Friday, June 11, 2004

What a miserable week!

Ray Charles RIP 1930-2004

Well, this week is finally over. Being here in DC, I was subjected to the Reagan funeral so much I just couldn't tune it out. Im not a fan of Reagan, and I was suprised when I found out one of my co-workers waited 4 hours to see his casket. The events and proceedings I pretty much ignored but they still got on my nerves, and this day was just so perfectly dreary and summed up this week very well. Thing was, even if you weren't a big fan of Reagan, the next thing that happens is you hear Ray Charles died. So, now all Americans who didn't care for Reagan couldn't escape feeling like crap!

Davy D put together some of the articles which were critical of the man but the ongoing debates about Reagan that I hear are all so indicative of how divided not only Americans are but how divided minorities are. It's just like how most Americans either love him and overlook the "controversies" such as the Iran-Contra scandal and go to the extent of deifying him, or they bring up those controversies and insist that the man was no good. It goes as far as asking what can Reagan critics who talk about "Central American death squads supported by Reagan" tell the 15 year American citizen from Nicrauga who insists that Reagan liberated his people? It's all pretty complicated, this divide.

Very indicative of this division was 2 calls to C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" televison showin which one black man talked about how detrimental Reagan's policies were to African Americans,how Reagan was against the MLK holiday, and how Reagan was against sanctions against the then apartheid regime South Africa. The next caller refuted the first caller, saying in essence that the caller needs to recognize that present day South Africa is corrupt, and that the caller needs to stop talking about how government policies hurt minorities and "pull himself up".

These are very debatable issues, involved controversies which involve research and a complex analysis of policy, history and research. In order to really understand the issues people would have to go beyond emotional outbursts and various cliches and slogans. But, in the post 9/11 world it seems like people are very emotional and seem to take very rigid stances. Yesterday, even the hint that a plane was not accounted for and was headed for the Capital Building had people running away from the Capital Building, frantic and in shock. It was revealed to be the plane of an ex-politician headed for the Reagan funeral. The incident to me shows how bent out of shape most Americans are, and this fear leads to the emotionalism and rigidity of most Americans today.

Oh well, I'm glad this week is over.

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