Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega
Chicago, Illinois, USA
September 11
A (Sometimes) Respectable Negro
Editor and Founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes He has been a guest on the BBC, Ring of Fire Radio, Ed Schultz, Joshua Holland's Alternet Radio Hour, the Burt Cohen show, and Our Common Ground. His essays have been featured by Salon, Alternet, the New York Daily News, and the Daily Kos. The NY Times, the Daily Beast, the Utne Reader, Washington Monthly, Slate, and the Week (among others) have featured his expert commentary and analysis on race, politics, and popular culture.

Chauncey DeVega's Links

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 6, 2011 2:37PM

Did You Know that America is Becoming a Cruel(er) Nation?

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Blitzer pressed on: “But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?” Someone in the audience shouted, “Yeah!” And the crowd roared in approval.
A characteristic that these exchanges have in common is cruelty. Cruelty is a close cousin to injustice, yet it is different. Injustice and its opposite, justice—perhaps the most commonly used standards for judging the health of the body politic—are political criteria par excellence, and apply above all to systems and their institutions.
Cruelty and its opposites, kindness, compassion and decency, are more personal. They are apolitical qualities that nevertheless have political consequences. A country’s sense of decency stands outside and above its politics, checking and setting limits on abuses. An unjust society must reform its laws and institutions. A cruel society must reform itself.
There have been many signs recently that the United States has been traveling down a steepening path of cruelty. It’s hard to say why such a thing is occurring, but it seems to have to do with a steadily growing faith in force as the solution to almost any problem, whether at home or abroad.
We are the little man behind the stove. We are the miner's canary and the conscience of a nation. Double consciousness is a gift and a burden for we who are the Dark Princes and Dark Princesses of this new/old world. We who are "niggerized" understand existential terror. We are burdened by this insight; we are pained by this reality; we are empowered and made stronger for and by it.

We who are Other have a gifted insight into the nature of power and the meanness of humanity that those of the in-group, in bed with Whiteness, who embody it, swim in its ether, and breath it as lifeblood do not. Ironically, Whiteness practices cruelty with expert ease; its owner-practitioners feign ignorance and live in denial of said fact.

In the aftermath of the monster's ball that has been the Tea Party GOP's debates to this point, where they have ghoulishly cheered murder, bigotry, and death, some have experienced shock and made to feel aghast. The discovery of Rick Perry's "Niggerhead" was also greeted with surprise by some among the pundit classes and public at large. The Nation magazine picked up this thread with its essay "Cruel America."

We who are the Other are not allowed such childish notions of feigned surprise at the meanness on display by the Right, the kleptocrats, and the Tea Party GOP. As I pointed out several weeks ago, the latter is a death cult; a mean spirited and cruel politics is their Eucharist. In all, for those Others who know power and have suffered under it, we are not allowed such naive, willful, and forced innocence. The stakes for us are simply too high to entertain the myopic worldview that is Whiteness and the white racial frame.

Jonathan Schell continues his musings on cruelty with:
We might also draw a connection between these abuses and the current direction of budgetary decisions, in which, as in the readiness to deny healthcare to the dying, a pitiless will to deprive suffering people of whatever aid they may be receiving is evident.
The list of cuts, achieved or proposed, on the right-wing agenda is too long to recite, but recent examples include the astonishing obstruction of assistance to recent victims of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee unless other programs are cut; opposition to extending unemployment benefits; defeat of the Dream Act, which would give immigrant children a path to citizenship; opposition to spending for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) as well as Head Start, and so on.
It appears that no one is so unfortunate that he or she is exempt from spending cuts, while at the same time no one is so fortunate as to be ineligible for a tax cut. Budget decisions do not involve the death penalty, yet for many they are matters of life and death.
America is a cruel nation. She always has been. In many ways she remains so today. In the past America reveled in its meanness without apology, self-consciousness, or embarrassment. At present, many, the Right and conservatives especially so, are blinded by the glare of American exceptionalism and dreams of a shining city on a hill: these are natural reactions for a people who live in denial of America's decline as an empire.
As flag waivers for the American tradition they are cruel too, but conservatives and the Right are able to find ways to make themselves into victims when the meanness of their politics are placed center stage and made transparent.

