The fires in London are truly shocking. The rioting broke out near our flat, John had a sleepless night but there is nothing to target around our flat. The shopping area has all been pulled down. Nothing was near him except for the sirens and helicopters. Our Home Sec is a hard faced hypocrite. On tv , hard faced, depersonalizing the rioters,speaking crap, the look of disgust for those ‘below’ her palpable.
More on the Home Sec-she now says she is fully supportive of equal rights for homosexuals, now she is in power, yet she voted AGAINST every measure that aimed at ending the inequality we experience. She isn’t the only one who has grown a different face because the PM wants them too. But to sneer the way she is, refusing to acknowledge that the youngsters rioting and looting and generally losing all boundaries are people. the more she and others de-personalize them the less likely it is that any good will come of it. What do we want? vengeance or peace?
We as a society have produced this situation. We have produced the ghettos. We have allowed babies to be born into poverty, born into gang culture. When one has been brought up in this culture, one is brought up in a way of THINKING. The same as we all have. The only difference between them and us is THINKING.
They grow believing the rest of society is the enemy. The ‘rest of society’ does nothing to disavow them of this because we sneer at them, don’t even see them as human.
They see us with our good jobs, fancy cars, fancy tv’s, computers etc and there they are with none of these things and no hope of getting it the ‘legitimate’ way.
Then they see the ‘haves’ getting away with financial crime. The haves having their taxes cut whilst the poorest among us are having their benefits cut.
I have lived in such areas for over 20 years. I KNOW how different the thinking is. I also know how not different to me and you these people are. I have also seen babies dragged up to become as criminal in their behaviour as those around them because it is NORMAL in their society. The moral landscape is totally different.
I just saw the most disgraceful interview between a BBC reporter and Darcus Howe, a prominent Black Briton. She was trying her best to paint him badly, asking shameful questions with shameful veiled accusations. HE brought her up short on it and shamed her by asking that she showed an old man some respect. Good on him!
Anyway back to the point of this comment: if we continue to de-personalize others, if we continue to deny the affects of child abuse, then what we have seen these last few nights will happen again and will get worse. It will be PEOPLE set upon, not goods and shops.
If it is morally and ethically correct to view our fellows with positive regard then we must do so regardless of their behaviour. A person does not stop being human when they do something we do not like.
I never de-personalized my abusers. They are very much people. I think if I had not seen them as such I would not have recovered. I do not view the men who sexually abused me as monsters but as men who did monstrous things to me. My father is still a man and still my father despite his monstrous behaviour toward me. I don’t view as less than human. I don’t view my mother and other women involved in my abuse as monsters either.
By viewing any of these people as less than human would harm ME and would let them off the hook because if they are not human we cannot hold them to the same standards as we do human beings. We cannot expect of them the same things we expect of a well balanced human being.
By this de-humanizing we also think we let ourselves off the hook: we don’t have to take responsibility at all for others, for the way we allow society to destroy the lives of the young and the poor and uneducated.
What is more we can ignore the fact that society colludes in the abuse of children. despite the outward rage and disgust shown by people, child abuse happens right under our nose because we are either actively involved in it or because we do not want to see or we actively encourage it, such as the emotional and mental abuse of children done by religion and faith schools.
It could be argued the the people who truly are inhuman are those who are doing the judging and condemning and de-humanizing of fellow human beings.
Abuse and being de-humanized causes huge rage. Some of us quash that rage down with sex, drugs, food. Others take that rage out on ourselves by cutting and other forms of self harm.
Rage eventually does what rage does: it rages and we are experiencing this explosion of rage right now.