Animosity

animosityBy The David

Where does it come from? Is it imprinted in our DNA? Is it something like Oscar Hammerstein wrote about in “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught”… something we learn at the knees of our mothers? Is it nurtured by our culture and allowed to grow by our competitive win-at-any-cost way of life? Animosity. Animosity is the outward manifestation of hate and of fear. It is the sour half rotten fruit harvested and unleashed into the world as a motivating force for the bitter and often cruel episodes that can lead to war, oppression of the individual and always lead to the placing of barriers toward progress.

On the World Stage animosity is used to fire a population toward hating a dissimilar culture so that war can be waged . We are shown how our “enemy” is less than human…… they are out to bring ruin to our world, they live to kill us, they are less than animals, their religion is so much less than ours… it is corrupt, they are pagan. We see our “enemy” as being led by a satanically influenced leader who gets off on killing babies… our babies and is jealous of our way of life. Animosity that is built on lies and caricature has a purpose. When the tale is told often enough, it is believed and the hate spreads, and in our minds it becomes justified.

Gay men and women live with the animosity of the culture in the United States. It is a hate focused of the GLBT Community by our inheritance of the Puritan Culture as filtered down to us by organized religion and its zealots who believe that everyone must conform to their tenets. Use of hate inspired by fear and directed toward a minority can be an efficient means to raise funds and perpetuate the “Word.” This demonization of an entire group in the name of “God” becomes still worse when it is picked up by the politician as a means of securing votes. It is the same shameless means used in years past by these same people against other minorities. But in this modern world, the only safe domestic target for religious and political animosity is the Queer Community. So, we see the continued suppression of that group’s rights… “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still in force, and “DOMA” remains enshrined in the laws of the United States of America. We see all of this filter into the attitudes of those charged with enforcing the local laws. We see it when a lesbian or a gay man is assaulted for being who she or he is, and their complaint to law enforcement is taken as being less than serious or blown-off entirely. All of this being fertilized and fanned by the ill-will, resentment and hate coming from those that thrive and are enriched by animus and are the proud vectors that carry it. It reminds me of a saying I saw on a bumper sticker that I could immediately relate to: “Lord keep me safe and protect me… from your followers.”

All minorities experience the animosity of much of the majority. It was through this resentment and distrust that people of color were and are forced to tread on the very slow march to equality. Organized Religion, Politics, Law Enforcement… all of these had their part in the history of racial prejudice and its maintenance. It took almost a hundred years before a leader would come to national attention and shake the conscience of most of the country, and he was murdered in that hideous decade of assassinations, the 1960s. Animosity helped load the guns in that decade. It led the fingers to the triggers, and it gave the cowards the strength to pull the triggers and blow away a decade of hope.

Animosity! We should be so weary of hate and its by-products. We should be so weary that we reject it out-of-hand. Instead, so many of us continue to embrace it. It is with us today. It is alive at Town meetings where Democracy is being abused by those who would rather hurl invective and their patented slogans than take the time to investigate the subject they are railing against. By now, because we have lived with it for so much of our lives, we should be able to recognize animus even when it masquerades as democratic debate. Is it not animosity that pictures the President as Hitler and paints him as a Nazi in full regalia, with swastikas on his arm and in the background? Is it not animosity that inspires signs that allude to the bloody deaths of patriots and tyrants? (Haven’t we had enough political death in this country?) Is it not animus that picture the President of the United States as being hanged in effigy? If the very reasonable and very necessary Universal Health Care Bill goes down to defeat, or does not reach the Legislature it will be because of this hatred and because of the animosity of the “haves” that is directed toward the “have not’s.” We live in a country where, according to Time Magazine, in a review of the book, “The healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care’ 20,000 people die each year because they cannot afford to see a doctor, and where 700,000 people suffer bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. (My god, is this not the wealthiest country in the world?) Yet we are going to let this health care Bill fail because we are being led toward the negative by opposition politicians who see themselves at war with any proposal put forth by the party they oppose, and are fighting that “war” rather than looking out for the good of the country they purport to serve. For shame! Shame of them, and even more so, shame on those who fall for it.

As we grow morally, we should become so wary of those who would lead us through the spread of their negative attitudes, their animosity, their belittling of others, their …….. their hate.

