Jun 8, 2009

Jerusalem Hate Video, Day Two

Now that I’ve had a day to live with my visceral reaction to those bitter young humanoids on yesterday’s video, I realize that I pretty much belabored the obvious. I could have even added fuel to the fire if anyone had been listening.

Although I still wonder if ignoring the whole ugly episode would be the most effective response, here are some further, calmer responses, which might more sense.

Who is the filmmaker? What led him to these kids? What is his interest in exposing them and their . . . “views”? Was there any attempt to engage any of them, one at a time, in a meaningful conversation, with coffee, the next day?

I have a feeling the filmmaker supports Obama’s willingness to sit down for discussions with our real and potential enemies—in the hope that conversation and debate can prevent mass murder. Is that the mindset of the filmmaker in this video? Is he only trying to stir up hatred, or is he trying to expose it so that we can plan on how to deal with it—soothe it, resist it? I’m honestly not sure, particularly after looking into the matter just a bit.

If you google Mondoweiss, you’ll get some tentative answers, though I found these two sites a bit more informative. (Max Blumenthal’s credentials surely sound solid).



As I tried to say yesterday, we’re all probably angry or even enraged about various wounds. So I wonder—does anyone else?—how one to learn the inner workings of hate-filled minds like these. Is there a way to massage them and lead drunkenly tilted little lambs to some peaceful interest in exploring issues and other peoples?
Isn’t that what the president hopes to do in cases like Iran and North Korea? Or does hate just feel too good to forego?

Of course, if these were Israeli kids, the whole matter would be at least somewhat understandable. I’m not about to speak for people exposed to the sounds and sights of war on a regular (daily?) basis.

However, most or all of the kids in the video seemed to be American. One of the comments on the http://maxblumenthal.com site (above) says that American Jews voted 77% to 22% for Obama. If that’s at all accurate, who are the kids in the video, what’s got them so worked up, and how concerned about them do we need to be?

Their rage comes from somewhere, and their unearned hatred for the president or African Americans in general is surely a smoke screen for what actually troubles them. But how does a journalist or shrink or mentor or parent or parent surrogate guide them through their rage (whether real or imagined, rhetorical rage), beyond their oversimplifications, to discover the source of their hurt?

Still, I wonder, has anyone tried to sit down with each of these kids and genuinely listen? I’ve never resented the money legitimate shrinks make, listening without judgment for hour upon hour to other humans groping for and maybe speaking their irrationalities.

As listeners, most of us can’t last five minutes. American conversation has become a shouting match, a competition. Maybe that’s a topic for another day—someone, please feel free to start that conversation.

Then again, how much time can we afford to spend trying to figure them out, assuming that that’s possible or useful? Coaxing out and treating real causes may be impossible; maybe all we can do for such children is to watch and control as necessary, as we now do with some cancers.

Finally, how does one learn what portion of American youth are this enraged about something—and this inarticulate? Their inebriation is only a partial answer, and we need to know how concerned we should be. Even in the present economic crisis, the question keeps surfacing: are we a proud mosaic? a melting pot? Or are we a chaotic mess of factions, ready to lash out at each other—without really knowing why?

No comments:

Lovers' Lane