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On the Crisis of Civility.

We forced ourselves today, to endure a few minutes of Ben Shapiro and Glenn Beck telling each other that they were correct.

They are afraid that the “socialists” and the “left” are ginned up for mob violence because they didn’t get their way and that the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the foreshadowing of the second coming of Lev Trotsky.

The “conversation” which is better described as a shabby catechism is predicated on the claim that there is a crisis of civility. The crisis of civility is the fault of the left and the extremists on the left.

Framing the narrative this way of course absolves the conservatives and their cousins in the Klan from any responsibility. They are, in this version of the national myth, innocent bystanders holding the weak flame of freedom in the torrent of left wing hysteria.

One cannot even pretend to grant the premise and work backwards towards a logical refutation of their lies because, either they are too delusional to understand what they’re saying, or too cynical too care.

The idea that there is now all of a sudden, a crisis of civility is based on the idea that Trump’s entire life has not been one enormous belch in the face of civility, from having the slithering Roy Cohn as his spiritual Yoda to calling for Black men wrongly accused of raping a White woman to be executed, to claiming Barack Obama was not born in the united States as a code for calling him a Nigger and thus unfit to be president, to grab’m by the pusssy, to Mexico is sending us rapists, to shithole countries, to a Hispanic judge can’t be impartial because he is Hispanic, to fabricated excuses for his venal, and criminal actions including threats to national security, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and the press.

The idea that now, all of a sudden, there is a crisis of civility, is based on the idea that centuries of systemic racism never occurred, and if they did occur they have been dealt with and the issue of bigotry and its legacy are no longer worthy of our attention. Thus, slavery and its generational trauma, Jim Crow and its generational trauma, redlining and its generational trauma, the corruption and violence of mafia—police forces that deliberately, as a matter of policy, targeted minorities and the resulting generational trauma, are all no longer an issue.

In this version of the national myth, every unarmed Black American executed by the police was either responsible for their own death or it was an accident that could have happened to anyone but those killings, those executions, are not a reason for anyone to say, here’s your damn crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth breaking unions and forcing millions of people, Black, White, Brown, gay, straight, men and women, young and old to choose between paying the rent or buying essential medicines is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth burying generations of hard working tax paying law abiding citizens under a mountain of debt, that is a virtual economic gulag, is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth, abandoning the people of New Orleans is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth, lying about weapons of mass destruction and laying waste to the economy, and the lives of tens of thousands of veterans and pushing millions into the abyss of genocide and the collapse of nations, and helping to give rise to apocalyptic death cults, for which we are paying and will go on paying, is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth, a policy of state sponsored kidnapping and of holding children hostage, is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth the destruction of the environment is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth unleashing the unmatched power of the federal government to spy on the citizens of this nation, is not a crisis of civility.

In this version of the national myth, beating people at Standing Rock, is not a crisis of civility

In this version of the national myth the person being raped, was asking for it.

In this version of the national myth, the refugees, on their unarmed road of flight, are liars, and a burden, and a threat to our safety.

But when the truth is told, we know that the road to the promised land of justice is built every day by those of good faith, old and young, Black, White and Brown, any color and no color, of any faith and no faith, gay and straight, men and women, immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, and we know that diversity is a strength, that empathy is a virtue, and that freedom is a collision of ideas from which sparks fly off in a thousand directions starting fires that shake convention and rattle the walls of dull conformity and say to the status quo – in this version of the national myth, America is always at its best when it embraces freedom and fights for the right of every righteous human being to stitch their story into the fabric of the nation.

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2 comments on “On the Crisis of Civility.

  1. I couldn’t have said it better myself. But I would place it in the context of both parties. Bernie Sanders, maybe unsurprisingly, has also called for civility. WTF? Are these people entirely disconnected from the everyday reality the rest of us live in? When has America ever been civil for most Americans, much less in relation to the rest of the world?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rauldukeblog says:

      Jesus I hadn’t seen anything about Bernie saying that. That’s depressing. I’d expect him to at least split the “difference” and say something like a lack of healthcare is uncivil, etc.

      But, back during the campaign i saw an interview where he was boxed in by both his own rhetoric and the establishment talking points with the result being that he had to either call for a mob to surround Capital Hill or he had to admit that the machine could not and would not accommodate his platform.

      Needless to say he had to retreat into a kind of rhetorical hedge his bets stance.

      As to the rest: well exactly as you say – when the fuck has this ever been a polite system.

      Liked by 1 person

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