Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ancient Rumors of Evil

Well, Pretty Lady is glad that somebody pointed out the obvious:
Many white Americans seem concerned that Mr. Obama, who seems so reasonable, should enjoy the company of Mr. Wright, who seems so militant, angry and threatening. To whites, for example, it has been shocking to hear Mr. Wright suggest that the AIDS virus was released as a deliberate government plot to kill black people.

That may be an absurd view in white circles, but a 1990 survey found that 30 percent of African-Americans believed this was at least plausible.

“That’s a real standard belief,” noted Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a political scientist at Princeton (and former member of Trinity church, when she lived in Chicago). “One of the things fascinating to me watching these responses to Jeremiah Wright is that white Americans find his beliefs so fringe or so extreme. When if you’ve spent time in black communities, they are not shared by everyone, but they are pretty common beliefs.”

Pretty Lady is not herself an African-American, but she clearly recalls reading a most shocking and convincing article, circa 1990, in an alternative Austin paper, which laid out the case for a calculated and deliberate infection of blacks, gays and drug users with the AIDS virus, under cover of a government immunization program. She did not know what to think; the evidence as presented seemed rather compelling.

A good friend of hers, a white gentleman who dressed habitually in suits, and made a name for himself in later years as a Jeopardy contestant, summed up her views: "I sure hope it's not true, because then I'd feel a moral obligation to do a number on those responsible."

Pretty Lady and her friends not being, by skill or inclination, hit-persons, there the matter was allowed to lie.

So when Pretty Lady heard Mr. Wright's incendiary sermons, she was not inclined to believe that he was a liar or a racist; she believed that he believed he was telling the truth. She cannot fault him for that. She doesn't know the truth, and neither does anybody else.

For the fact is, Evil exists. It is, by its nature, shadowy and cloaked in lies. It can exist everywhere, and most particularly in the corridors of Power. Its enemy is Truth, Transparency, and Honest Discussion, not hasty denunciations based upon superficial impressions.

This is why it is dangerous to simply repudiate incendiary rhetoric, instead of closely examining it. Sweeping Evil under the carpet only makes it stronger.

1 comment:

k said...

And these truths, as well.