The news tends to make me run for the Xanax. Years ago, I stopped watching the nightly news, partly because of the spread of yellow journalism, an extreme right-leaning slant and a dearth of trust on my part. My car was sporting the bumper sticker ‘Mass Media Breeds Mass Deception’, a fact in which I still believe. Newspapers are lousy for trees, light colored clothing and landfills, so I gave them up as well. They are mostly ads these days anyway. I began to go to Yahoo news as a starting point. Today I found this story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110326/ap_on_re_us/us_the_battle_for_windy_ridge
I was captivated by a woman much like myself. Wigena Tirado’s story is one we have heard many times, single mom, kids and desiring a peaceful home. The house she rented was in a neighborhood of starter homes in Charlotte, NC. She paid her bills and through no fault of her own, faced eviction because her lousy landlord didn’t pay his/her mortgage. Ms. Tirado is fighting for the neighborhood even though she no longer lives there. I say good on her.
What nauseated me was reading the responses to the story. Angry tirades about welfare queens, too many kids and people that don’t pay their bills. WTF?? Did we read the same article? The appalling amount of Reagan-esque rethugspeak made my eyes glaze over. Then it dawned on me…these nimrods really believe this crap. Orwell’s Ministry of Truth is alive, well and feeding those too freaking stupid or lazy to dig deeper into that about which a politician is speaking. I sincerely wonder if the article had been written about a white woman, would there be the same venom. Sadly, I think not.
I get that the human animal is by nature xenophobic. We don’t like that which is different. What I don’t get is hatred and fear based on a shade of skin, accent, big butt or sexual orientation. Have we come full circle and reverted to the ‘Yes, they are nice but I wouldn’t want my daughter/son dating/living next to/working with one’ mentality of yesteryear? How do you fight that? Highway blogging? A bullhorn? Skywriting? I’m at a loss. To paraphrase Cole Sear: I see stupid, willfully ignorant people. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re stupid and willfully ignorant.
Here is my question: What do we do?
- Mortgage crisis lessons in Charlotte, N.C. (sfgate.com)
- Neighborhood hit by mortgage crisis battles back (sfgate.com)