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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:06 PM

scapegoat

“And then they start looking for a scapegoat, because someone has got to ‘take the weight’ for people’s lack of moral consciousness and their low level of being. For the tyrant-politician knows what most people do not even suspect: that hatred is the greatest pacifier of this entire planet earth; that all you have to do is to make the people hate a common enemy and they will soon forget about everything and everyone else ……and particularly their own low level of being.”
-- Rubin “Hurricane” Carter; letter to H2O Man; 6-26-1979.

Years ago, I accompanied a young man to a court hearing near Syracuse, NY. He was one of the people on my caseload at the county mental health clinic. Although this fellow was enormous, fierce-looking, and suffered from a psychotic disorder, I knew him as a gentle giant who did his very best under circumstances that would cause most people to simply give up. The court personnel saw him as mentally ill.

On the ride back, we stopped for lunch at Onondaga. While we ate, Chief Paul Waterman came into the diner, and joined us at our table. Soon the young man was telling Paul about how painful it is to be labeled and treated as “mentally ill.” Paul told him that this was not his true identity; that at Onondaga, he would be recognized as Gerald, the wood-cutter, who treated everyone with respect, and who at times had to deal with a mental illness.

I think about the way society sees people. For example, consider the distinctions between the following two statements:

{1} Some mentally ill people are dangerous and violent.

{2} Some dangerous, violent people are mentally ill.

As a society, our focus should be on reducing the ability of violent, dangerous people to commit crimes of brutality. This includes all violent, dangerous people -- not just one subgroup -- and it includes focusing on the tools of the trade.

And it includes not falling for the lies of the weapons industry’s point guard, like the specimen who delivered the NRA’s talking points yesterday. They will continue to try to distract and divert our attention from their agenda, by trying to spread hatred and fear, and to identify the most defenseless of scapegoats that they can find.

Keep your eyes on the prize.
H2O Man

33 replies, 2944 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply scapegoat (Original post)
H2O Man Dec 2012 OP
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #1
woo me with science Dec 2012 #2
AnotherDreamWeaver Dec 2012 #3
woo me with science Dec 2012 #4
H2O Man Dec 2012 #11
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #18
Gregorian Dec 2012 #22
H2O Man Dec 2012 #31
Gregorian Dec 2012 #32
H2O Man Dec 2012 #33
GeorgeGist Dec 2012 #5
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #8
H2O Man Dec 2012 #12
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #13
H2O Man Dec 2012 #14
Denninmi Dec 2012 #27
savannah43 Dec 2012 #9
H2O Man Dec 2012 #10
me b zola Dec 2012 #6
H2O Man Dec 2012 #16
Overseas Dec 2012 #7
H2O Man Dec 2012 #17
CrazyOrangeCat Dec 2012 #15
H2O Man Dec 2012 #19
mmonk Dec 2012 #20
H2O Man Dec 2012 #23
mmonk Dec 2012 #25
Eric the Reddish Dec 2012 #21
H2O Man Dec 2012 #24
Octafish Dec 2012 #26
H2O Man Dec 2012 #28
Me. Dec 2012 #29
H2O Man Dec 2012 #30

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:10 PM

1. Compassion, understanding, and education instead of fear, finger-pointing, and exclusion.

 

This is how we build the new world. Thank you.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:13 PM

2. Thank you. And it applies to so much more than just the mentally ill.

Look at how workers are treated now in this country. Disappearing benefits and metastasizing authoritarian structures. Even our media is crammed with television shows where scathing, abusive bosses lambaste and punish and humiliate their underlings.

Look at education, where we are handcuffing first graders and training children to respond like prisoners.

Look at our police forces, which have been militarized to assault and surveil rather than serve and protect.

It is a harsh and frightening world they are building, if we don't stop them.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:44 PM

3. Now they have arrested Santa:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022055817

Is this more "War on Christmas?"

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Response to AnotherDreamWeaver (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:58 PM

4. Good god.

For handing out chalk to children.

Can't have children writing "joy" and "peace," now can we...

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:12 PM

11. Extremely important point.

The militarization of society is clearly a "winning" issue for the weapons industry. It requires high levels of fear, anxiety, paranoia, and -- of course -- hatred.

The struggle for Social Justice isn't fought with deadly weapons: it is found in non-violence, peace, respect, and understanding. The weapons industry would have people think those are the signs of weakness. They are not: they are true strength.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:29 AM

18. Yes! The NRA are a powerful political and social lobby for weapons manufacturers and salesmen! n/t

 

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:30 PM

22. Thank you all for keeping this discussion alive. Let's solve the root problems, not the symptoms.

It's so odd that the things Jesus said were too simple for people to believe. And the forces opposing them too tempting to resist.

