Jane Elliott -- Ms Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes
We have learned that the general German society knew significantly more about the ill treatment of Jews, Romanos, and Homosexuals under the Third Reich than what was admitted. The question asked in the video above and audience response suggests a similar level of awareness of the plight of African-Americans among us today.
Former Jimmy Carter proclaimed:
Former Jimmy Carter proclaimed:
"It is clear that we must embrace human rights and aggressively challenge our society’s acceptance of violence, which should never be seen as normal or as the preferred means of solving problems. But we know that this is true: The first time a problem arises in the world, the first response is, “What kind of violence would control this new problem?” But violence is now normal in our homes, communities, in our culture, in law enforcement and in foreign policy.
"Here in the United States, lethal police violence and the use of the death penalty, disproportionately against African-Americans, communicates the clear message that the state may kill in the interest of public safety, ignoring far less violent means of protecting the public. The public at large responds by thinking that violence is useful in achieving peaceful objectives. That’s a contrary factor in words: Violence is useful in achieving peaceful objectives.
"While defending a community or a nation with military force is sometimes justifiable or is sometimes necessary, the distinction between self-defense and excessive force against others has been undermined in the global wars on terror, drugs, and crime." http://goo.gl/5AxhPF
My son Ben has cautioned me against invoking Third Reich comparisons. So let me be clear.
I studied the Holocaust at Yeshiva U., the YIVO, and Columbia U. -- which included learning Yiddish. While the end results of Third Reich objectives and policies are overwhelming, questions of intent, moral agency, complicity, the process of moral corruption, and ultimate culpability concern me even more. As I worked my way through the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site and then toured the nearby museums of art and science and the concert halls of Munich, I asked myself over and over: “How could this happen in this extraordinary nation, and under what conditions might this happen in my own country.”
In the movie Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), the Reich senior judge asks how could they ever have known when they first bowed to pressure to corrupt fundamental laws that it would get so out of hand -- resulting in worldwide death, destruction, and horror? I doubt a sane person would choose those results. But in the movie the character played by Spencer Tracy replies that in knowingly dishonoring their sacred duty and office as judges they left the people and society vulnerable to it all.
Rioting, looting, and murder is indefensible -- but as a people we respond with unbridled moral indignation to a situation that needed to be dealt with long before it got to this. I’ve worked and lived in inner city Philadelphia and New York: Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Bedford Stuyvesant, South Bronx, and Williamsburg. I was also a missionary in the poorest areas of Guatemala, and never did I encounter the depth of hopelessness nor anger as in our inner cities.
Societies or cultures can develop norms or trends of which citizens are fully aware. If those norms include abuse of human rights (abuse of poor, women, children, infirm, and minority populations) and are generally tolerated or accepted, that's pathological.
At times race relations and protocols in this country felt creepy, and many felt great relief when the civil rights movement addressed unspoken issues. There comes a point when city states (Ammonihah) and even nations (Jaredites, Nephites) are ripe for total destruction. But the Lord first sends his missionaries to warn them. His missionaries are now deployed. Members of those societies who tolerate pathological behavior as normative have become infected, i.e., they are complicit. I cite extreme examples of Germans and Nephites to illustrate that pathologies can and do get totally out of hand and become spiritually and physically terminal to all involved -- perps and victims alike. It’s misleading to focus on current extreme behavior without considering the larger picture.
The full brunt of the following verses from D&C 87 has yet to hit us, but will be fully unleashed as a natural consequence of normative "White" (the dominative power) abusive behavior or studied disinterest in the plight of the poor, women, children, infirm, and minority populations.
" 4 And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. [we saw the civil movement aggressively kick in during the Vietnam War]
" 5 And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation." [think Mexico, Central and South America]
It goes on from there, and individuals pleading ignorance will have to be sorted out at the final judgement.
" 6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations."
Clearly we need to pay attention -- we need to do better. Much to the surprise of Jonah, when he prophesied that Nineveh would be overthrown in forty days, the people of Nineveh believed God. From the greatest to the least, they covered themselves in sackcloth, sat in ashes, fasted, and cried unto the Lord for mercy. They choose the road less traveled by the proud and guilty -- they repented and changed their ways for the better. Surely that's our best option as well -- repentance, the road less traveled.