Friday, August 13, 2010


It seems like recent months have brought an increase of negative public opinion towards certain minority groups. Hispanics and Muslims seem to be getting the majority of the negative attention at this point. Some politicians are more than willing to jump into the fray (attempting to pass laws that encourage racial profiling, using racist terms usually reserved for animals when referring to these people giving birth (i.e. "dropping babies"), and telling people where they should and shouldn't build their places of worship). Some of these politicians even changed their previous moderate sensibilities and became a part of that fray (I'm looking at you, McCain). Unfortunately for the LDS church, some of these politicians are LDS. Politicians, of course, are often more than happy to give up their personal convictions in order to increase their chances of winning an election.

So why this increase in negative public opinion? The U.S. is, after all, deporting many more illegal immigrants this year than it has in years past. Crime is down. The economy--

The economy is down. And because it's down, many people require a scapegoat. Apparently blaming Bush for starting it and Obama for continuing it/exacerbating it/starting it (depending on a person's political inclinations and/or levels of intelligence) isn't enough. And, of course, because the state of the economy is always someone else's fault, taking personal responsibility is out of the question.

I understand people are out of work and worried about their finances. I have close family members that have been out of work since the recession started. I'm praying that I'll be able to find work in a year, after I take the bar. But hard times are what led the Germans to begin scapegoating Jews and Gypsies after World War I. It's a dangerous path, one that history rightfully condemns. It leads to dark, dangerous places, and it should have no place among us.

May we have the strength to condemn it when it raises its ugly head.


Katrina said...

Amen. I've heard more derogatory comments about Hispanics since we've been back in UT than I normally heard in Cincinnati, but there it was sometimes comments about African-Americans. I didn't/don't like to hear either. And I think it's important to recognize stereotyping and scapegoating for what it is and not perpetuate it in our conversations.

Tim said...

Yeah, I remember it being pretty bad in Utah, even before the recession. It was also pretty bad in Idaho Falls. One of my student's parents started including me on her mass emails and sent me some pretty bad stuff. I had to ask her to remove my name from her list, and was very tempted to call her out on it. I definitely need to stand up to people who behave in this manner and tell them that their statements are unfair and uncalled for.