We started off this fine tradition in the early colonies when people who erred in some fashion were pilloried, put in stocks, or ridden out of town on a rail. “Tarring and feathering”, public execution, and the like exposed and humiliated in the most certain terms those who dared to speak or act outside accepted norms.
In the South, branding of humans was done, much as we brand cattle today to define whom they belong to. After the outlaw of slavery, race specific laws were enacted to do “define” (as if color weren’t good enough) the places where some members of the American community could go, eat, rest, live, and be buried.
We continued the practice when these “laws” were outlawed, but an invention called, “defacto”, which simply means that we all agree (nod, nod, wink, wink) to not sell homes in certain places to people not like us, to not serve them, to shun them in a sense.
We liked doing this so much we extended the practice to brown and yellow-skinned people at various times too. Of course, we had learned all about this segregating practice early on in our history as we had systematically pushed and cowered Native Peoples into small tracts of land, always worthless to us.
This is not to say that other countries haven’t done similar things. Germany under Adolph Hitler found it prudent to make the Jewish people in their land wear a sewn Star of David, to identify them to all the “Aryan” masses.
In virtually every town and city, there are the people who live on “the other side of the tracks”. We like to know where they are, and low-income housing is often kept in “communities” of similarly situated individuals. It’s a way of being able to tell “who is who” you know.
Children when they misbehave are put into the “corner” in a class room, and in some cases made to wear “dunces hats” to further identify them as malcontents. Bullying is a fine time-honored practice instituted by young children to publicly identify to each other, those who don’t “fit the bill.” I guess they learn it from cartoons or something.
Interesting this practice is so enjoyed by some, that they become bullying bosses, bullying husbands and wives, and bullying parents. It makes a person feel just grand to go to sleep at night knowing they’ve put those who by size, position, or temperament are victimizable.
One thing some Americans don’t like is welfare. Republicans and the religious right have been against it for years. Words like lazy, and no-account are used. Republicans don’t like it because they are blatant in their desire to keep every dang penny they have ever made. “Mine, mine, my pretty!” they disclaim.
The religious right is just about as greedy, but they slyly look for a better excuse, because they know that the bible says that money is just filthy lucre. So they twist them scriptures up real perdy, until it means that Jesus was no socialist, and God only wants justice. Justice is of course, that people who are hard up through no fault of their own, should get a helping hand, and the rest, well they should just sit on the curb until dead and the garbage man can cart them to the landfill.
The other thing that Republicans say a lot, is that they purely hate “guvtment interfering in our lives.” Why it’s an awful thing that Michelle Obama is trying to tell parents how to feed their kids, by pushing for healthier food in our school cafeterias and such. Pure socialistic parenting. It’s downright offensive.
But, now when it comes to those lazy no good welfare mamas, well, the guvment better damn well interfere. Those people are takin’ that money and using it for things they have no right to have. Why, they buy drugs, and cheap wine, and cigarettes. They buy CHEETOS! And that is OUR money they are spendin’ and we’ll have none of it.
MinneSO-TA has got this fine bill designed to do just that. While there is some dispute about the “criminality” aspect, it seeks to disallow any recipient of “aid” from either getting the money in cash, or having it deposited to their checking account. They are gonna get debit cards, which can be used only in “acceptable” establishments, and they can’t get more than $20 more than the purchase, ever.
So they have to work out something with the landlord (most of whom want cash only), and some way to pay electric and phone bills. That’s their problem.
Dammit, why can’t they just die or go away or something. Or better yet, maybe they should wear a scarlet P for Poor, so everybody knows who they are, and can just say NO for ‘em when they try to act like human beings and buy what they want, but what we don’t think they deserve or need. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket.
Crap, this country sucks sometimes.
- Jeff Biggers: Arizona’s Witch Hunt of Mexican/Ethnic Studies Begins This Week? (huffingtonpost.com)