There’s a seething anger not far below the surface of many people in America today. It’s ready to explode at the least feeling of being slighted.
You see it when someone gets cut off in traffic, someone doesn’t like how someone looks at them, a relationship breaks up, or the service in a restaurant is shoddy. It takes so little to set people off.
This past month we’ve seen it again in a horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech and in listeners defending the anger and invective, sexism and racism of Don Imus’ radio persona that attracts them. Like walking through a minefield, you never know when you’ll be the next victim of such anger.
There are few institutions doing any more than punishing symptoms. Punishment hasn’t worked before to change any society – not even threatening eternal punishment. But we do it anyway.
Few people seem to have the time, patience, insight, and emotional health to sit with the problems long enough to investigate and alleviate the causes of it all. And the punishers are there to criticize anyone who tries.
We ‘d like to believe that it’s just the individual perpetrator’s problem. To be able to dismiss them as just plain crazy means we don’t have to question the values and institutions that brought them to this place. It’s such a relief to know that they’re not like us.
Read all of Virginia Tech, Don Imus, and America’s Seething Anger by Bob Minor ~ Minor Details ~ May 01, 2007
Robert N. Minor, Ph.D. is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas and author of Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society and Scared Straight: Why It’s So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It’s So Hard to Be Human.
Reach him at http://www.fairnessproject.org
and read his blog http://blog.myspace.com/17016178.