Intolerance, The True American on KPCC and a World without Hate

http://oursalon.ning.com/profile/TedFrier

Intolerance…: To give credit where it’s due, Ted Frier’s post, “Right Demands Respect for Intolerance in Jenner Controversy” inspires this post; that and the fact that I listen to a live stream of KPCC at http://www.scpr.org/ while I work on my posts.  This morning these random streams of media conspired to connect some very disparate dots between Caitlyn Jenner and a remarkable man named Rais Bhuiyan.

http://www.amazon.com/The-True-American-Murder-Mercy/dp/0393239500

The True American on KPCC… - In very different ways Caitlyn Jenner and Rais Bhuiyan are icons of the true American.  Jenner is an extraordinarily talented human being who has lived an extraordinary life filled with fame and fortune yet cursed with a secret that she has cast aside to start a new life.  Rais Bhuiyan is a not so famous human being possessed of significant talent and extraordinary misfortune that has also led to a new life.  A month ago while I attended services at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, CA, Salam al Marayati informed me of the extraordinary life of Rais Bhuiyan…

http://worldwithouthate.org/our-team/

…and followed up with this verse from the Qur’an, Surat Fussilat Chapter 41 verse 34: “And not equal are the good deed and the bad.  Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.

He held up Rais Bhuiyan and his efforts to address the basic human issues of hate and forgiveness as the only plausible resolution to the Ending the Endless War, between the governments of the West and the terrorist organizations such as ISIS who profess to establish a fundamentalist Islamic worldwide caliphate, “Governments can’t do it.  Governments exchange nice words and then pursue their agendas of power while they violate the sanctity of life.”

Quite by accident I happened to be listening when Larry Mantle’s Air Talk featured a nineteen minute interview with Rais: Forgiving the person that tried to kill youAnand Giridharadas wrote the story of how Rais Bhuiyan’s life was transformed by an act of blind racist hatred.  That book has been optioned for a Hollywood film to be produced and directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow, so I suspect that the programming decision to interview Rais may have as much to do with the incestuous commerce between public radio and Hollywood media as telling the story of how Rais forgave the man who shot him in the face, something that has been out of the headlines since 2011.

…and a world without hate - As I commented on Ted Frier’s post, “Caitlyn Jenner's journey has just begun.  I hope it goes well for her.  Aside from that, bigots are idiots on their face and a lot of idiots tend to be bigoted.”

As for Rais Bhuiyan, I speak from personal experience (1975-Psycho Longhair…) when I say that I hope that Kathryn Bigelow’s film is a resounding critical and commercial success, wins all kinds of awards and brings his story to people all over the world.  I hope that it brings funding and attention to world without hate.org, so that Rais and his associates can succeed in their mission to, “…cultivate restorative forgiveness, radical empathy and nonviolent compassionate action through education, community outreach and advocacy…” and clearly demonstrate that, “There is reason for vibrant hope.

BTW: I recommend exploring the links that I embedded in this post; they’re all worth the trip.  Here’s some music for Rais and Caitlyn, one of my favorite covers from one of my favorite films from another of my favorite non-profits Playing for Change.com/:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-t2ouOLYYw

Except for attributed photos and text, all content is copyrighted © 2015 JKM (an apparently ineffectual boilerplate joke?)

Views: 221

Comment by koshersalaami on June 4, 2015 at 10:09pm

Those worldwide performances are really cool. I don't know what each musician is hearing through those cans. I don't know if it's any of the other musicians on this recording. And using Lennon's voice at the end was a great idea. 

I appreciate your recognizing Ted Frier, a blogger here whose writing deserves way more traffic than he gets. If he's not the best political blogger on Our Salon, he's close. 

In general, good post. Rated of course. 

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 5, 2015 at 12:05am

yeah its all good,

aint it?

Caitlyn's journey has begun.

huh.

I sure as hell hope it ''is a resounding critical and commercial success, wins all kinds of awards and brings his story to people all over the world"

basic human issues and all that.

these things sell..

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on June 5, 2015 at 12:08am

A world without hate is a world without fate.

haters hate, and instant karma usually gets em.

it gets wearisome tracking karma's foot prints across time.

today in 2004 Reagan died after losing his mind.

who gives a shit?

adam smith was born today.

in 1723.

THE THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENTS:

This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and powerful, and to despise or, at least, neglect persons of poor and mean conditions, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.

  • Section III, Chap. II.
Comment by Rodney Roe on June 5, 2015 at 4:05am

My computer has crashed twice while trying to comment.  A mystic would think that a sign. 

I wonder whether the level of intolerance is higher today than in the past, or only more visible.  Good guys in Westerns once wore white hats and the bad guys wore black.  Lash la Rue and Zorro destroyed that image (blame it on Hispanic influence.)  Conservative members of society want a black and white world where there are simple definitions of good and bad, right and wrong.

Adam Smith, as defined by Milton Friedman, gave us one of those simple rules.  Profit is good and the pursuit of profit benefits society as a whole.  The problem, of course, is that simple rules create havoc.  Society as a whole does not benefit from capitalism without redistribution of wealth.  At some level social conservatives realize that something is wrong, but can't give up on the idea that the pursuit of profit will cure everything. Western social conservatives want to go back to some simpler world.

ISIS/ISIL/Al Qaeda are reactions in the mid-east to the same basic feeling that something is wrong. The solution there is to go back to a simpler black and white world as dictated by a version of Islam.

Adam Smith and John Locke had interesting ideas that have greatly influenced the development of the West over the last 3 centuries.  We don't live in an agrarian economy now and Adam Smith's followers became obsessed with an oversimplified concept of economics.

We need to develop a "general theory" of John Rawls' Theory of Justice as fairness.

I like the quote from the Koran.  I suppose the problem comes in who defines what are good and bad deeds.

Comment by Rodney Roe on June 5, 2015 at 4:31am

Steel Breeze, that wouldn't bother them.  They would just invite him to go fishing.

Comment by Jerry DeNuccio on June 5, 2015 at 5:32am

Thanks for this, JMac, and for the info about World Without Hate.  Theirs is a noble agenda, and a tough one to implement, given that people tend to justify the social systems and outlooks under which they live.  But tough to implement doesn't mean impossible to implement.  As with most things worthwhile, it'll take imperishable desire and steadfast work. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on June 5, 2015 at 5:49am

As an aside, the wonderful thing about Lennon's, Imagine, is that it fits a lot of vocal styles, instruments, and settings.  I sang and played it for the postlude at the U/U one day when the discussion was about World Justice.  People just started spontaneously singing along.  Everyone seems to know it.

Comment by Claudia Darling on June 5, 2015 at 6:01am
It bothers me when we have great examples of forgiveness like this gentleman, which you could call Christian, as in Christlike, but so many so-called Christians seem to thrive on fear and stirring up hatred and judgment.
Comment by Lyle Elmgren on June 5, 2015 at 9:22am

The Our Salon system needs to show the recent posts of one's friends somehow.

Comment by Rosigami on June 5, 2015 at 9:44am

R & L. Important, relevant post. Thanks.

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