Monday, April 19, 2010

Why Can't We All Get Along?

If you only watch television news you'd think that the United States is on the brink of a civil war and the racist undertones and cries about "socialism" seem to be what it's really all about. People are afraid of the new black president with the Muslim name giving away all their hard-earned money to everyone but them! It's a misperception and if you live in a place as right-wing Christian Republican and white as we do in eastern Arizona the air of mistrust and anger is very plain to see. Tea Partiers are a pretty visible bunch in these parts and the issues about multiculturalism and their deep fear of it tends to submerge the very real concerns they -- and we all have -- about what's been happening on the national and international scene economically. When the good-paying job you used to have is now done by a person of another race making pennies an hour overseas it's very hard to have a lot of faith that a dark-skinned president you believe wasn't born in this country -- Hawaii is part of the United States, people! -- is going to take care of you. (Especially if you've been a racist your whole life and you know it.)

But that's not all the news there is to print and it never has been. The problem with network "news" is that it's more about stirring the pot to create ratings than it is about serving and protecting the common good. If it's controversial and negative and scary -- that's news! (Fox News in particular.) But if the most diverse city in the nation can all get along. . .

Today I came across this article on AOL News (of all places). Apparently the most multicultural zip code in the nation is the Rainier Valley section of Seattle, WA. 60 languages are spoken there and a single block of this neighborhood might have half a dozen different ethnic groups. Because the area is so diverse interdependencies have developed across what would seem like insurmountable divides in other parts of the country. We need more reports like these on the mainstream television networks.

1 comment:

Gaelle Kennedy said...

You might like Andrew Harvey's ideas about Networks of Grace and sacred activism -- takes "engagement" out of the political dimension into a deeper and wiser space... http://www.instituteforsacredactivism.org/