The echoes of history. Here is one account of American cruelty that speaks back to Rick Perry's Niggerhead nostalgia, his sundown town halcyon dreams of youth, and the howling screams of the Tea Party GOP audience at the death of their fellow man.


Paris, Texas, Feb. 1, 1893.—Henry Smith, the negro ravisher of 4-year-old Myrtle Vance, has expiated in part his awful crime by death at the stake. Ever since the perpetration of his awful crime this city and the entire surrounding country has been in a wild frenzy of excitement. When the news came last night that he had been captured at Hope, Ark., that he had been identified by B. B. Sturgeon, James T. Hicks, and many other of the Paris searching party, the city was wild with joy over the apprehension of the brute. Hundreds of people poured into the city from the adjoining country and the word passed from lip to lip that the punishment of the fiend should fit the crime—that death by fire was the penalty Smith should pay for the most atrocious murder and terrible outrage in Texas history. Curious and sympathizing alike, they came on train and wagons, on horse, and on foot to see if the frail mind of a man could think of a way to sufficiently punish the perpetrator of so terrible a crime. Whisky shops were closed, unruly mobs were dispersed, schools were dismissed by a proclamation from the mayor, and everything was done in a business-like manner.

About 2 o’clock Friday a mass meeting was called at the courthouse and captains appointed to search for the child. She was found mangled beyond recognition, covered with leaves and brush as above mentioned. As soon as it was learned upon the recovery of the body that the crime was so atrocious the whole town turned out in the chase. The railroads put up bulletins offering free transportation to all who would join in the search. Posses went in every direction, and not a stone was left unturned. Smith was tracked to Detroit on foot, where he jumped on a freight train and left for his old home in Hempstead County, Arkansas. To this county he was tracked and yesterday captured at Clow, a flag station on the Arkansas & Louisiana railway about twenty miles north of Hope. Upon being questioned the fiend denied everything, but upon being stripped for examination his undergarments were seen to be spattered with blood and a part of his shirt was torn off. He was kept under heavy guard at Hope last night, and later on confessed the crime.

This morning he was brought through Texarkana, where 5,000 people awaited the train. . . . At that place speeches were made by prominent Paris citizens, who asked that the prisoner be not molested by Texarkana people, but that the guard be allowed to deliver him up to the outraged and indignant citizens of Paris. Along the road the train gathered strength from the various towns, the people crowded upon the platforms and tops of coaches anxious to see the lynching and the negro who was soon to be delivered to an infuriated mob.

Arriving here at 12 o’clock the train was met by a surging mass of humanity 10,000 strong. The negro was placed upon a carnival float in mockery of a king upon his throne, and, followed by an immense crowd, was escorted through the city so that all might see the most inhuman monster known in current history. The line of march was up Main street to the square, around the square down Clarksville street to Church street, thence to the open prairies about 300 yards from the Texas & Pacific depot. Here Smith was placed upon a scaffold, six feet square and ten feet high, securely bound, within the view of all beholders. Here the victim was tortured for fifty minutes by red-hot iron brands thrust against his quivering body. Commencing at the feet the brands were placed against him inch by inch until they were thrust against the face. Then, being apparently dead, kerosene was poured upon him, cottonseed hulls placed beneath him and set on fire. In less time than it takes to relate it, the tortured man was wafted beyond the grave to another fire, hotter and more terrible than the one just experienced.

Curiosity seekers have carried away already all that was left of the memorable event, even to pieces of charcoal. The cause of the crime was that Henry Vance when a deputy policeman, in the course of his duty was called to arrest Henry Smith for being drunk and disorderly. The Negro was unruly, and Vance was forced to use his club. The Negro swore vengeance, and several times assaulted Vance. In his greed for revenge, last Thursday, he grabbed up the little girl and committed the crime. The father is prostrated with grief and the mother now lies at death’s door, but she has lived to see the slayer of her innocent babe suffer the most horrible death that could be conceived.

