In some ways I cannot wait until I prove to the blind folks that this beef plant will cause untold misery and damage to the community. It may take some time but just remember all your feel good comments about how we should live together in peace and harmony. Those words will haunt not only you but others who do not have a clue.
While we wait, put bars on your windows, alarms on your house, bullet proof vests for your kids to stop the knife and bullet attacks, anchor down everything you have that is valuable, buy a steering wheel lock and car alarm, and hold on
tight. It is going to be a heck of a ride.
Others attribute the expected rise in crime and cultural devastation to the assumption that the influx of minority will be mostly illegal aliens. Some of the writers cite the experiences of other cities that have had packing plants as evidence that hordes of races with moral defects and criminal agendas will descend upon the town. They cite as evidence the rantings of people from those towns who have their own racist axes to grind.
Actually, the lawsuits against the beef plant may have zoning, property value, and nuisance issues as their pretext, but the speech of many involved very quickly reveals that their real motives deal with people of various colors--particularly those of Latino and Asian backgrounds.
People dismiss the racist tirades and hate as the product of a few people on discussion boards and blogs because they seem to comprise a small minority. Consultants who analyze such matters point out that these voices tend to dominate the discussions they participate in, and that is the real point of significance in examining how a community reacts to racism and hate speech. In the case of the newspaper discussion boards, the presence of such raging without requirements for valid evidence to support the statements and without any kind of editorial remonstrance is a tacit expression of at least part of the community leadership.
While the sectarian violence in Iraq casts a deep, seething shadow on the any prospects for democracy in the middle east, the rumblings of racist and class hatred in Aberdeen are signs that the foundations of democracy and civil government are under siege in our own town.
We can't help but wonder how much the war on Iraq and the moral chaos it has created in the world contributes to the racist, hate-filled mindset in Aberdeen. Whatever the source and occasion for this hatred, it needs to be dealt with. We need to divert our attention away from our global identity and assess just how we are doing here at home.
America seems to be slipping under the tide of malice that is rising in the world.
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