Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bizarro World is real life

Occasional reminder that FOX News is, by a wide stretch, the most watched and relied upon source for the vast majority of Americans. So instead of laughing at the crazy upside down way they present events like Wednesday's shooting in Charleston, maybe start to take seriously the fact that.. for most people.. that's what's really going on out there. Maybe that isn't a comforting thought, but it's what we need to deal with.

Tonight on The Nightly Show (a much less viewed news program on Comedy Central) Larry Wilmore made an offhanded comment about how young the Charleston shooter was.  "People keep saying racism is just gonna go away when all the old racists die off..." or something like that.  But, aside from the fact that demographics is not destiny in politics, it's a good idea to notice that "the kids today" are just as racist as they ever were.

So Wilmore's observation shouldn't be some big shock. But it comes as one to a lot of so-called liberals who, most of the time, prefer to wallow in their own smugness than to take realistic stock of what's happening around them. Pay attention to what the wingnuts actually believe. Take them seriously. Because as comforting as it is for many of you to feel superior, there are a lot more of them than there are of you.

Stop assuming everything will be okay because of the "arc of history bends toward justice." It doesn't.  At least not on its own. Just sitting around waiting for it to is a kind of magical thinking almost as bad as the belief that "the free market" or "big data" will solve all of our problems.  In fact, one could best describe the political center at the moment as the intersection of futurism, capitalism, and a passive optimism that social problems work themselves out on their own.

These are dangerous times. The times are always dangerous, really. But we seem to be getting better and better at fooling ourselves into applying exactly the wrong remedy or ignoring the danger altogether.  It's almost been a year since Ferguson. The white backlash has only begun to gain momentum. The time to start noticing is now because 2016 could be a much uglier election year than we've seen in quite a while.

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