Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An Integral Part of the Human Condition

President Barack Obama finally said something with which COTTonLINE heartily agrees. Speaking in Dallas at a memorial for the slain officers, the Daily Caller reports he said:
America, we know that bias remains. We know it. Whether you are black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or of Middle Eastern decent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point. We heard it at times in our own homes.

If we are honest, perhaps we have heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. We know that. And while some suffer far more under racism’s burden, some feel, to a far greater extent, discrimination’s sting, although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent.
Yes, his treatment of the subject is flowery and gushy, but essentially accurate. Human beings are racist by nature, all human beings have the tendency to react negatively to the "other," those unlike ourselves and our families.

It is a basic (and therefore historically pro-survival) part of our genetic heritage, long-term evolutionarily valid if, perhaps, no longer so. That doesn't make the trait admirable, but recognizing its universality means no particular group bears undue responsibility therefor. It is an integral part of the human condition.

On the other hand, the President mentioning himself 45 times - during a speech supposed to be about dead and wounded police officers (see The Daily Caller) - was in poor taste. Narcissism needs to be held in check while on-stage. A few mentions - fine - but 45? Excessive.