You know, every time you think we’ve already achieved Peak Limbaugh, he manages to top himself. Granted, at this point, it’s sort of like Madonna-in-her-50’s trying to be shocking, but he’s still impressive when he’s in full bluster:
“This is not good for the country, what’s happening here, because it isn’t, I don’t think, full-fledged legitimate. It’s not based on real-world grievance. It’s grievance that’s being amplified and made up,and the president, if you ask me, could do a lot to stop this by telling people to respect the criminal justice system.”
Rush Limbaugh on the reaction to the Michael Brown/Eric Garner killings and grand jury non-indictments
You ought to read the whole thing. There’s nothing particularly new (he’s just recapitulating the right wing talking points), but you can’t help but marvel at how utterly divorced from reality Mr. Limbaugh’s rants are: People aren’t really upset by what’s happened, there was no choke hold, cigarette taxes are responsible for Garner’s death, etc. It’s incredibly stupid stuff.
That isn’t to say that Limbaugh is stupid. He’s just saying what his audience wants to hear. Limbaugh isn’t stupid; he just thinks that everyone who listens to him is stupid.
In The Art of Happiness, HH is asked if he’s ever lonely. He responds that he is not, and here’s why:
“I think that one factor is that I look at any human being from a more positive angle. I try to look at their positive aspects. This attitude immediately creates a feeling of affinity, a kind of connectedness.” [page 68] “If you approach others with the thought of compassion, that will automatically reduce fear and allow an openness with other people. … But without the attitude of compassion, if you are feeling closed, irritated, or indifferent, then you can even be approached by your best friend and you just feel uncomfortable. I think that in many cases people tend to expect the other person to respond to them in a positive way first, rather than taking the initiative themselves to create that possibility. I feel that’s wrong; it leads to problems and can act as a barrier that just serves to promote a feeling of isolation from others.”
The trick, apparently, is seeing other people as like you instead of as “other.” Oh, and empathy. Empathy’s a big player.
Given all of the poison crap surrounding me right now (globally, not personally), I really need this kind of outlook. Is it wrong that I would really, really like to violently force these ideas into the heads of people who think that it’s ok for the police to kill unarmed black people? It is? I can live with that….
I’ve spent weeks trying to think of something to say, something that would somehow make sense of the disaster that is the killing of Michael Brown. The inimitable Chuck Wendig had this to say on the subject of empathy, and I can’t say it any better, so I will simply urge you to click the link and read it for yourself. It’s an excellent post and I wholeheartedly agree with him.
But beyond that? I’m don’t know where we go from here, but I will say this: The system is broken*. The system is very badly broken. The system produces unarguably racist results. The same action produces different results based on one’s skin color. The results of the justice system are so obviously skewed that it is a wonder that anyone has any confidence in it at all.
The system is so broken that it cannot be allowed to stand. I don’t know where the fixing should begin**, but if it isn’t fixed, if a huge portion of the U.S. population no longer believe that working within the system will produce fair results, there’s really no reason to play within the system, is there?
I’m sorry. I know this isn’t the most illuminating post I’ve written, but the justice system is so badly broken in so many ways that it feels like fixing, assuming anyone even tries, is a borderline futile exercise. It needs to be fixed because continuing to operate like this is monstrous, but right now, I don’t even know where to start.
EDIT: The grand jury declined to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner. This feels surreal and wrong. I don’t feel like anything I say will be anywhere near to sufficient. But this is wrong.
* If you don’t agree that the system is broken, you are simply wrong and should probably just go back to freerepublic.com.
** Maybe “not allowing Klansmen to be policemen” would be a good start?