Words to describe the awful torture inflicted upon Smith cannot be found. The Negro, for a long time after starting on the journey to Paris, did not realize his plight. At last when he was told that he must die by slow torture he begged for protection. His agony was awful. He pleaded and writhed in bodily and mental pain. Scarcely had the train reached Paris than this torture commenced. His clothes were torn off piecemeal and scattered in the crowd, people catching the shreds and putting them away as mementos.
The child’s father, her brother, and two uncles then gathered about the Negro as he lay fastened to the torture platform and thrust hot irons into his quivering flesh. It was horrible—the man dying by slow torture in the midst of smoke from his own burning flesh. Every groan from the fiend, every contortion of his body was cheered by the thickly packed crowd of 10,000 persons. The mass of beings 600 yards in diameter, the scaffold being the center. After burning the feet and legs, the hot irons—plenty of fresh ones being at hand—were rolled up and down Smith’s stomach, back, and arms. Then the eyes were burned out and irons were thrust down his throat.
The men of the Vance family have wreaked vengeance, the crowd piled all kinds of combustible stuff around the scaffold, poured oil on it and set it afire. The Negro rolled and tossed out of the mass, only to be pushed back by the people nearest him. He tossed out again, and was roped and pulled back. Hundreds of people turned away, but the vast crowd still looked calmly on. People were here from every part of this section. They came from Dallas, Fort Worth, Sherman, Denison, Bonham, Texarkana, Fort Smith, Ark., and a party of fifteen came from Hempstead County, Arkansas, where he was captured. Every train that came in was loaded to its utmost capacity, and there were demands at many points for special trains to bring the people here to see the unparalleled punishment for an unparalleled crime. When the news of the burning went over the country like wildfire, at every country town anvils boomed forth the announcement.

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america was born and bred in racism and genocide. The nation has, since that time, only had cruelty embedded into its national soul.

Until courageous people like You are willing to expose this phenomena, cruelty will continue to be as, nay more american than apple pie.

My only addendum would be with Your title: "america is becoming a cruel nation." I would have it america is becoming a cruelER nation.

Thanks for this extraordinary post.

great point, appreciated, and acted upon.
It is YOU, Chauncey, whom I appreciate for having the courage to post this in the face of all the deniers, dissemblers, revisionists, and outright liars.
There are no words to describe the horror of this torture.
Have things changed since 1893?
I am afraid,not.Being caged in at a death trak for many years,or the latest story of imprisonment at Guantanamo ,or the execution of Troy Davis are examples of cruelty.
To begin with:Afro Americans were captured and forced to accept slavery.
Nowadays,they are still discriminated.
How long does it take for a nation to overcome prejudism?
I was shocked to find out that there is a hate campaign against Prime Minister B.Obama in full swing.
Thank you,Chauncey,for your courage to post this excellent report on the subject.
My Father was beaten for a very serious crime against WHITENESS- speaking in Hawaiian, on multiple occasions, by people in their "official" capacity as "Lunas" (overseers, and, unbelievably, teachers!). My Grandfather much worse. Many Hawaiians slaughtered, the Massie Case, similar to, but not nearly as horrific as Texas- yet absolutely terrible in its defining of WHITENESS v. Others, occurred in Honolulu in 1932, my Parents well aware of what happened, and why.

The Tea Party, I say again and again has 3 components: 1. The Klan/JohnBirch/Koch-Welch crowd of horrible haters (ie THE VULGARIANS) as no less than Bill Buckley called them.; 2. The tri-tip hat, US flag apparel group of libertine eccentrics who are always present in US political organizations, and their Uncle Sam outfits; 3. The normal, scared to death folks who have everything in common with Occupy Wall St.

We need to, as Buckley did, separate #3 and #2. from the hating, horrid, horrible #1's.

Auwe (Alas)
@Markinjapan. Thanks. We have greatness, and that greatness can (re)captured not by avoiding the truth, but by embracing it and learning from it.

@Heidi. History is the present.

@Oahu. This history of U.S. colonialism in Hawaii is so little understood here on the mainland.
Terrific piece, Chauncey, heartfelt and well written. I apologize in advance.. I feel my comment may get long.

I'm not shocked and don't know how others can be by Rick Perry's latest reveal. Perry is a right wing governor who has never gotten a leg up by the African American voters. That's the case for most of the far right lunatics.

