The human race

June 7, 2016


One of the most disturbing things about what’s going on now is how so many people are more focused on our differences than our similarities. For those of us who were part of the peace and love generation, the generation for whom equality and civil rights were not only top of mind but the way we wanted to live and during whose young lives landmark civil rights legislation was passed and feminism brought women closer to equal pay and equal opportunity…for us?

What the he….??

We can’t fathom what’s going on now. We can’t imagine speaking demeaning stereotypes out loud, applauding the building of walls both physical and psychological to keep people out and we can’t imagine believing an over-hyped, bombastic celebrity over the thinkers of our time. We look with disbelief on the way a significant number of us prefer to see our divisions than our commonalities.

Some in our nation have forgotten, it seems, that we all belong to the same group: the human race.

When I heard Harry Belafonte say that Muhammad Ali was a “credit to his race: the human race,” I knew that many Americans can see past the things that divide them. But those who don’t, simply don’t want to.

I don’t recognize this America, not at all. But maybe, frighteningly,  it’s been lurking beneath the surface all along, just waiting for someone serve as a catalyst for bringing this terrible version of America into the public eye.

Pandering to the lowest aspects of human nature

The current Republican candidate has brought out the worst in some people and it is a horrifying sight. We don’t have to look too far back in world history to see some similarities to one of the most shameful periods in modern time. A terrible, terrible time in history.

And while it might seem like a stretch to compare his popularity to Hitler’s, it may not be so much of a stretch.  To be sure, they lead the same cult: the cult of personality. The rhetoric we’re hearing from that side today is fascist. Post-war Germany was vulnerable because it was in poor economic health, as parts of America are today and certainly as this man’s supporters believe they are.  Acceptance of those who are different and compassion are on the decline in those circles, with “us” and “them” categories, just like Germany in the 1930s, when the Jews were blamed for everything, including the soft economy.

The fantasy of an America that was “great” in some mythical “past that is no longer” rings a familiar bell, too.  It’s a concept that helped Hitler gain power.

Harry Belafonte reminds us that we are all more the same than different and those are words worth hearing. Because the bell is tolling and we shouldn’t ask for whom, because we know it’s for us. All of us. The entire human race.

In ways that John Donne couldn’t have imagined.


20 comments on “The human race
  1. Gérald says:

    Very well said, there is nothing to be added.
    From abroad, no one can understand what is happening with that person, and the hatred that he shows toward anything and anybody who does not look like his humongous ego is extremely frightening. Should that individual become president and have access to the US Military, beware world…

  2. Frances D says:

    A perfect 10. And Gerard I totally agree.

  3. beth b says:

    I agree — this is very well said.

    What I simply cannot fathom is how many people are willing to overlook and condone his
    hateful rhetoric!! It’s that fact more than anything that frightens me.

    If this person is elected president, I fear for our nation and its future.

  4. shari Eberts says:

    Wonderful. Well said.

  5. It flabbergasts me that anyone would even think of voting for that idiot. He goes against everything America is supposed to be about. Can we say, “The emperor has no clothes?”Come out of your trance America! RIP Muhammad Ali

  6. Barbara says:

    Beautifully said, Carol. I must admit I’m getting a kick out of watching his meltdown. This court case is going to be his doing in, I believe. Couldn’t happen to a meaner s.o.b.!

  7. I don’t understand why wanting to keep out those that mean us harm is a bad thing. I’m guessing most of you don’t live in areas where violent crime happens constantly. 3 blocks from my house an innocent 5 year old was shot this morning by a stray bullet while playing in his house. The suspect is an illegal. I want to welcome everyone that wants to be here legally or for asylum but the thugs have to go and I don’t hear any one else talking about it or better yet doing something about it. We’ve ignored the problem for decades. When drug dealers have electricity and even elevators in their tunnels and operate in broad daylight it’s time to take drastic action.
    I’m guessing if your daughter was raped and killed, your 5 yr old was shot, your 14 year old was addicted to Heroin, if you were scared to go to your grocery store at night you might understand that this has nothing to do with race and bigotry but everything to do with the law.
    Does he speak like a scholor, no but everyone close to him and those that work for him say he has a big heart and really cares about all people.
    I’m not scared or worried. I’m not scared of Hillary being president either but if she wins I don’t see much change just as we’ve seen nothing good of the last 8 years other than the history of a beautiful family living in the white house.

    • If only–if ONLY building a wall would keep out people who take jobs most Americans don’t want. If ONLY all criminals were illegals. There are evil people in every category. When we paint with a broad-brush, we hit only a few evil=doers but hurt so many, many more.Trump paints with a broad brush pandering to fear.It’s not even an efficient way to prevent harm. It isn’t even logical.What it IS is simplistic, appealing to the basest part of human nature. And that’s the bottom line. My purse was snatched once by two African American teens. Should we keep them all out of society? I was raped by a white professional football player. Let’s ban the game! or at least white players. No white players! The prisons are filled with African Americans convicted of violent crime. Does that mean we paint them all with that same brush? Who do we keep out next? What groups? No one wants to invite people in who wish us ill. The problem is that they are in every racial, ethnic and country of origin category. It is simply not possible to generalize like Trump does and actually make a difference. Only do harm. Oh, I live in a city with its share of crime. I know you to have a good heart, Doreen, but I think in this case I can’t agree with you.

  8. Helene says:

    My son lives and works in London. His co-workers ask him almost daily to explain the Trump allure, and of course he can’t. I pray that reasonable Americans will ultimately see Trump for what he is.

  9. Diane says:

    You have said it all, Carol! The bell is tolling madly.
    I feel as though I’m watching a train wreck about to happen.It is just sickening!

  10. I’m sick over all of this hatred and fear mongering. It’s going to be very hard to come back from what Trump and his cronies have done to this country.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Well said. I’m sick and tired of people calling out others based on race or religion. This country appears to be going backwards and then we wonder why we’re not considered a world leader anymore. What country would want to follow the downward spiral that is being created with all this fear mongering?

  12. I won’t even get into my feelings on Donald Trump my comment would turn into a blog post of it’s own. I really am worried about what the future has to hold after this next election.

  13. SourgirlOHio says:

    This is absolutely on point. We’re similar in far more ways than we are different, but it’s only the differences that so many people see.

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