The shocking 2010 video of an obviously deranged psychotic by the name of Clay Duke walking into a Panama City, Florida School Board meeting and opening fire on its board members, makes everyone, especially school board members, ask if that can happen to them.
The scary answer is “yes,” if you consider how it seems we’re at a place in our society where our very way of exchanging ideas seems psychotic. Or, as the definition goes “abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality.”
Think of how many times psychotic behavior is displayed each day. It could be someone expressing an unusually dramatic reaction to someone’s throw-away comment. Or over-reaction to a person on an airplane who’s wearing Muslim religious headdress. The overall idea that “someone is out to get you” is coupled with people who make threats to the same people. And all for no reason. The Internet has become the great bullhorn for people who may, either temporarily or permanently have such problems.
The lousy economy, getting better for some though, doesn’t help. Neither does the overall loss of civility in American society. Little by little, we seem to think it’s OK to be mean to each other. And in the video game world, people trash talking while “blowing each other away” is common. Some of that, the trash talking part, has seeped into normal life.
On top of all that, schools don’t teach people how to embrace diversity. So, in a tight economy, the idea that someone with or without skin color is doing better than the person who think’s things are messed up, can reach psychotic levels.
Take a look at the website forum Stormfront, where forum titles like “Affirmative Action, and how it screwed me!” and “BLACK GUY PROBLEM, help!!!” draw up to tens of thousands of “threads.” And all on a site that’s one of the ten largest in the World.
The problem is that we seems to have some people who insist on giving in to their desire to hate, rather than practicing the ability to empathize with the other person.
Consider our cable news, where Fox News is conservative and MSNBC is liberal and both are beating the ratings pants off CNN, which doesn’t know what it wants to be. But why should CNN pick a side in a fight between extremes? Why fight at all?
With all of that, it’s easy to think these are scary times, but there are good people out there. You just have to look for them, and practice being one of them.