Last week ISIS burned alive a Jordanian pilot they’d captured—an event that ramped up their reign of terror to a new level. This atrocity followed closely on the heels of numerous public beheadings, and beyond that there were stories of the mass machine-gunning of helpless Yazidis, Kurds, Shias and other unfortunate captives who were somehow apostate to their particularly vicious strain of Islam. It felt as though we were watching the SS exterminate a shtetl in 1939, Poland on the 6-o’clock news.
What disturbs me, however, is that some uber-libs are trying to use this horrific event to dredge up white guilt over racial atrocities in this country now nearly a century old. I first noticed this in a blog by Phil Moyers. He wrote how he had lain awake half the night trying to recall a story about a black man who’d been burned alive by a lynch mob in 1916, Texas. Eventually, he recalled the event enough to google up the whole story of Jesse Washington being lynched, burned alive and then dismembered while a crowd hooted and hollered their approval. There was even a picture. It was sickening—an event beyond disturbing. And it happened in this country and was perpetrated by many who likely would have identified themselves as Christians. Voila, there it was, to Moyers a moral equivalency and an opportune club to beat those who think we’ve made racial progress over the head.
However, what disturbs me is that this event happened 99-years ago in a country that no longer exists except in the overly torqued minds of those on the extreme left—well, them and the Narcissist-in-Charge who chose the national propaganda, err prayer breakfast, to remind his largely Christian audience of the Crusades—lest we should forget. Why, 800-years ago is just an eyeblink to a God who we know keeps track of all the atrocities committed in His name. Anyway, why Moyers didn’t mention the Salem witch burnings, the pogroms of czarist Russia or the Spanish Inquisition is beyond me. These are usual tropes trotted out to demonstrate the evils of Christianity.
Nor did Moyers mention the peaceful followers of Mohammed conquering Spain and then invading France before they were finally turned back by Charles Martel at the battle of Tours in 732. If it weren’t for Martel and his savage Frankish knights we would all be speaking Arabic today. However, Islam held onto much of Spain for another 700 years. Moyers also failed to mention the peace-loving Turks annexing the Balkans and laying siege to Vienna in 1529 and again in 1683. But all educated people know that in those days Muslims were much more civilized that Christian Europe and that they we really just trying to do us a favor by imposing their religion of peace and enlightenment on us.
But excuse my sarcastic digressions. I’ve seen variations on this burned-alive story re-blogged, as well as stories about our country’s history of lynchings, with the same sanctimonious conclusions a half-dozen times in the past few days on Facebook and internet news sites. Their point is, I suppose, that white people, us WASPS, are bad to the bone and give us half a chance the KKK will ride again.
Pretty much everyone has taken a high school class in American History and thus knows that slavery and racism are terrible things. And they also know a bit about lynchings, the KKK and Jim Crow, and they are generally aware that full integration and voter-rights are a products of just the past 50-years.
So why do the uber-libs like Moyers, and initiatives like the Zinn Educational Project feel the need to continually remind us of our nation’s sordid record when it comes to racism. Is it because if we’re not continually reminded it will likely happen again?
I do not think that is the case.
There is a psychodynamic phenomenon called projective identification. It is the unconscious process of creating the same feeling in others that is inside of us. It’s the mechanism by which we share emotions. It is a primitive, pre-verbal type of communication. What we feel we want others to feel. We create those feelings in others by sharing thoughts and images. Because the uber-libs, those on the far left, are obsessed with their own guilt they want everyone to feel the same. And since Ferguson, Missouri, has calmed down there’s nothing really immediate to bring to our attention regarding racial atrocities and so they dredge up events from a century ago.
My advice: Get over it; deal with your own guilt; pray a lot; see a shrink if you have to, but don’t seek to spread your guilt. Mostly you’re just preaching to the choir anyway.