04 April 2004

Creating the World

My world was created thirty-six years ago today. On the balcony of a motel in Memphis. By someone other than James Earl Ray: It was the reaction and context that shattered my political innocence more than the assassination itself. As young as I was, I saw both the mendacity and the bigotry surrounding all of the TV accounts that day.

Perhaps, in the end, this is what the Inscrutable Design people would be better off claiming: that any intervention of a Supreme Being is not in the physical, but in the psychological, creation of "Man". Evolution, then, for the "religious" purpose, is moving beyond those concerns first brought to consciousness. <SARCASM> In that case, the inability of Inscrutable Design/creationism/fundamentalism advocates to move beyond those initial concerns of establishing and maintaining power is the best evidence available that they, at least, are not evolving. </SARCASM> That this poetic irony is the best way to interpret the storytelling aspects of most creation myths seems lost on just about everybody, because the argument is over history and not over fiction. Or something like that.

In any event, a few decades from now many others will look back at 11 September 2001 as the creation of their world; other dates will mark the beginning of the world for still others. Perhaps I'm stuck back in the mire of what the civil rights movement really means: the struggle of individuals against stereotypes used to enforce existing power structures (whether consciously or otherwise). Perhaps that also explains why I see only progress in degree, and not in kind, from that time. The progress in degree is welcome; but now American bigotry is directed more on account of religion—and sometimes the absence thereof—and national origin than on account of skin color. More; but not entirely; and I am not certain that the difference really represents all that much of an advance.