Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Power of Fear

Remember when you were little how one look from your mother could insight fear in you.  It was like you could already feel the wrath of her belt on your bottom before the first blow was delivered.  I have been told that my face turns bright red when I'm angry and makes the strongest people weak lol.  Ok I am exaggerating, but my face does turn red when I am mad and I did hear it was kind of scary.

The point is that people use the power of fear as a measure of control.  My mom's look could stop me from doing whatever I was doing wrong.  This has long been an issue that I have been concerned about. Throughout history fear has been used to control people.  Wars, slavery, judicial systems, have been built around fear.  Today, I was reminded about it after reading an article on CNN.  http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/23/us/texas-judge-warning/index.html.  In the article, a Judge in Texas suggested that there will be a civil war if  President Obama is re-elected.  I was saddened by not shocked by this rhetoric.  With the the election of our newest President there have been more and more efforts to resort to measures of fear.  The thing that bothers me the most is not that there are people who believe that this is true, but more that people who do not believe things to be true, but say it anyway to strike fear in others.

I believe that a lot of shock jocks and tv networks do this very thing.  Rush Limbaugh, Hannity and Combs, Fox News, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, they all make these outrageous statements that you just have to wonder about their motives.  My opinion:  they don't actually believe what they say, but they believe in making money.  Therefore, they say things that are outrageous to excite their base and therefore, make money.  I know that it is a cynical stance, however it is the only justification I have.

What also makes such statements worrisome is that they teeter on the racial tensions that been present in this country for years.  By its own nature prejudice is a product of fear.  Dictionary.com defines prejudice as "an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason."  People become racist when they hate others based on their prejudice.  It is a fear of the unknown about other races.

Since Mr. Obama began his presidential run years ago it appears that racial insensitivity has risen, despite many of the pundits thinking that this would be a means to a racial utopia.  Jokes, phrase, pictures continue to pop up that are bigoted, prejudiced, and just plain ignorant.  President Obama was even booed when he was giving a State of the Union Address by a Congressmen.  One has to wonder if President Obama was not black if all of this would be going on?  And now a judge says there is going to be a civil war, as if a civil war in the United States is not one of the main icons of slavery and racial oppression of our country.  People continue to use scare tactics as a means of gaining electoral votes.  Not only the racism but even just taking advantage of a time in our lives where there is economic and personal financial instability.

My old pastor used to say never unquestioningly trust people in the pulpit, the same is true here.  Don't trust someone just because the have a title or they are an elected official because they may not have your best interests at hand.  Do your own research and don't act out of fear because then you have all of the power.

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