Monsters – Real or Imagined

Our minds see monsters all over the place especially when we have just viewed or read something disturbing and our subconscious plays it back in the form of a bad dream. In this Op-Ed, Brad Beck explains that there are many imagined monsters that lurk in our local, state, and national government, service organizations, schools, and businesses which are being molded into golems. Brad explains that if we are to address the real monsters of today, we must have clarity on what they are.

Have you ever caught a glimpse of something you thought was one thing and your mind interpreted it as another?  The other day I was shaving in my bathroom and out of the corner of my eye I saw what appeared to be a pair of eyes staring at me.  It was a momentary flash.  As I turned, I realized my wife had place a decorative jar with a variety of soaps in it on the ledge around the bathtub. The placement of two similar packaged soaps looked like a pair of eyes and the oval bar below was the mouth, wide-open as if saying “Oh”.  It was a weird occurrence. Then my wife walked by and I said to her, “We have a monster in our bathroom”.  Unsure, she said, “Where?”  I slowly pointed to the corner of the bathtub.  “You have a highly imaginative mind” was her response.

Our minds see monsters all over the place especially when we have just viewed or read something disturbing and our subconscious plays it back in the form of a bad dream.  There are a lot of imagined monsters from the Saturday morning reruns of my childhood, like the classic 1930s and 1940s horror movies of Dracula played by Bella Lugosi, Frankenstein played by Boris Karloff or The Wolfman played by Lon Chaney, Jr.

There are many imagined monsters that lurk in our local, state, and national government, service organizations, schools, and businesses that are being molded into golems. The small town I live in reacted to the heinous killing of a black man in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer by conducting the obligatory march and rally against racial injustice to show unity with victims of police violence.  Perhaps the reported thousand participants of the twenty-eight thousand residents or 3.5 percent of the population thought it was the right thing to do. The problem they were rallying against and the unity they thought they were creating are actually divisive and delusive.

My town is made up of 91.67% Caucasians, 5.25% Asian, 2.47% two or more races, and 0.21% African American or Black.  I could not find any current information from the FBI or from local sources of any so called “Hate Crime” in my town.  In fact, our community has been acknowledged as “A Safe Community,” “Best Places to Live” and “Best Places to Raise a Family”. It is a welcoming town.  In my neighborhood, we have people of all races, creeds, and religious backgrounds.

Yet monsters lurk in my town. The social justice warriors, aka trustees, decided the community needed a conversation to talk about the issues of the day, “systemic racism,” “white privilege”, “critical race theory” and other constructs some imagine are the problem and are wanting to “enlighten” and “educate” the dense country bumkins in our town.  We were told we need to understand about the victims of the past.  We need to understand other people’s pain.

OK, I am open-minded, so I listened to a scheduled zoom meeting entitled, “How to Be Inclusive Forum – A Community Training & Facilitated Conversation for the Town of Erie” introduced by the Mayor, Jennifer Carrol and conducted by LaTonya Pegus, a nice, well-spoken, professional woman who is highly credentialed.  For an hour I listened to the definition of inclusion, bias and words which would be considered micro-aggressions.  I was told how not to perpetuate a worldview of “white supremacy”. There were some useful pieces of information on communication styles and listening which I appreciated.  Yet, after listening to this indoctrination for sixty minutes, all I could think of was, is this the proper role of local government?  Is it the community’s job to be promoting a premise that because I am white, I am hateful, privileged and I just don’t understand, therefore the town is going to help me understand my unintended bias?  They are correct. I don’t get it. The packaging of this sort of reeducation is Maoist, and once again in the guise of helping, government divides more than unifies.  Conversations, discussions, lectures, books, movies, cultural experiences of people of different backgrounds and cultures and ethnicities are wonderful opportunities to learn and interact. Yet when this sort of presentation is conducted by your local town it becomes dystopian.  I wonder when this sort of education to the community will be required by our town.  It already has become doctrine in the public schools, community groups and in some businesses.

Since January, I have been enrolled in a ten-month course on the history of slavery with a focus on American slavery. I have read and studied what wrong ideas can produce. As an example, John C. Calhoun, the American statesman and political theorist was a complex individual. Calhoun became known for his “cast-iron man” politics and for his defiant defense of Southern beliefs and practices.  As a Senator from South Carolina on February 6, 1837, Calhoun asserted that slavery was a “positive good”.  He twisted and contorted his defense of white supremacy in a way that today his views are rightly seen as racist.  Conversely, a case can be made that the Black Lives Matter organization with its Marxist founders touting its radical anti-western agenda and its Alinsky style tactics make it the John C. Calhoun of today.

Leftists paint America as a racist country because of this heinous chapter from the past we share. Rather than erasing the evils of slavery or tearing it reminders down, we should be learning from it. Leftists look at history from the wrong end of the looking glass.  America is the greatest story of anti-slavery in human history. In two generations the Americans wiped slavery from our land.  It took England 1000 years and France 900 hundred years. Yet America abolished slavery in about two generations of our founding in 1776.

Here are some things you don’t hear on college campuses or in the dominant media. Today, you can go to several African nations right now and buy another human being.  Today, in America, more Black Africans and Blacks from the Caribbean are successful entrepreneurs and have built flourishing lives and successful businesses where property rights are respected and there is a rule of law.  Today, there is more Black on Black crime than Police on Black crime. Today, the Black American Family has become a one-parent household, where fathers are marginalized, potential lives are aborted, and education is looked down upon because it is “too white” or “western.”

If we are to address the real monsters of today, we need to have clarity on what they are. Unconscious bias and white privilege are not those topics. Unfortunately, there will always be hatred, bias and racism.  There will always be evil in the world. The best way to deal with these is not to institutionalize them by dividing people into races or giving special privileges to special groups.  As my friend Anders Ingemarson writes in his SEPARATE blog, “statism, with its base in collectivism and focus on alleged group “rights,” perpetuates racism and prejudice, while capitalism, with its foundation in individualism and recognition of individual rights as the only rights, relegates racism and prejudice to the fringes of society.”

The monsters we imagine are bigger than the ones we encounter



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