Ages before Rick Perry had a slur on a sign, the Romans used lions devouring humans for theater. All races have suffered mercilessly over the centuries. It seems quite a few people don't take into consideration how one gets into power in the first place. It's not by putting a tip in a homeless man's cup. It ain't pretty what it takes to get to the top rung.

Just because America used to be a super power doesn't mean it's citizens will be onboard with equality and clearly they are not. For one thing we as a people, in general, are too docile to make real change without a strong leader to organize and guide us so that there is a cohesive message, unit, fight. And racism, like any form of hatred is born out of fear. If there is poverty there will be far more fear and ignorance. In other countries, where people are not taught to read, some of the most atrocious acts are carried out: beheadings, dismemberment, burnings… Not just in the past, but now, right now. With nary a peep out of our media.

Although I love being an American, I realize this country has never been the dream so many imagine it to be. The majority of people don't realize the brutality we've embraced, all across the world. The list of mass murderers America has helped is vast. To name a few:

Hitler - was helped via the biggest American corporations from Henry Ford, General Motors, Dupont, and Chase National Bank all trading with the Third Reich from beginning to end of his regime. President Roosevelt was seemingly powerless to stop it fearing a scandal might lead to another stock market crash.

Papa Doc / Baby Doc - destroyers of Haiti. While this destruction was in progress the American tax payer dollars were given as aid and yet the government knew full well the Duvaliers were pocketing all the cash. Haiti became the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. And look at it now?

Turgut Ozal - Prime Minister of Turkey and addicted to torturing his people. Mass graves a'plenty. Back in the 80's Turkey could do no wrong in our government's eyes. It was (and may still be?) one of the CIA’s key listening posts on the Soviet border. Despite the rampant carnage and oppression/suppression that Ozal administered, Turkey was the third largest recipient of U.S. aid. Our tax payer dollars.

Why do the terrorist hate us? It certainly isn't because they "hate our freedoms." That mantra is garbage as is the idea that they are the sole monsters in this world. At one of the recent GOP debates, Ron Paul broached the issues and got Boo'd. All evidence points to the fact that people don't want to hear truth--personally or globally. They like to quickly demonize someone and carry on believing it. It's easier that way and backups their general fears. Fox News is brilliant at providing these people fodder for fear. Questioning everything is exhausting on those who work so hard just to survive. On the scared. -?Who craves to hear the honest to goodness truth about how America aids in murdering throngs of people and has for a very long time? That's why the terrorists hate us, we have killed their people and occupied their land. Often leaving it in a shambles after departure.

In this country, racism and its collective horrors don't even compare to the horrendous acts that have happened via our tax payer money, spanning decades in lands far away. Millions dead and counting.
america's brown people are well aware of the nation's character, though some achieve prosperity and forgetfulness.
When I was teaching middle school in South Central LA, I used to have to listen to the principal speak every day about another hero in Black History Month.

It came to me, that a month should be set aside for White History Month, to honor those great white men who made history civilization -- people like Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Speck. Because when you want a homocidal mass murderer psychopath -- nothing ever beats a white man in that category.
oh lord jesus, we're less cruel now......this is a post that's going to haunt me for a while.
Though we do immolate foreigners in quantity if not such exquisitely deliberate quality
I'll never forget the day when this exchange took place between the american secretary of state on 60 Minutes:

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

--60 Minutes (5/12/96)
I certainly can’t argue with the sentiment but I don’t see “strange fruit hanging from poplar trees.” The pendulum swings. What does seem true is that those of this element have become emboldened if not embraced in a way we have not seen publicly in a long time. Telling is it not that their driving force is religion? Christian soldiers hunt at “ni**erhead.” This peculiarly American disease is a long way from being stamped out. What is so very troubling is to see in flaunted so proudly and by so many.
See? I knew there was a good explanation for Rick Perry calling me "Niggerhead"!

