Am I becoming a bigot? Is my own internal, hitherto unknown, racist making it’s way to the surface of my mind? Or have I become entirely desensitized to the suffering of others?
Let me be clear, I consider myself a progressive and liberal in my views. I believe and have stood up for equality. A Jew, I trace my lineage through generations oppressed only because of their religion. I have learned that prejudice on the basis of skin colour, place of origin or other arbitrary criteria is moronic. I support hate laws because while prejudice is moronic, there are many morons.
Of late, I find myself admitting that I care considerably less for the welfare of others than I would like to admit. Some examples include:
Climate Change Victims
I enjoy listening to Democracy Now podcasts. During the Copenhagen conference, DN was on-site, conducting interviews with participants from both the main conference and the nearby “people’s conference”. There seemed to be a continuous stream of people from southern countries repeating a similar mantra, “The developed countries owe us a climate debt. They should transfer money to us to address climate change and no amount is ever enough.”
On December 17, 2009, DN featured Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, a Tuvaluan Delegate and a Youth Activist from the Solomon Islands in a feature called Voices from Small Island States.
As the representative from Tuvalu and the Solomon Island discussed losing their islands to the rising sea levels, I found myself wondering why they could not just move. What do they bring to the world? What do they do for me? Why is yet another bunch of people asking for more of my money?
1 thought on “Am I becoming a bigot?”
It helps to make a comparison. Where do you live? Lets say you live beside a lake. Lets say that a mining company has just received permission to turn that lake into a tailings pond and render the water unusable and make your home no longer livable. Should someone care about that? Why shouldn’t you just move? Of course your home is now worth nothing, and if you still owe money on the mortgage, you’ll still have to pay that AND lose your home. Likely the entire community around where you live will need to leave, so you’ll have to change jobs, lose your livelihood and your home, but should anyone else care? And all your friends and family will also be scattered to the wind, but that doesn’t matter, right? should anyone else care?
Of course they should. And so should you.