazi party. The worst eras in human history, whether in Cambodia or Germany or Rwanda, they start like this, with negative other-izing. And then they morph into violent extremism."

What's interesting about this talk is that the speaker advises to start small, and to personalize "the other," thereby minimizing or otherwise negating demonization. It's hard to demonize people you know.   

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