I'm Barack Obama, President, and I think every American is lovely (except for the ones I put on my secret hit list).
Chauncey that was a great post and I congratulate you on your sharp insight. It truly struck a chord in me when you talk about the Other and the understanding of what is really happening in this society. The incident that you used ,illustrated the cruel practices of a century ago ,it is sad and it's so necessary to bring it forth in order to show that cruelty has been a part of the American mosaic for a very long time.. Of course those of us who are the Other have known this for a long time but it is good for someone like you to clearly show the society at-large that this new phenomenon of the tea party and it's cruelty has recent antecedents. Rated
From a psychological point of view,when matters become threatening,in order to restore the (group) hygiene,enemy stereotype is needed.
America has been torpeded to the inner core.It will take a century to overcome this horror scenario.
The enemy has no face,can't be determined despite many efforts.
the fact is that 9/11 has become a personal matter,for each and everyone thus the war will be fought on this level.If the enemy is not to be brought to custody,someone else (minority)has to serve as a substitute.
It might have been C.G.Jung who once said"If we have integrated our own shadow,no more wars are needed".
This applies especially to the White,and the Black have unwillingly served this enemy stereotype.
Chauncey,do you have a reasonable solution for this dilemma?
How can it be changed?It's a whole nation that stands under trauma.
Yet another well thought out opinion, giving voice to "We who are other" with pride and integrity.

With that informed voice and like-minded coordinated effort our unfortunate national history won't be forgotten. Absolutely necessary, repeating those unfortunate and broadly accepted behaviors of bigotry cannot be allowed today.

Thank you, Sir.
Check out my poem What is America To me? Written safely abroad, I tackle all those issues you raise beautifully but wax lyrically about it.
What a horrendous event. I lived in Sulphur Springs, south of Paris on I -30 between 1995 and 1997. What an eye opener for this New Mexico born and raised boy. To my surprise the mexican migrant workers had taken over the farm jobs from the resident blacks since they were willing to work for less and live in rotting, falling down shacks and mobile homes. It forced a sort of third class some where in between the poor white and the immigrant farmworkers. Some blacks had little farms but many were forced to haul junk and the like in hopes of making a few bucks on the scrap metal.

I saw the "deep old south" attitudes in a form of dilute politeness. for exampls a white man may ask a black worker in for a cup of coffee or glass of tea, full well knowing that the worker "must", was expected to refuse and dirnk from the garden hose.

My then wife, a northerner was called "damn yankee" to her face. They were not quite sure what to do with an anglo New Mexican. Fortunately I had a Mississippi born neighbor who took us under his wing and showed me the ropes, though I tried not to pull on them it is still a politely (sic) cruel culthere there!
Rick Perry is a horror and disgrace--looks like a cyborg Ken doll to me, along with Michelle Bachmann, the evil cyborg Barbie. What a horrific story of cruelty. You're right, America is a cruel nation. Rated.
There is no doubt that the eyes of Texas roam way to far across the borders. But to consider Texas part of this nation can be disputed at both ends - with and without humor. I lived there. I wonder who actually killed the poor girl. Odds are it was a family member.
For me - it was the first time I was the "other".
I agree with your post except the following line which stands out like a sore thumb
"We who are Other have a gifted insight into the nature of power and the meanness of humanity that those of the in-group, in bed with Whiteness, who embody it, swim in its ether, and breath it as lifeblood do not. Ironically, Whiteness practices cruelty with expert ease; its owner-practitioners feign ignorance and live in denial of said fact."
sounds like reverse discrimination there dude. lets just say that violence and brutality is practiced by all races, its an equal opportunity employer so to speak. its a property of the human race. racism is one EXCUSE for violence and brutality but lets face it, it goes much deeper. Im thinking of the War on Terrorism [tm] which has muslims in its crosshairs for over 10yrs, but that is really just the cover story. I read your story about a lawless lynch mob, no trial involved, and thought, "wow, things are different now". we have a shady commission of elite executives who can, under the fig leaf of the executive branch, order the execution of americans by drones free of trial or incarceration. and we are against cruel and unusual punishment ie torture right? ah well as long as it doesnt leave scars on the body as the lawyers like Yoo have decreed/decided. we can make a prisoner slowly go insane eg jose padilla or bradley manning. so I guess things havent changed a whole lot at all have we?
Thank you for this painful but essential post. The fate of Henry Smith was not unique, unfortunately. You write "We who are Other have gifted insight inot he nature of power..." Since about 1964-65 I have tried to stay aware of the ways in which the experience of The Other illuminates the reality of the world we live in--the reality underneath the sanitized Official Version. I've also tried to draw inspiraiton from "the Others" about how to face honestly the reality without denial, minimalization, or rationalization, yet without succumbing to self-desructive despair and nihilism. It feels like a never-ending challenge. [r]
I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with your title, Chauncey. I might have said your piece (and Jonathan Schell's musings) lacked historical perspective, but you have the history right in there. Do you not see the difference between the racist underpinnings of the Tea Party and the horrific story you end with? (And where does that come from, by the way? You don't say.)

