Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DREAM: SOPHISTICATED RACISM...June 6, 2011..edited Nov. 29, 2011

I was given a task to disperse the property lots surrounding a church in a fair and just way. A map of the church location and the lots to be dispersed were pictured in the dream. The dream spent much time stressing the sadness that the process would reveal a deeply seated racism that all the white people involved believed they had overcome and put behind them. It was just an ugly reality and existed strongly among the white people who were receiving these properties as a gift. The problem was faced openly in its reality and the project was successfully completed.
Year Of Jubilee With The Great Relief  It Gave The Poor--  Painting
REFLECTION: Obama's presidency, regardless of what one thinks of his decisions and policies, has been a clear and open example of what this dream finds so sad, racism in America. Racism that is often so deep, insidious, and unconscious to the masses. Racism that many Americans believe in their hearts they have outgrown. Politically in America this racism goes hand in hand with a devaluation and blaming of the poor of all colors and races. It is also the mind set that has always supported the devaluation and marginalizing of women and gays. The dream image with its map of property parcels is reminiscent of the image of the land being divided among the Hebrew tribes. Every fifty years, called The year of Jubilee, people were released from overwhelming debt and all the land was returned to its original 'possessor tribe' so that too much wealth and nature's resources were not the claim of only a few. In America, racism and its parallels are a rational way to account for a national mentality that has resulted in the acceptance of about 1% of the population now controlling close to half of the produced wealth of the country. This unjust discrepancy can only stand as long as the average middle class person is willing to support and allow it. Even slaves no doubt often championed their masters. (This illness is a part of the unconscious 'worship' we humans project on to those in power. It has to be outgrown and replaced with a responsibility that 'faces openly the reality' of injustices in our social environment.)The dream says these are still very alive and needing to be 'faced openly' once again.

That  the racism problem  involves the church implies that church people are as likely to still be possessed with this evil as anyone else. I'll copy below a letter to the newspaper editor I submitted in August of 2008. I think the problem it discusses is very parallel to the central issue of the dream. Since becoming president the most successful and debilitating attacks on Obama have continued to have clear racial overtone. He is consistently , in ways unprecedented, presented insidiously as a dark, unknown, foreigner, one not to be trusted for he is so 'unlike us.' This kind of irrational slander is anchored in unowned racism by all who participate in it and who find it politically acceptable and even patriotic to our nation's, or the church's, highest values. I am proud that, since I wrote the article, America proved that it was able to rise above the kind of racism that was applied against Obama's candidacy by electing him as our president. However, the same kinds of racial fear has continued to be a primary motivator, and likely still quite unconscious, to undermine Obama's efforts to lead the the nation.
Barack Obama

A seriously immoral thing is happening in our nation’s search for a president. I refer to the deeply cynical way that a man’s potential to become the first black American president is being attacked. Our country is discovering more about its less honorable side as a black man gets nearer the highest office.

It happened recently in as sinister a way as I could imagine. I’ll Assume the reader has seen the ad against Obama featuring Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton. This logically unsupportable statement has been touted as being a ‘good ad’ by John McCain and by Senator Joseph Lieberman. Their stated explanation of the ad is that it presents 'Obama as only a celebrity' with no more capacity to be President than either of the pop icons. The claim is so obviously preposterous it deserves no serious response. Both men excuse it further by implying it is cute and clever. Their shamelessness is astounding. The senators claim that the attack on Obama has nothing to do with race but that Obama has instead played the ‘race card’ by saying he does not look like any previous president.

It grieves me to be so explicit about these things. But it is frightening if a person of color can be attacked like this and few Americans seem to see what is really being attempted. There is nothing in our country's history that has proven itself more negatively destructive at the deepest, often unconscious, level than combined racial and sexual fear. In our national past a black man in any village was viewed as likely setting his mind on taking sexual liberties with a 'white man's daughter or wife.' There have been more than a few lynchings to come out of such racial/sexual fears. (This common theme is portrayed in the movie To Kill A Mocking Bird.) 
Atticus Defends Tom, Wrongly Accused of Raping A White Woman
This ad is an attempt to use that horrendous myth which still lives in the darkest place of white men's psyche. Such unethical tactics can unfortunately work. It can result in otherwise sane and fair minded people erroneously doubting the ethical character of a man who is clearly one of the most intelligent, talented , and capable political leaders our nation has produced in decades. When such covert attacks slip into the public arena without being named as deplorable by thoughtful citizens, it is a serious indication that our nation can still be duped; fooled into allowing the deeply embedded irrational fears related to race and sex to have a major effect on selecting the next president. So I feel compelled to state clearly and explicitly my concern that what's happening is a spiritual and moral issue of the highest order.

This ad actually contains the most venomous combination of racism and sexism imaginable, for it strikes with the mostly unconscious stereotypes that still sleep in the basement of the white American psyche. This ad seeks to place on Barak Obama two of the most sinister and false stereotypes that have been, since the days of slavery, cast onto American black males. Featuring a black man and two white female sex icons it seeks to give life to the superstition that black men are determined to ‘sexually have’ and exploit white women; that black men have a devilish sex drive toward forbidden white women, and thus can never be trusted. (And someone we can trust is an essential for being President.) Also aimed at Obama is the malignant superstition that if a black man gets too much positive public attention and approval, he will get out of ‘his place’, is ‘too big for his britches’, and becomes an ‘out of control boy' or 'uppity black' who doesn't abide by appropriate social boundaries. Again, the scare tactic is, ' he can't be trusted.' I’ll never forget as a child hearing such comments from 'respected people' about our town’s few black professional people. It nauseates me to see such maliciousness alive now as America attempts to intelligently choose a president. Sadly, it is this dark side of otherwise good people that the creators of this kind of advertising are shooting for. They know the potential and will relentlessly exploit it if there is no public outcry.

Senator Obama shows remarkable emotional courage in responding to such race based attacks. (I have no way of knowing if Senators McCain and Lieberman are psychologically aware of just how racist these tactics are. But someone knows exactly what they are doing.) Obama's comment about being 'different than what one sees on American coins' exemplifies a tasteful humor and harmless joking at his own expense. To call such behavior as 'playing the race card' is to reveal just how little the complainer understands the deadly nature of real racism. Such comments have nothing in common with the kind of venomous racism that is being peddled in this ad. Senator Obama can’t say what I am saying here. He's at the mercy of the thoughtful intelligence and basic psychological awareness of the American people; to see through such unethical attacks and to denounce them, regardless of one’s political preferences. Rev Jim Hibbett
August 11, 2008

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