human behavior

Deep in the Hate of Texas

Posted in American Culture & Politics, Race & Ethnicity by humanb on November 24, 2009

On the eve of the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, Mark Warren considers “the paranoid strain in the American polity [that] has reasserted itself — that strain which ascribes the worst possible motives to one’s political opponents, and where lies abound and violence becomes possible”. The article’s poignance is found in the words of a Texan woman who, following Kennedy’s assassination, wrote a letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson about the pervasive racism and necrotizing hate of the people in her district of Texas.

An excerpt:

Mr. President, the easy thing and what is desperately trying to be done [is] to convince a stunned nation and world that Mr. Kennedy’s murder was the work of some deranged crackpot, and while the trigger was pulled by such a one, perhaps the atmosphere that made it inevitable was the hatred of the people (I don’t mean every one of them but a big majority) who wanted Mr. Kennedy and any one connected with him out of the White House. A week ago this might have sounded ridiculous but subsequent events lend it credence, I believe. There is a virus of disrespect and hate spreading here very rapidly. And unless one lives right here with it, day in and day out, it is unbelievable how quickly and subtly it infects reasonably intelligent persons. This is not too hard to understand only if one recognizes the unremitting, deep, bitter religious and racial prejudice existing today in this section of our land — I don’t know if any of them are similarly infected in other sections, but I know personally of what I speak as regards East Texas.

I find it equal parts depressing and confounding that just when many in the world have come to like America again for love of Obama, many in our country have come to fear for America in their hatred of him.

That hate is threatening to paralyze Congress and emasculate the President. And it’s now so admixed with legitimate grievances about the economy and unemployment, that the hateful feel justified in their rabid obstructionism, paranoid propaganda, and vengeful campaigns to delegitimize the President in a time of national crisis. We’ve had a dot com bubble and a housing bubble. Well now we’ve got a hate bubble. And if we don’t deflate this bubble fast, we’ll be begging for the good ol’ days of ’63.

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