What People Do to Feel Superior

Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura

I’m trying to remain stable these days while some nutty things are happening.

Redheads used to be thought of as witches in a certain part of Europe and in the USA. I guess that’s how we humans are – we go to illogical extremes sometimes, like spreading rumors that our president belongs to a religion that he doesn’t belong to. And the newspapers and TV stations often don’t report this as incorrect. They just let uninformed people believe it is true. And if President Obama were a Muslim it shouldn’t turn anyone against him anyway.

Obviously, politicians shouldn’t interfere with Mosques. I can hardly believe that anyone cares about the one in New York City near the Trade Center. Emotionalism over that issue has gone amok. When I was a kid I thought I would grow up to find the principle of responsibility to the truth reigning, but alas, I found a world just as crazy as it was when I was trying to figure out grownups. Did you have the same illusion I had – that there would be a rational world waiting for you when you reached maturity?

Acceptance is also a long way from happening. Bigotry lives. Have you noticed that people who are against gays are often also racists? Like Laura Schlessinger, they are trying to pretend they are better than somebody.

It’s nutty, but it’s also sad, bad, stupid, and frustrating. What can we do about it? We don’t want negative people to make life miserable for us all. I feel like name-calling but that makes things worse. Using Laura as an example, I think I heard she had an unfortunate childhood. That can make a person feel insecure and want to prop oneself up by putting someone else down. She’s probably a lost cause, but we can at least try to encourage better education and parenting classes, etc., to prevent others from turning out like she did.

When I was in Jr. High School and High School a girl who rode my school bus was different from the rest of us. She may have been autistic. I bent to social pressure and teased her a couple of times and now I regret it terribly. I wasn’t conscious of wanting to feel superior, but looking back I can see that unconsciously that’s what I was doing. I couldn’t be the lowest on the totem pole—she was.

When I was first married, decades ago, we visited a rancher, my husband’s distant relative. During the visit, the rancher called me a “Jew girl.” This guy didn’t know me at all. I had never been in a synagogue and didn’t know anything about the Jewish religion, but our wedding announcement had my Jewish last name on it. I recognized I was “supposed to” feel insulted, but since I had never heard those words before, it took a minute for me to realize it. This guy’s been dead ten or fifteen years and left some terrible memories of himself behind. He was the closest thing to a Dr. Laura I’ve known personally.

Praying on people’s fears via TV and radio talk shows is one way to make a lot of money. The broadcasters who try to spread racism and fear may or may not believe what they say. They state illogical things as though they make sense and tell lies as though they are true, which causes anxiety because their audiences know they don’t really hold water. If they would be honest with themselves, they would admit that racism and homophobia are as ridiculous as to believe that redheads are witches or that kittens are elephants.