America's Culture of Cruelty

United States
January 24, 2011 8:50pm CST
Please read the article before responding (It will help in the discussion) http://www.truth-out.org/henry-a-giroux-americas-culture-cruelty67049 I just finished reading the article America's Culture of Cruelty and I do agree with a lot of what is stated in the article. It does seem that a lot of American's would rather ignore that we have this sort of violent culture that breeds violence, and so to speak hide behind white picket fences and pretend live is all roses. I'm not sure I'd say we can't over come this sort of violence, but in order to change it we have to acknowledge it Two paragraphs stuck out to me, and seemed to encapsulate the problem and situation here in America: [i]For instance, how else to explain a right-wing spin machine that endlessly spews out a toxic rhetoric in which all Muslims are defined as jihadists; the homeless are not victims of misfortune, but are lazy; blacks are not terrorized by an overzealous criminal justice system, but are the main architects of a culture of criminality; the epidemic of obesity has nothing to do with corporations, big agriculture and advertisers selling junk food but rather is the result of "big" government giving people food stamps; the public sphere is largely for white people, which is being threatened by immigrants and people of color, and so it goes. This could be dismissed as loony right-wing political theatre if it were not for the low levels of civic literacy displayed by so many Americans who choose to believe and invest in this type of hate talk. On the contrary, while it may be idiocy, it reveals a powerful set of political, economic and educational forces at work in miseducating the American public while at the same time extending the culture of cruelty.[/i] I would agree that our current laws seem to be counter-intuitive, and really need to be looked at again. Education seems key here, but it would need to be the truth not the propaganda. What are your thoughts? Do you feel there can be change made in America? Is it too late? What can America do, what should we do? Namaste-Anora
3 people like this
5 responses
@celticeagle (118551)
• Boise, Idaho
26 Jan 11
I disagree with the author's take on the senseless violence in Arizona. Much the same and even worse violence has been going on for hundreds of years and has been deemed as the mental instability of many young men so I think his take on that was idiotic. I do agree with the author when he says that the American public does tend to ignore alot. Civil Discourse? COme on. Culture of cruelty? The author does hit on some very valid issues but seems to be putting blame for a very horrible act on things that don't have anything to do with it. As if this format is a reason for him to bring other things into the forefront. I agree with your 'miseducating of the public'. There is alot more going on here but the author has not hit on it and seems to go way out and around the actual issue at hand. Coruption and a big business conspiracy is what is behind so much of what he mentions.
• United States
26 Jan 11
CE- I agree that greed is a key element, it is what drives a great many people and can lead to a great many poor choices. I agree with Rogue though that the real question is why did no one help the shooter in Arizona with this mental illness before it got to this point? That's part of what is missing in this country is the recognition of said issues. You have no idea how many times we as special education teachers will hear parents state up and down their child has no issues, they are just lazy. How unfortunate. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118551)
• Boise, Idaho
27 Jan 11
Oh, I agree that that part is missing in the country but sometimes it is a break down in, like you said, the ignorant parent but sometimes it is the person themselves. He was obviously a hiderence to himself. People like that are arigant and self pocessed and think they don't have problems. We all have a different way of looking at things. SOmetimes it is not in our best interest.
1 person likes this
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
25 Jan 11
Violence and cruelty has always been a festering sore underneath America's veneer of democracy. Our history is full of cruel acts by Americans many sanctioned by the whole of society. It is something that has become so ingrained in the society that change has been very slow in coming. I think you are quite right in suggesting education as a medium for the change as well as changes in laws that allow this festering sore to remain present. We need to begin to look within ourselves and see what part of this we play as individuals. Only through realization and acceptance of who we truly are can we begin to address the idea of change.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 11
I think that education is a slow process and one that is often resisted. I'm not sure I have a good idea myself as to just what that education should be, but idealistically it would simply be to teach and encourage acceptance as you said. A former professor once said "I tolerate rats, I accept all humans". There was wisdom in those thoughts. Namaste-Anora
@ptower76 (1619)
• United States
25 Jan 11
Yes educating future generations in accepting all humans is a good place for further examination. Also though, i think we need to examine those antiquated laws that while not openly encouraging violence in our society, create environments that allow society to tolerate it. There is still plenty of institutionalized discrimination and laws that minimize punishment. One example of this are laws that allow judges to provide a slap on the wrist to some and severe punishment for others that commit the same violent crimes. Laws that allow those with power to violate the sanctity of the individual whether violently, emotionally, or financially.
1 person likes this
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
25 Jan 11
well i think i and others need to look at things for what they really are which is the truth. it may not sound politically correct to do that but that's what gets in the way of the truth at times. yes, politics gets in the way of the truth. quite frankly i don't even like the word politics. when i think of the word i think of words such as misleading,manipulating,debates that get no where, and not just looking at the facts. if you want the truth then look at the facts. then the problems can at least be addressed. the truth may not sound good but if you at least accept it(whether if hurts your feelings or not)then people can have a chance to try and fix it. bottom line is get the facts and start from there.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 11
Elmiko- I agree and I don't care for the coloring that politics brings to many subjects. We have to be able to address it as individuals. Namaste-Anora
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
25 Jan 11
It was not the seed, but it was the soil: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/12/2011947/born-in-hope-she-leaves-lesson.html The above is another article somewhat along the same lines. Is it too late? What should we do? I sometimes wonder if there is anything we really can do other than keep open minds, and teach our children well, and hope that the tide turns in the other direction....
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 11
Dawn- That is probably the very best we can do at this point in time. Namaste-Anora
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
25 Jan 11
Hi Anora, As a Canadian I will not comment on the United States. I can say however that we've had a very right wing government here in Canada for the past five years and during that time, we have moved much closer to what you are describing here. Attack adds against personalities were never the way to go here in Canada until the right wingers took over. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 11
Pose- I have a few close friends that live up in your part of the world and though we cannot truly state on the other country we do enjoy the sharing of ideas and similarities and differences. It is just the way knowledge is passed along. I respect your comments and thank you for the addition in information. Namaste-Anora