Monday, January 26, 2009

America the Ignorint

← See the Virgin in the tree?

As Mark Slouka makes clear in this month's edition of Harper's we're not out of the woods yet. America is still full of Faith-Based Imbecility and that's not changing. Part of the problem, as Orwell might have predicted, is language. American's now confuse prejudice and bigotry in a most unhelpful way; they think if you don't use words like nigger you're not prejudiced, because prejudice in their opinion has been conflated with or reduced to racial prejudice, which is perhaps better termed bigotry -- the tendency to judge general classes of people as better or worse than average. Prejudice is the opinion strongly held in ignorance. It may include bigotry, but it may also include denial of evolution, global warming, the Right Wing Conspiracy, belief in the wisdom of the market, the Greatness of America et cetera.

Which brings me back to my nagging question: can belief in a single, male, all-powerful Moral Authority do other than foster authoritarian reflexes and government?


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