Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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June 08, 2005
Leave me in the jungle, it's ain't so hard.

Scott A. Sandage   provides fresh data in furtherance of unoriginal thoughts (mine).

1) How one can use religion to justify feelings of hatred for the oppressed, rather than feelings of compassion.

Prior to the Civil War, there were two categories of identity in American life: slaves and free people.

After the Civil War, there are two categories of identity in American life: successes and failures.

Obviously success and failure is much more of a continuum than slave or free.

On the other hand, because it is a continuum and explained within the idea of meritocracy, it is much easier to blame or to make moral judgments about the deficiencies of someone who fails than it was to blame someone for being a slave.
2) How an economic system can change the language we use, to change in turn our concept of human personality.

[Let] go of the idea that you structure your soul based on entrepreneurial models and that regardless of what life calling you pursue, whether you're a journalist or college professor or a businessman or a musician, you should always be investing in yourself, trying to reap profits, maximize potential -- all of these business metaphors that we use to describe our personalities.

Frederick Douglass, in his popular lecture, "Self-Made Men," won a point back for religion despite the prevailing ideological headwinds of his era (and ours, Sandage might posit) by rousing our empathy for the underprivileged through use of language taken straight from Exodus:

They are the men who owe very little to birth, relationships, or friendly surroundings.

They have neither had the advantage of wealth inherited, nor early training, nor approved means of education.

Like the overtaxed Hebrew slaves of Egypt, they have been required to make bricks without straw.
above quote found on this page.

(But) leave me in the city, they'll eat out, eat out your heart.

I can't hear (you).

*Lyrics misheard but preferred to the originals.