News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Crypto-racism and the incitement of rage

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) captured the real attitude that possesses conservative America. He spoke of the protests taking place with his constituents in Missouri:

"Different people from Washington, DC, have come back to their districts and have town hall meetings, and they almost got lynched."

The audience then broke out into laughter and applause."I would assume you're not approving lynchings, because we don't want to do that," Akin said, putting his hand to his neck in imitation of choking, which got audience laughing some more. "

But the point is, people are really upset at some of this legislation, and with very good reason they were upset."
When Akin used the world "lynch," he expressed the motivating attitude behind the rage against Barack Obama. As demonstrated by the hanging of Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) in effigy outside his Maryland office, lynching and all the violent attitudes and actions involved with it are what the alleged opponents of health care really have in mind. The language of one of the intended assassins last year at the Democratic convention in Denver identifies what the real problem is with them: "a nigger in the White House."

The Internet often reveals the true expressions and motives of what is surging through the political world, and the picture of Obama rendered as the Joker shows the racist intensity that explains much of the anger being vented in the so-called health care reform protests. One does not need to have a background in rhetorical analysis to get the real message that is moving so many Americans into violent confrontations. It is the same motive that inspired a Florida physician to circulate a picture of Obama as a witch doctor.

It may be true that in electing Barack Obama president, a majority of Americans moved dramatically beyond the old racist attitudes that held the nation in its grip and motivated America's own Holocaust-- slavery, Jim Crow, and the racial cleansing of much of Native America. But that doesn't mean that the people who long for segregation and the oppression of dark-skinned people have gone away. Their virulent hatred and desire to inflict violence on the objects of that hatred still festers and fumes and erupts into hate speech, as has typified the so-called health care protests.

Again one does not need to be educated in the fine points of true discourse to recognize the fact that the protests are designed to disrupt and prevent any discussion of the health care proposals in a manner that can provide legislators with informative and usable viewpoints. The shouting down of speakers and the chanting of charges that have been and can easily be proven to be totally untrue and without any merit in fact whatever show the true nature of what the alleged protests are all about. The most emphatic evidence is that the protests do not address any points in the reform proposals, but are expressed as personal defamation and denigrations of President Obama. It is hard not to hear the anger at there being a black man in the White House. While the language shouted in the confrontaitons does not, as yet, employ the N-word, it uses all the synonyms and attack tactics.

The accounts and videos of the disruptive incidents make the claims that these are merely people trying to be heard is absurd. The clear intention is not to be heard, but to prevent the people speaking for reform from being heard. And the racist expressions belie any claims to benign exchanges.

But racism is just another manifestation of a deeper cast of mind that resists and cannot keep pace with the progress of social justice that characterizes America's advance toward meeting its principles of freedom, equality, and justice for all. What the organizers and agitators of protests are using is an appeal to the reptilian cortex, that primitive remnant in the human brain that can trigger mindless, undiscerning rage when it feels threatened.

The appeal to the reptilian is what fear-mongering is.

Those who are controlled by the reptilian find anyone that differs from them, whether in color, culture, or thought, is a threat. Their response is to attack and try to vanquish anyone who seems to resist their efforts a dominance.

For some people, the reptilian cortex holds control over the neo-cortex, which is where the power to reason, discern, make decisions, and take voluntary action is situated. The field of advertising and public relations has long recognized the role that the reptilian plays in the behavior of some people and motivational researchers have recognized how to manipulate the reptilian as a part of marketing strategy. The appeal to the reptilian as a way of influencing their behavior has been examined by that part of the media that operates on the level of the neo-cortex.

Journalistic observers and political strategists are right when they say that the debate on health care reform has been obstructed and converted to a debate on President Obama. The people who are agitating against reform have successfully excited the reptilian with outrageous statements about government takeover, euthanasia, and Nazi pogroms. Those motivated by the reptilian do not think about whether these statements have any basis in fact or truth. They merely rage, as their pogrammers intended them to. The fact that the protests are quickly moving into violent confrontations is evidence that they are driven by the reptilian.

Racism is alive and raging. However, it is merely one aspect of the battle against those who follow higher callings. The conflict between conservatives and liberals has devolved into a struggle between the reptilian and the neo-cortex.

The debate is not so much over providing health care for all as it is over which forces will control the country. To the regressives, their reptilian sensibility tells them their territory has been invaded and their dominance is threatened. Nothing incites their rage against progress more than having a black family in the White House.

4 comments:

victor said...
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rozydesouza said...

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Eric said...

Someone just forwarded the link to this post to me. I'm amazed that in almost a year it has garnered no responses.

I can't imagine everyone who read it said, "Oh sure; so what's new?" or was so enraged they became totally inarticulate and unable to write.

Mr. Newquist, you are most articulate and captured reality in a most neo-cortical way.

Thank you.

Lenora said...

I agree with Eric. It boggles my itty bitty mind that in a year no one has commented on this blog.

This is one of the best articles I've read on the subject, and, at last, I think I have a hold on the subject.

I knew my mamma should have let me study herpetology - then I would have understood the reptilian brain so much easier!

Many thanks for a very articulate article!

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