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View Diary: Forgetting the lessons from Rwanda (10 comments)

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  •  I'm reminded of a conversation years ago with (4+ / 0-)

    the drummer of the band I played with. We were in Key West and someone mentioned the large number of street people who lived there. I commented that I had a practice of giving a dollar a day to some randomly chosen homeless person. Our drummer reacted with revulsion, saying something along the lines of, "Ewww, why would you do THAT?" (Yes, he really did say "Ewww" while making a nasty face.) It was evident from his words and delivery that he felt nothing but contempt for these people. He came from a very affluent family and had never wanted for anything in his life that he didn't get. And it was clear that he saw these folks as being sub-human, not deserving of even being acknowledged. They were just scary, wild, dangerous scum of the earth to be avoided at all costs.

    I went off on him a bit with my liberal indignation at his callousness. I told him that EVERY human being deserves to be treated in a respectful and dignified manner, regardless of their station in life. I told them that many of these people were US veterans, many were people who had previously productive lives until some event knocked them into poverty. I also told him that my donations to them were my way of contributing to the local community, giving to those who needed it most. None of this appeared to matter to him. They remained the scum of the earth, and I was crazy for interacting with them, much less giving them money.

    I see the same dynamic at play here, though directed in roughly the opposite direction.  

    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

    by kbman on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:07:11 AM PDT

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