[Once again, Global Voices Online gives wings to My words, this time about My blogger ethics. It's like Janine Mendes-Franco is a wizard or something. Or is she a witch? Okay, I should stop right there...]
I had an uncle who once told Me: "If you get slapped, turn the other cheek. But if you get slapped again, beat the shit out of the bastard because Jesus didn't say anything about what to do after turning the cheek."
I did put his words into practice a few times, with mixed results. Often, I was unable to turn the other cheek. When I did, and got hit again, I'd always go off and though I tried to win every fight, I lost a few. My bottom line was: I'd fight even if the reason was wrong.
Now I look at My Island and I see a people that turn the other cheek 3-4 times, pretend their neck is a cheek, offer up butt cheeks, use their kids' cheeks, write "cheek" on their hands and offer those up for beatings, anything to avoid the "Fuck it, it's time to fight" moment. As Jenius commenter (and outright Genius) Prometeo stated in his blog, We're "soft." (He used a different word; I'm letting you discover which one.) I called Us "cowards." Time to revisit that insult.
Within days of arriving in Puerto Rico, a person will be confronted by an island awash in problems. Here's a partial list: sub-standard (and sometimes sub-human) education; rampant political corruption; enormous unemployment; welfare recipients by the hundreds of thousands; overwhelming crime and underachieving law enforcement; consumerist mentality linked to a stagnant economy; religious leaders that act like criminals; media that acts like traitors and a self-image that seems to be based more on delusion and id than on pride and self-confidence. In short, We are fucked up.
But are We really doing anything about it? About anything on that list?
We are. We have to be. Somebody, somewhere, in some way, is doing something, however small, to plug the crumbling dam of Our society. It's impossible, even for Us, to have everyone being corrupt, for everyone to be a slacker, for all of Us to be parasites, for each of Our people to be a walking waste of human flesh, like Our politicians. Some of Us are saving Us...from Us.
But in the math of social disintegration, it isn't necessary for everyone to be a crook, thief, rapist, murderer, abuser, pederast or politician: it's enough that the good let the bad flourish. In short, the bad grows when the good allow it.
I don't have to be a bad person or engage in bad acts to aid and abet in the disintegration of My society: I simply have to be indifferent. To the bad. And even to the good, for if I don't acknowledge the good, and thus offer it support, I am "dis-encouraging" it as an acceptable path.
Now I can claim I'm too busy or too important or too caring about My family or too tired or whatever to try to excuse My indifference. Any way you choose to try to excuse it, all you're really doing is choosing to turn the other cheek.
Again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.
At what point does one look at this behavior, where in the face of active attempts against a person that person does nothing, and say "S/He is soft"? At what point, as this non-reaction continues, does someone say "S/He is a coward"? At what point does someone say "S/He deserves every bit of pain they get, for they have done nothing to reject it"?
I passed the point of calling Us "cowards" long ago. I'm pretty damn sure I'm very close to looking at My Brethren and saying We deserve everything We've had and have coming to Us.
Or maybe I passed that point already and I'm too soft to acknowledge it.
The Jenius Has Spoken.