5 Comments on “Animosity”

  1. what you say here has been true through all recorded time .. so it is a flaw in makeup for sure. All the horror stories told in the Bible, are ever present 2000 years later, I would have to think that there is little hope for us as a species, if we have learned so little after so much time …. The Sunday NY Times magazine has an article about the plight of woman all over the world, and a hope that making progress for woman’s issues, giving them the protection, education and respect they deserve, and the political power that would come from that, might make a difference. Surely men no longer deserve to be in charge …. we need a radical social change that throttles testosterone to maybe have a chance. If you can, read the article, it might be available on-line. Wonderful and thoughtful work my friend, as always !!! thanks

  2. The animosity toward minorities is there; it’s just carefully cloaked to appear something else. You can go far as a minority as long as you depict the mainstream views. If you draw upon your culture, your non-Christian religion or ethnic upbringing to influence your life style, you will not go far within the bureaucratic system. You don’t believe it? When was the last time anyone other than a Christian held a high political office? Our Constitution guarantees us freedom of religion; not freedom to choose a Christian segment. When was the last time we chose a Native American to represent a high political office? They are the First People, but the only Native Americans who make it into an influential position at all are those who somehow managed to miraculously survive the corruptions of the BIA.

    Women have only just begun to make headway in politics, but the ones at the forefront are nothing more than emasculated images of the exclusive wine and cigar men’s club. Their chins are larger than their foreheads. Margaret Thatcher, bless her heart, tore apart Argentina with her aggressive tactics. Shrill Hillary makes people run for cover and Palin has exemplified the perfect soccer mom. These are not the type of choices we should project as an era of developing women in politics. The Iroquai Nation held a democratic council long before the appearance of the first European boats. It was their practice to generally vote for women as their representatives because they felt women were the least likely to lead them into war. If a Nation is truly dedicated to the council of peace through unified agreement, then it should look for its diversity of leadership, no matter what race, color, creed, sex, religion, or personal life styles, in those who do not foment war by establishing hatreds and biases.

  3. Indeed Animosity is so thouroughly learned that you could relate to “Lord keep me safe and protect me… from your followers.” which is in itself animosity towards another group. Who is going to be brave enough to stand up in their group of choice and say that’s not funny AND you all are doing the same damn thing you are complaining about? Fear is what drives this and keeping the world in poverty while making sattelite broadcast of shows like MTV Cribs and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous readily available contribute to this.

    A question I would like addressed is Who is the Majority anymore? Because it seems to me that the minority currently are the ones with the most to lose and the most power. All the rest of the “have nots” including no rights, no money, no housing, no food, no healthcare, no marriage…We all live in the majoritiy. Think about it for a minute.. What would happen if we figured this out and banded together?

  4. If anything, you’re being too damn kind.

    It’s not ‘animosity’ — it’s a combination of racism, homophobia, and their unholy handmaiden, religion.

    America is the most-religious country on the planet. Go figure.

    Here, we don’t have a Wahabbist Gestapo telling us to worship – we don’t have a Christian Taliban telling us to go to church and pray three times a day. We don’t have a Catholic Magisterium looking into our every act, ready to break out the Inquisition.

    We are, however, about a half-step away from all that.

    My question — why aren’t we beating the doors down on every one of the institutions – ‘sacred’ or not – which are promoting this lunacy? Why are we not on their steps with pitchforks, torches, and plenty of rope? Why are we not doing something?

  5. An interesting turn of events happened on the animosity front in my state this week. My congressman Wally Herger committed a huge mis-step when he praised a man in the crowd who shouted out that he was a “Right Wing Terrorist.” Good old Wally returned with “Now that’s a fine American.” Or something to that effect I can’t remember if the right wing terrorist was good or fine in Wally’s estimation. Anyway it was a little surreal. See I know Wally socially. I wouldn’t be friends with him but he’s not entirely bad. His kids are kind and giving and do a lot of good work in the community. That says something for how they were raised. I almost always disagree with his politics, but he takes the time to answer me when write or aproach him in public which is more than I can say for my lefty reps who won’t even glance at you in public much less have an intern answer mail. It was pretty out of character to see him yelling any real emotional thought and I think we were all taken aback that he was praising terrorism…where was this coming from? Some latent animosity rose up and snuck out from behind the mask. Wally has made his career on saying a lot of nothing. He never before has been caught up in this kinds of call response statement making. This is his Howard Dean moment. And it has costed him.
    What is nice about the whole thing is our community did not stand for it. They protested outside his office yesterday over it. I was going to go and get pictures but the whole complex was closed down. But it was nice to see a range of people being hastled by security. From young to old they were not happy with him.
    And I am glad to see people taking to the streets on the right side for a change.

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