Saturday, April 4, 2009
This is the first part of a You Tube video of Ryan Moats being pulled over by a Dallas cop. You really should watch the entire video though to get a feel for what happens. A better version is on the Dallas Morning News paper.
Yahoo News has an article today on Elwin Hope Wilson, a racist nasty bigot who has repented and is seeking forgiveness for his past. His story is amazing for the people whose lives he affected, one of whom is Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta. Picture every caricature Hollywood has ever made of a white Southern bigot filled with hate and apparently Elwin Wilson would have fit the bill. He is now 72 years old with diabetes and in ill health and does not want to go to hell and is seeking forgiveness for his past sins.
It is not up to me or anyone else except the people who he hurt to offer that forgiveness. Many of them have. Many have questioned his reasons. Is it only fear that motivates the man? Does an eternity in hell terrify him so that he is trying to find a way into heaven? Does being a racist keep you out of heaven? Or is it the hate that keeps you out of heaven? It is amazing what fear will motivate people to do. The consequences of some actions, as all parents can attest to, can be a great motivator to better behavior. Doesn't mean you don't want to do the bad thing but that the cost of doing the bad thing is too high.
I love to drive fast. I want to drive 90 mph down Rancho California Road or Butterfield Stage Road here in Temecula all the time. There are a lot of reasons why I do not. I know Officer Nelson would track me down and give me a ticket and probably haul my ass to jail for driving recklessly. (The man loves to give me tickets for doing the California Rolling Stop. Go figure.) I don't want to go to jail, I don't want to pay the ticket, I don't want to have my insurance premiums skyrocket...and I know how incredibly fucking stupid it is. The speed limit now on Butterfield is 55 mph with very few stops signs. I love it. But I absolutely come uncorked when some bozo in front of me goes 54 mph. Do they not see the damn speed limit? And god forbid they go 50 or 45 mph. I know most people assume the speed limit is 45 but it is not. I get so mad I want to become Inspector Gadget, grow my go, go gadget arms, reach into their car, rip off the damn hat they are wearing (stupid drivers always seem to wear hats or beanies), and wring their bloody necks.
But I behave because I cannot imagine driving on a street where anyone can go any speed they choose. Grandpa Joe would drive 35 and this speed demon would go 90 and that is a horrible accident waiting to happen. I KNOW it is unsafe and irrational and I obey the speed limits laws for those reasons, too. It is the rational thing to do.
If you believe in heaven and hell, then I guess it would be rational to try to get into heaven. Hell does not sound like too much fun. But does being a racist keep you out of heaven? My dad is a first-generation American whose parents were from Mexico. Growing up with him, he used every racist term for other people there was. He grew up in a small mining town in Arizona where the local golf course was for whites only, Mexicans were taught they were good for certain jobs only. I understand his anger but it was an embarrassment to me growing up. Martin Luther King was preaching tolerance at that time. The content of one's character is what mattered which resonated with me. Pigment is skin deep, it does not define who you are. Yes, people react to the pigment which has always seemed so stupid to me. Because my skin is brown, what? What does that say about me? But after a lifetime of your pigment defining how OTHER people think of you, I guess it can shape and define your character. But my dad was generous with everyone of every color and invited everyone into his home.
Everyone of every color is racist in some way. George Lopez is a Mexican racist. Maybe. His portrayal of whites is embarrassing to watch but I laugh like hell when he tells stories about being Mexican, so I guess I should stop thinking of it as being racist. He makes Mexicans sound as stupid and as smart as anyone else. Does it matter what's in his heart? Is it only actions that matter? Does only God judge motives? Is it only God who should know what's in your heart?
I think being a bigot is a whole different ballgame. Bigots frighten me. My daughter had a friend who dated a skinhead for a long time. Long enough for me to not like her anymore. I used to tell my daughter, who looks like a little white girl (her dad is blonde and blue eyed and she has reddish brown hair and gray eyes) what this skinhead would do if he knew she was half Mexican? She told me she really did not care. I had to remind her that I did not care what he SAID, I cared what he DID. Apparently Fallbrook, close to Temecula, has a large population of white supremacists and I always worry when they go to bonfires out in the sticks. She has friends of every race and they all go out there together and I worry. The skinheads have been dormant for a long time out here, so maybe they all moved.
I think Elwin Wilson was a bigot. A scary horrible bigot, willing to inflict violence and harm, and did not mind doing so. When asked why he did those things, why he hated blacks so, he has no answer. He did not grow up he says with parents who taught him those things. So where did it come from?
I think perhaps he needs to figure that one out first.