But the bottom line really is "love". It's terribly uncomfortable. Hate serves the ego, and it feels good. But it doesn't last, and it doesn't work. I know I'm simplifying things. Two people have a child they never intended to have, and that's where some of this comes from. How does one cherish that which they never intended to have? And then it snowballs from generation to generation. Not to mention fetal alcohol syndrome, among other things.

But the majority of the problems we experience today come from bad parenting. Bad parenting comes from a number of things which all stem from bad parenting. Screaming commercials, bad politics, greed, rage, fear.

Germany outlawed corporal punishment of children. It's a start. And it's a fact that abuse during the first years of childhood causes changes in brain physiology.

http://nospank.net/deut.htm

I dream of a society where people are healthy, and work together.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:45 PM

31. Very good!

In the OP, I quoted from an old letter from Rubin; by no coincidence, I called him about an hour ago. Rube refers to the historical figure Jesus as "the Master." So it does me good to see you referencing things that Jesus spoke of here, on this thread. Thank you for that.

Jesus's teachings include lessons on love, truth, gentleness, and -- again by no coincidence -- the Goodness of children. There is no greater truth to be found in the gospels, or any of the other books in that collection we call the bible.

Rubin's friend, Minister Malcolm X, used to say that you best prevent crime from the context of the high chair, rather than the electric chair. That saying, in an era influenced by some very impressive "baby doctors," caught on. In fact, none other than the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, would use the quote in several speeches. I've often wondered if he was aware of its origins? Either way, the very idea that as sick an individual as Hoover could learn suggests that there is still hope for our society ..... so long as people be exposed to the concepts of Goodness and Truth.

You may already know this, but I'll repeat it for others: The Haudenosaunee, or what the Euro-Americans called the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, can trace the "law" (or, more accurately, mutually agreed upon social contract) that insured that children could not be punished by hitting, back to about 475 AD. The Great Law of Peace recognized then, as it recognizes today, that the treatment of little ones defines society.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:04 PM

32. I'm most grateful, and enriched, from hearing your experiences.

This latest period of voluminous discussion that has happened after the deaths of the children has had me struggling for words. I find myself unable to grasp at ways to convey things that could very well help to heal a society. One of them is the very notion of mental illness versus emotional illness. Even the word illness.

Reading about the Great Law of Peace is a surprise. It shouldn't be. But it just goes to show how much we have forgotten. Or maybe how much we have not even shared amongst ourselves. This notion of individualism, rugged or otherwise, I find it so destructive. We grow by sharing. We've chosen to go the other direction. Even neighbors hardly know each other. But now it can be different. I think of the internet as tying us together. Maybe now we can learn things that until now we have neglected. That is why I am so grateful. Your sharing has shown to me that this notion of taking great care to nourish the young growing children is not new. When we departed from a natural lifestyle, we gained a lot, but we lost much more. We became specialized. Each one had a special job. When that is combined with the disconnect that occurs through an individualized culture, it has a crippling effect.

It's no surprise to me now, that those with power would be opposed to a society of caring and nurturing. Things like providing lunch for school children. You know what I mean. Even the war on drugs. It actually serves no good purpose. Those who start the wars are similarly disturbed as those who pick up guns and kill civilians. We aren't looking for victims, we're looking for solutions, and healing. Aside from obvious actions which must happen now, the most important area where we can make a difference in the world is with how we care for young children. I've pointed out before that Carter, Clinton, Obama all have healthy emotional characteristics. And on the other hand there is Bush, Romney, and others who are like them. It sounds simplistic, but I just can't find a fault with it. There ought to be an emotional IQ test for politicians. The whole world suffers from those who were injured as children.

This may sound wrong, but it seems to me that if we're going to call the murderers crazy, then we're all crazy. I say that because whether or not we actively had a hand in making that person who they are, we all contributed to making the world in which they were born into and grew in. Maybe there's a better way to say it. Maybe it's actually the very notion that we don't want to take responsibility for it that proves how divided and separated a society we are.

The reality is that we're all related in some way.

Well, I'm kind of fading out here. I just looked at Rubin's Wikipedia page. What a life. And here I am at 57, trying to get into the shape he was in. He was beautiful. I didn't know the song Hurricane was about him. Amazing. So there is that thread. He knew Malcolm. You know him. You've shared with me, and I'll remember it. Now to pull it all together.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:30 PM

33. He was friends

with both Malcolm and Martin; in recent years, he has spent a good amount of time with Nelson Mandela, working on conflict resolution in the Middle East. (Odd, our media doesn't ever report on that!)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:31 PM

5. You'll have a hard time convincing me ...

That Adam Lanza wasn't mentally ill.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:02 PM

8. Not all mental illness is an imprimatur of being a danger to ones' self or others.

 

That's all. Hopefully people can get this instead of repeating the NRA's absolutist talking point/framing/owning the conversation. One in four Americans may suffer from varying degrees of mental illness. That is far, far more people than there are NRA members. And first and foremost, we are people who are suffering to varying degrees. Please know that we are not all violent as the easy answer power grab people would have you believe.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:16 PM

12. Although it's not

up to me, I will still suggest that you ignore that person.

