Own It: I find moral panics both bothersome and intriguing. On the one hand, I know them to be lame attempts to disrupt, distract, and divide, typically around race. Yet as a strategy, it is so effective at snaring a large segment of the community. Why? Why are individuals so easily triggered emotionally to the extent that they can’t think straight?
Feel It: These moral panics get me shaking my head: I’m no longer amazed, nor surprised by the panic it creates. As I dive deeper into my spiritual journey, I feel sad. Good people want to care about issues that matter. And the technique of moral panics is jerking their chain: intentionally causing stress, pain, dis-ease, outrage, and strife.
All these intentionally negative disruptions cause tears in the fabric of peace and unity within the individual and the community. Wisdom studies identify these acts of disruption as a mindset, a spirit, if you will. It is a mindset of hate, hostility, and confusion. Individuals are warned to beware of these tactics and people who use them. These warnings are found everywhere: in theology, religion, spirituality, humanist studies, psychology, sociology, and just plain common sense. And yet, so many fall prey to its emotional moralistic triggers.
For my Christian friends, I think on Colossians 3: 12-17. The two ideas in these passages inform me to know that the wisdom contained in these writings are worthy of consideration; and second, that this source of wisdom recognizes and acknowledges that there is a longing in individuals to experience freedom from the moralistic regulations and religious systems that enslave them. Here is how to do so: “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Live It: So I chose to write. I seek to draw to me, those individuals who seek enlightenment through my process of studying critical race theory and bias. The sharing, I believe, will elevate us all now. There is so much good information and communities of consciousness available to anyone who seeks a deeper and richer understating of reality (that is to say, humans on a planet spinning wildly through the cosmos). This process includes creating a life well lived as an individual living in community with the world.
Love It: For me, life on this planet is a vastly interesting human experience that brings me more joy than angst. My intention is to share this experience and welcome you, in the spirit to love, to join me.
Beware of all or nothing thinking.
As to Kaepernick: Remember that individuals have the cherished right to free speech. Each individual must bear responsibility for their own life’s journey. Protest and dissent is a precious American value. It may not be the choice you would make, but it’s their life choice and ought to be respected.
And lastly, Lotche and personal responsibility: the truth matters. Lies (including embellishments, exaggerations, half-truths, and boulder dash), especially when designed to shift the blame for one’s own bad judgments and decisions, onto others and in the process attack the core being of the other’s human dignity, is just plain wrong, period.
These events ought not to be causes for individual or community moral panic. However, it is cause for seeing the reality of democracy at work (Kaepernick), and for seeing the reality of bad decisions made by an immature adult (Lotche).