Why Racists Are The Real Losers.

Two recent discoveries turned my thoughts to the enduring consequences of racism. First, to my horror, I discovered that two of my colonial ancestors from Scotland thought it necessary to enrich themselves off the labor and disenfranchisement of others. One was able to accumulate large tracts of land that required a large number of people to work the land. To acquire the desired labor, and to his everlasting shame, he turned to the slave market.

Second, I learned of the mass shooting of Asian-Americans in Georgia.

The knowledge of these two events have made me more determined than ever to do my part to end racism and inequality in the relatively short time I have left on this planet. Moreover, I not only feel sad for the victims and their families. I feel for those who continue to discriminate against others, to deny them their full rights of citizenship, to deny them their right to live in peace, and, in some cases, to deny them their lives.

Although I was raised in the rural Midwest where racial and cultural diversity consisted entirely of Christian descendants of European and Scandinavian settlers, by attending a large university, I discovered exactly how much those of other faiths, colors and cultures enrich us all. That lesson continues to this day.

From my black friends, I not only learned the reality of my white privilege. I learned the true meaning of patience, determination and hope. From my Latino friends, I learned passion, as well as an appreciation for new foods, art, and family. From my Asian friends, I learned compassion and an appreciation for ancient wisdom, Through Asian martial arts, I learned the importance of connecting mind, body, and spirit. From Native Americans, I learned to better appreciate our interconnectedness and the need to care for our Mother Earth. I learned that to unnecessarily harm any other living being is to harm ourselves.

I believe that it is multiculturism that has allowed our nation to succeed beyond our Founders wildest dreams. New immigrants bring new ideas, new wisdom, new foods, new customs, and a determination to work hard to better the lives of their families – always willing to start at the bottom to do the kinds of jobs no other Americans are willing to do. Indeed, it is the most recent immigrants who work in blistering heat to plant and harvest most of our produce, who process most of our meat, who cook and serve us our food, who clean and maintain our office buildings and hotels.

Contrary to what far too many seem to think, people of other cultures, colors, faiths, and gender identities are not a threat, whether they cross our borders legally or illegally or whether their ancestors were brought here in chains. It is the willingness to accept and adapt…to provide opportunity to others…that has made America great. If we lose that, we will lose our future.

Be Afraid Of The Children. Be Very Afraid!

A study by Darren Schreiber of the University of Exeter found that the brains of Democrats and Republicans are wired differently. The key characteristic that distinguished Republican brains is in the way they process risk, reward and fear. They are more likely to exhibit fear of any perceived threat…even of change.

You can see this in the way Teapublicans approach politics by creating scapegoats. Now that we’re approaching the mid-term congressional elections, Teapublican candidates have created yet another straw dog in order to fire up their base. In 2006, it was gay marriage, which was going to “destroy America” and make all other marriages irrelevant. In 2008, it was fear of Black Panthers, Muslims and sharia law. In 2010, it was “Obamacare death panels” and illegal immigrants who were “taking our jobs” and “living off welfare.” In 2012, it was the fear of voter fraud, welfare recipients, food stamps, Obamacare and Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.

This year, we’re supposed to fear a bunch of Central American refugee children who are attempting to escape the poverty and violence of their native countries. Ooooooo!

Yes, Teapublican candidates have turned these desperate waifs into frightening boogeymen for the election season. “They are disease-ridden invaders who will overwhelm our schools and infect our own children with hepatitis, tuberculosis, and dozens of other diseases,” they say. Some suggest that the children could be bringing ebola virus into the US. Some compare them to an invasion of Muslim extremists determined to destroy America. And, even more frightening, some Teapublicans claim that Obama has orchestrated this “invasion” in order to ensure that there will be more Democratic voters in the future.

With each election, leading up to the primaries, Teapublicans are fearful that a political opponent will outflank them to their right. As a result, they push more extreme views and generate more fear to fend off their opponents. Then, leading up to the general election, they run negative attack ads financed by billionaires to portray Democrats as tax and spend liberals who are weak on foreign policy and soft on immigration. They tell voters that Democrats are going to waste their money on “entitlements” for “welfare queens;” that Democrats will use your taxes to pay for abortions of white kids; that Democrats are socialists, communists, fascists and worse; that Democrats are going to take away your guns. So be afraid…very afraid.

Of course, all of this is amplified by Fox Noise Channel and the 92 percent of talk radio devoted to conservative fear and hate. The only question is will it work this time? There are far more Democrats and independents than Teapublicans. They can’t win on their own. So you can put an end to their fear-mongering. All you have to do is vote.