In the on-going struggle for social justice, I'm happy to be on the same side as those who have experience with mental illness -- and on the opposite side from those who attempt to dehumanize them, or anyone else. Yeah, I'm proud to be on the same side as the poor, the homeless, and other marginalized human beings. These are the people who have the greatest strength; they keep on struggling under oppressive conditions that would wilt the pampered loud-mouthed republicans and tea partiers and NRA.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:26 PM

13. Gotcha, and Thank You.

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:21 PM

14. Absolutely!

There are a lot of really good and decent people on this forum, who are worth conversing with -- because they have valuable knowledge, and a good-heartedness that enriches the DU community. And there are always a few who, for whatever reason, seem less interested in a civil, meaningful discussion, than in diverting and distracting those very discussions. I find it far better to talk to the "good folks" -- and you are certainly one of them -- than people who, no matter what, want to marginalize and dehumanize some other group or individual.

Wishing the best to you & yours during this holiday season. And I always look forward to your contributions here, on this forum.

Your friend,
Pat

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:36 AM

27. I'm not a danger to anyone. It's kind of degrading to have to say it, or even be asked.

But that is what is.

The only way have been dangerous to myself has been with my MasterCard. I've done a pretty good job of slaughtering my bank account to pay it off.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:08 PM

9. Too bad his mother didn't deal with that.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:05 PM

10. It's easy:

your opinion means less to me than the tiniest grain of sand on the largest beach. I have not expressed any opinion, of course, on if Adam Lanza is mentally ill, or not. The OP does not address that question. Weak attempt on your part, as always.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:45 PM

6. Recommended

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Response to me b zola (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:13 PM

16. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:51 PM

7. K&R. Well said.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:14 PM

17. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:14 PM

15. Highly recommended

Spreading fear and hatred is such and easy thing. And the powers that be do it so well, as the "specimen" did yesterday . . .

I like your line: "who did his very best under circumstances that would cause most people to simply give up." That is exactly how I feel about those who have been in my life, family and friends, who have wrestled with such demons, and never lost their humanity.

(On a lighter note, when I turned twenty, my gift from my folks, was a new electric razor. Up until then I had just used dad's hand-me-downs, which was alright by me. It was pretty cool . . . but now I see that on that same day, Hurricane Carter wrote you a letter! But we'll address Jealousy another time

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Response to CrazyOrangeCat (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 07:47 AM

19. Thanks.

I've kept every letter, photo, cassette tape, etc, from Rubin ..... though in recent years, it's been primarily phone calls. Razors, on the other hand, come and go. Plus, I tend to agree with Beatle Paul McCartney's 1965 statement that shaving is the curse of mankind.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 08:42 AM

20. Recommended.

I noticed that some wanted to lay part of the blame on the autism spectrum. As someone who has dealt with persons under the autistic spectrum, my experience is they are more likely to be the subjected to violence than to be perpetrators of violence. People look to scapegoats and are more likely to accept scapegoats if they are believers in those who lie for an agenda.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:10 AM

23. Thanks!

I appreciate your contribution to this OP/thread.

I'll try to get the epidemiology information to you today.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:47 AM

25. Thanks so much.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:20 AM

21. kickrec

 

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Response to Eric the Reddish (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:10 AM

24. Thank you

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:59 AM

26. Chief Waterman told him that this was not his true identity...

... that at Onondaga, he would be recognized as Gerald, the wood-cutter, who treated everyone with respect, and who at times had to deal with a mental illness.

PS: Your readers get smarter. Thank you, H2O Man!

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Response to Octafish (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:12 PM

28. A different reality ......

Too often, people in the USA -- including folks on DU -- have a very rigid belief that our current definitions of reality hold equally true for everyone, everywhere. And this, in spite of the fact that most people in the USA are aware that our reality ain't really holding up well under the very stress it creates.

Chief Waterman would take the same "facts" that non-Indian people saw, and simply arrange them in a different sequence, which could enable everyone to view a situation in a larger, more objective manner.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:00 PM

29. What Happened To The Young Man?

Do you know?

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Response to Me. (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:42 PM

30. He still

cuts wood. This includes helping the elderly in his neighborhood. And he will always remember having lunch with an Onondaga Chief.

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