Steve-O-in-NJ also gets a Comment of the Day for a very different reaction to “Ethics Observations On ‘Prayers Of A Weary Black Woman’”
Steve’s reaction, as you might expect if you are familiar with his commentary, is much harder of nose. It it too callous to be ethical? The ethic of the United States, from it’s origins, has always emphasized personal responsibility and the obligation of society and government to allow individuals to live their own lives, address their own failings, achieve what they can achieve, and advance by their own effort and talent. Community, by it’s own nature, implies a group that strives to help when it can, but the bitter attitude reflected in the hateful “prayer” is something quite different.
Steve answers the query, “Have I been dismissive of your burdens, and perhaps even cast blame upon you?,” by stating, “Like I said, I have my problems, you have yours. Deal with them. The one thing all your problems have in common is you.”
I’ll answer this: “Have I been indifferent to your struggles, since they are not mine?”
I have my problems. Others have their problems. Everyone has enough problems of their own and it isn’t their responsibility to solve yours for you. Solve your own damn problems, or, at a bare minimum, try to solve them without getting me involved.
Have I been dismissive of your burdens, and perhaps even cast blame upon you?
Like I said, I have my problems, you have yours. Deal with them. The one thing all your problems have in common is you.
Did I sneer at your poverty, your drug addiction, your broken relationships, and say they were the just desserts of your poor choices?
Damn straight I did. Not to sound like cranky libertarian Neal Boortz, but our lives are the sum of our choices. Not to also sound like J.K. Rowling, but it isn’t our talents, but what we do with them that defines us. Society didn’t stick that needle in your arm, or make you not show up to work so you got fired, or make you associate with that POS guy who fucked and trucked.
Have I stood at a distance and shrugged, because someone else would help, or if no one else did, the government would lavish plenitude upon you?
Maybe I did. My first responsibility is to me and my family.
Did I think that you were greedy for free money, and not feel the sting to your pride?
Nope, I didn’t, because if you really felt a sting you’d make it your business to stop living off the efforts of others.
Did I never feel the self-doubt and the hurt?
Oh please. You should feel self-doubt and hurt if you are living off the efforts of others.
Did I never extend a hand in genuine friendship, giving in to my own fears, rejecting you for your skin color before you could reject me for mine?
You know, generally I don’t associate with marginal people, whatever color they might be. They’re usually marginal for a reason.
If I showed you a smile, was it forced and hollow, because I cared more about not being called a racist than in offering you genuine happiness?
Your happiness is your responsibility, not mine. Maybe I force a smile because right now you can call me a racist and trash my life, but don’t count on it to last.
Did I always demand you come to me asking, and never came without being asked?
What’s so wrong about that?
Was I the one who demanded you get a job before I’d respect you?
Yup. Start contributing and being productive, you slug.
Was I the one who belittled you for taking the opportunities offered you, without ever taking a moment to see if you were actually qualified?
Why were they offered in the first place?
Did I ever stop to listen to you, to really listen to you, instead of lecturing at you?
I’m not interested in what the marginal have to say.