Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Great Divide

If today proved anything, anything at all, it's that we live in a country divided between Intellectuals and Morons.

I'm always eager to debate; always. I've loved debating ever since I could first argue a point and convince my fellow man, and oftentimes I find myself being the one convinced by an opposing opinion.
It's a great expression of freedom, and healthy open debate is the truest sign of a prosperous democracy.

Hence my utter disbelief that we continue to live among those who are so narrow minded, so embalmed in bigotry, so steeped in intolerance that they cannot fathom an opinion to exist outside of their own.
I've had the displeasure of encountering some of those people today, and it's honestly a place I never want to visit again.

More people have died in the name of religion than for any other cause known to man.
This is fact, not fiction.
Google it, Wikipedia it, Britannica it. The result will always be the same.
Conversely, more people could have survived senseless killings in the name of religion if only they allowed themselves to be more accepting of others; of our fellow man; of the belief system of total strangers.
You don't have to embrace or accept it. You simply have to respect their right to an opposing view.
Just be tolerant. That's all it really takes.

I engaged a guy in debate today who felt I was being racist for the comment I made in my previous blog post.
"Indians have been in South Africa for 150 years already, yet some still speak like they just stepped off the ship."
He found this comment racist.
Ok, let's have an intellectual debate about it then.
I'm an Indian myself. That tends to dilute his argument of racism somewhat.
I clearly said "... yet some still speak like they just stepped off the ship."
That removes his argument abut it being a generalisation.
Then I find out that his favourite tweet is a joke about the Muslim faith and the turbans some men wear.
Ironic, maybe. Contradictory, possibly. Hypocritical, absolutely!

As I said earlier, i'm willing to debate anybody on any topic provided it's kept intellectual.
As the old saying goes, "Don't argue with a fool. People may not be able to tell the difference."

I got asked the question today "Where do you draw the line?"
Quite honestly, if you start off with the premise that we should respect and tolerate, you never really need to draw a line. The problem most people have is understanding that one could respect and tolerate whilst maintaining a sense of humour.
We listen freely to Black jokes and Jewish jokes and Muslim jokes and Irish jokes and Fat jokes and Homosexual jokes and Lesbian jokes. We laugh heartily at all of the above and a thousand other genres.
Suddenly when we're presented with an opportunity to reflect upon ourselves and laugh at ourselves, we choose the cowards option and run for the race card, or the culture card, or any other card that allows us to cower beneath the banner of Bigotry.
As far as i'm concerned, this is our single biggest downfall as a nation toward letting go of the shackles of our past.

We need to chill more, and be more chilled.
We need to stop assuming that every person who does not look like we do, does not believe in the God we do, does not have the same complexion as we do, is the enemy!
What total hogwash!
I shudder at the thought that my daughter or any member of my family for that matter, is part of a society that is no enshrouded in bigotry!
Unbelievably narrow-minded!

Thats my rant for tonight.
Be an intellectual. Step away from the shadow of the Moron.
And for Gods sake stop sounding and acting like you just stepped off the ship!