I appreciate and agree with your distinction between injustice and cruelty. There is something personal and visceral about cruelty, and though humans still possess it, of course, it seems to waning not increasing. Witness the popular spectacle of deaths by hanging or by fire as you (or someone else) so aptly describe here. I don't know of a single soul--and I am surrounded by conservative Republicans in my family, neighborhood, and work life--who would attend such a gory affair. They might opine that illegal immigrants should go back to where they came from or welfare cheats should get a job or Obama is a socialist--sentiments I feel are rooted in tribalistic fear of "other"--but these are simply not the moral equivalent of attending a gruesome government-sanctioned murder.

We are lost if we cannot recognize these distinctions of scale. We are guilty of our own brand of tribalism if we cannot argue against the current ideology without resorting to reductive extremes that equate calling for the reform of immigration with complicity in murder.

The great thinker and writer Steven Pinker has just published a book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, which comes to the opposite conclusion, that "the most important thing that has ever happened in human history" is our decline in both cruelty and violence. Here is a review of that book by Phillip Manning. Read the first two paragraphs of that review and you should be reminded, again, of the difference between the Tea Party and the days of old.
Lainey. Thanks for commenting. I did not construct a straw man where I tried to suggest that the tea party gop are lynchers. More specifically, as I have argued elsewhere, the reactionary Right is from the same political imagination and well-springs as those who routinely participated in racial violence against blacks and others in 19th and 20th century Jim and Jane Crow America.

I write about that here:
Sorry I forgot. In case you are suspicious of the scale and type of ritualized antiblack violence in this country' s history by whites here is a great resource:
[r] well said. I remember hearing about a reporter asking GWB if he lost sleep when he was governor and turned down pardons for death sentence inmates and Bush was confused and didn't even connect why he was being asked that. Why on earth would that cause him to lose sleep. Hello???? you allude to jingoism in which lip lazy "we support the troops" rhetoric belies the real "we don't give a sh*t really about their welfare and what is happening to them seriously while fighting and if and when they come back" and the hypocrisy of the holier than thou religious types willing to KILL to prevent abortion, but again not giving a sh*t what quality of life the mother or un-aborted child have and if that child has a horrifying childhood and grows up, turns to crime and then receives a death sentence, well, "hang him high!" at that point according to "thou shalt not kill a fetus" black and white ferocious faux-moralists. my two and a half cents. best, ll
Chauncey, I don't really disagree that the tribalistic instincts behind actual violence (and a pleasurable witnessing of it) and racially motivated political action come from the same organic place. But since you set up the distinction between cruelty and injustice yourself, and since you baited us with a title that made clear your belief in an escalation of cruelty, it was hard for me not to immediately feel the need to answer that with an objection. Most especially after reading about Steven Pinker's latest book, which precisely argues, in great depth and with abundant historical evidence, a point in opposition to yours. It was too hard to resist.

I was struck the other night by the contempt spewed by Bill O'Reilly and guests about the Occupy Wall Street movement. But I was uncomfortable about how familiar his criticisms sounded. They mirrored the criticisms the left has thrown onto the Tea Party. Being on the receiving end of it (so to speak), I suddenly understood what some TP people might have felt like when they were brushed with the same analysis as their fringe elements. I don't know--maybe I'm just feeling irrationally charitable toward the decent folk who participated in that movement for many of the same reasons the OWS movement resonates with others--a frustrated lack of power, a feeling like the bad guys who caused everybody else's problems have been immune to the downfall they caused.

At any rate, I am certainly in agreement with your politics, and perhaps it's your title alone which bothered me. Thanks for the provocative read.
I fear that people are missing out on key elements in life to stop our society from continually falling into a many minorities which all keep separate and the larger sense of community of being a part of this world and the human race is lost.

It is such a shame to read things like this, it really is.

John Marson