Inspection- Curses: Foiled Ourselves Again

by Ken Carman


 Out of an otherwise horrific situation, talk show hosts on The Stephanie Miller Show were all a snicker about the Samuel Jackson-like “foul” mouth of the gentleman who helped save the ladies who had been kidnapped for ten years. Profanity dripping from every other word, he explained why he thought something was really wrong because, to paraphrase, something had to be up when a young white woman runs into the arms of a black man she didn’t know.
 I find the acceptance of this man, mouth and all, refreshing.
 I know there seem to be many far more important topics, but true to the mission of this column, there is are observations here that are very important.
 How stupid are we when we prejudge people? For my experience: very.
 There are folks I know, I grew up with, who due to the mere fact this gentleman’s language was, “colorful,” might have run the other direction: perhaps right back into the arms of their kidnapper. Or “run right back” if you just add in “Black,” his odd commentary, profanity aside, to the “colorful language.”
 These folks would be right back in that cellar, thinking they had escaped another mad man.
 And add in hoodie, dropped pants… well we know where that took Trayvon, right?
 Then we have all the back and forth in society about whom we can’t, we shouldn’t, trust: conservatives, liberals, the left, the right, Christians, Atheism, those who have “kicked God out of our schools…”
 Blah.
Blah.
Blah!.
 But here’s the kicker: they say the kidnapper seemed perfectly normal: raising few flags… doing, saying, little that “normal” folks wouldn’t do.
 What, did they expect them to put a blinking neon sign outside? Yell, “I love to kidnap, rape and have rape babies with my victims?
 Even the kidnapper’s own son was clueless: despite many clues he should have wondered about. And considering what he had seen: locked doors all over the place, a past history of domestic violence… he should have had more of a clue than anyone else.
 But there’s a reason the general public is clueless: we’re too busy pointing at teens with dropped pants and hoodies, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, liberals, conservatives… pointing at each other.
 In our country someone who puts forth the image of being a “good Christian,” somewhat mild mannered Republican or moderate Democrat, anti-drugs, is probably more likely to get away with being a criminal, or do some scam, than someone who makes a big scene out of the mainstream. Not because there’s anything wrong with having these opinions, or being a person of faith, but because people up to no good are less likely to want to draw attention to themselves.
 In the old USSR, I am guessing, a real criminal (not political), or scam artist, would probably have been a good party member and an atheist. Again, not that either was necessarily a sign they were a bad person, but because to claim otherwise would, again, draw attention to themselves.
 I have spent almost 30 years performing for owners of schools: liberals, conservatives, Christians of all kinds, agnostics, atheists and have found there are good people in all these categories… and not so good people. But the really bad people I have met in all walks of life are usually trying real hard to be seen as little as possible, or generally liked by everyone… or at least ignored. In this culture that means not being, not saying, many things… and being: saying, many things.
 The guy with the dropped pants you’re suspicious of: into rap, wearing a hoodie may be not much more than a trend follower. Think about all our parents said about rock n’ roll, long hair, our choice of Hitler’s VW as cars. Now the same folks think because some of these trends may have started in prisons everyone who follows has to be a “punk,” a “gang member,” a…
 Blah.
Blah.
Blah?

 And if you think these perceptions matter little you too could be where Trayvon Martin is right now.
 So while some of us are acting like one of the brain dead in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers: pointing open mouth and screaming about Muslims, Christians, Atheists, lefties, righties, the real evil is pretending to be more like the rest of us, stay under the radar, so we won’t notice them. The Boston bomber who is still alive is a good example of this.
 Our hate only gives them cover and creates more hate.
 My point is the whole idea that someone differs, looks different, makes them someone we should avoid, not trustworthy, is the same “logic” the kidnap-ee could have used when seeing help.
 Thank God she didn’t.
 It may all seem a little thing. But it isn’t. We have been driven by this dynamic for so many years: “all Democrats are idiots,” “all Republicans are liars,” Atheists, Christians, Muslims are all boogeymen. Meanwhile women are held hostage for years, young men party, as young men do, to make them seem like any other young men… and the next day they suicide themselves into twin towers.
 Our bickering, our hatred for those who seem odd or not us, is like a Harry Potter invisibility cloak for them. If it were a kid’s cartoon we might say, “Curses, foiled ourselves again.
 But innocent blood shed while real evil applauds the fact we are distracted by our hate and fear of the other makes for a horrible kid’s cartoon.

                                                     -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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