So, here’s the vitriolic word of the day: Everyone who speaks up against Obama, his policies, or his allies, is a white racist and everyone who speaks up in favor of Obama, his policies, or his allies, is a black racist. Even Jimmy Carter weighed in to accuse Rep. Joe Wilson of racial overtones in having interrupted Obama’s health care reform address before Congress with "You lie!"
To me, these escalating back-and-forth accusations of racism misses the forest for the trees. I unequivocally agree that racism still exists in the United States. Anyone who denies this is an ostrich with their head fully submerged in ideological sand. However, there’s also no doubt that this is but the tip of the hatred iceberg. Hatred exists in this "land of the free" toward all racial, ethnic, religious, and yes political, groups. And this wildfire is now not only burning freely… in many circles it is burning proudly!
In my IntegrityWatch Blog post on May 1 of LAST year (2008), I sounded the warning alarm about the last bastion of socially accepted hatred here in our pretentiously politically correct country: Political Hatred & Bigotry. I didn’t sound this alarm subtly. I gave out one of my Integrity Disgrace Awards in order to hopefully draw attention to this problem.
My warning went unheeded by far too many people. Now the pot has boiled over and the hatred it contains is scorching everyone and everything in its vicinity.
I repeat: while racism continues to be alive and ‘well,’ racism is NOT the problem. It’s a SYMPTOM of the problem. A much bigger problem. That problem is the hatred that ideological arrogance ALWAYS spawns. For decades I have referred to this as "rightness addiction:" I’m right about how wrong you are.
It’s time to stop focusing on the symptoms and start dealing with the underlying problem that keeps creating these symptoms. But will we do that? If our unsustainable attitudes about health are any reflection, we absolutely wont. Just as we are obsessed with controlling symptoms of illness rather than healing the underlying sources of those symptoms, or, heaven forbid, with preventing illness from developing to begin with, we remain similarly obsessed with symptoms of ideological arrogance such as racial hatred.
Until we directly deal with our ideological arrogance, hatred in all of its ugly forms and toward all who do not align with that ideology will continue to flourish. And as it does, our country — and our planet — will continue to deteriorate. This is the heart of fanaticism. Every time we inflict this on one another, we are launching onto one another the psychological and emotional equivalent of the 9/11 attacks. That all of this should be bubbling over within days of the anniversary of the 9/11 trauma is no coincidence, I believe.
I wrote The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World, in part to provide a road-tested sustainable alternative to this insanity. There’s a reason it has won five book awards in both personal development and social change categories, and that its content has been embraced by people across the political and religious spectrums. Now more than ever, I hope with all my heart that you will take The New IQ to heart. Please join with me to transform the escalating insanity into a new age of personal and societal wellbeing.
If you want to read more of what I have written about all this, here are four of my more relevant prior IntegrityWatch Blog posts:Why Political Bigotry Threatens Democracy, The Dysfunctional Dynamic Crippling the United States, Three Dangerous Types of Societal Narcissism, and The Sick Recipe Responsible for Today’s Crazy Public Discourse. To learn more about my perspective on fanaticism, read my Declaration of Global Responsiblity: A Solution to Fanaticism Disorder, Terrorism & Divisiveness.