Sunday, September 20, 2009

Self-fullfilling prophecies

The trouble with calling everyone out for racisim is that it becomes self-fullfilling.  If you see racism in everything others think and say, it engraves it in stone. 

When you are raising children, telling them that they are good children, that they are thoughtful and polite helps to reinforce that behavior.  You know the old teacher's maxim..."Catch them when they are being good and reinforce that."  The opposite is also true.  If you tell children that they are bad, disrespectful, and thoughtless, that is what you will get from them.  They will live up to your expectations...what ever they are.

Now former President Carter says he sees racisim in criticism of President Obama.  Is that true?  Certainly there are those who harbor a racist animosity towards Obama, but is that true of all who criticize Obama's policies?  I think not. 

Obama is trying to move the country rapidly towards social change, and it is change that many do not feel comfortable with.  Dissent is a high form of patriotism, and the motives of those who dissent should not be impugned.  Carter projecting racist fears and motives on all who criticize Obama's policies is a political ploy aimed at suppressing dissent and changing the subject.  He owes this country a higher level of political discourse than that. 

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