Friday, January 06, 2006

human nature and katrina

A good look into human nature from Snoopes / Barbara Mikkelson

Warring with compassion for the victims of Hurricane Katrina is anxiety over one's safe haven being invaded by outsiders, but because the latter is not a nice emotion to admit to experiencing, it needs be reframed as justifiable concern in light of the odious nature of the folks elbowing their way in. By presenting the evacuees as rude or ungrateful or as the crime-riddled worst dregs of society, garden variety xenophobia is cloaked in the more respectable mantle of entirely defensible fear for one's safety and/or distaste for objectionable behavior. In such fashion, the internal tug of war between the selfless ("My heart goes out to these people; what can I do to help?") and the self-centered ("I like my town just the way it is; I hope the refugees don't come here") is quelled.


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