Barbara Kingsolver in Pigs in Heaven tells a Mayan story about hell and heaven that summarizes what bothers me about the talk of racism and sexism running through this political season.
A group of people sits around a large bowl of soup, but they can’t eat it. The only spoons they can use are magical ones with immensely long handles that can’t be touched anywhere except at the very end. The people try every possible contortion to empty the soup into their mouths, but the handles are just too long. All they accomplish is to spill soup everywhere and slowly starve to death, tantalized by the aroma.
There is also another group of people with the same bowl and the same spoons. But these people are well fed and happy. They’re not even trying to feed themselves. They use the long-handled spoons to feed each other.
Barack doesn’t need to address racism, first and foremost. He’s not a racist, and he’s not the one who needs to change to cure the condition. In this election, whites (of any sex) are the ones who need to understand racism. Hillary shouldn’t be the one addressing sexism. She’s not a sexist, and she’s not the one causing the problem. Men (of any color) are the ones who should be worrying about sexism.
Instead, we’re fighting for ourselves instead of each other. The sad thing is we don’t have any alternative. Once one person starts, everyone else can either settle for being a second priority, or make the mess worse by also fighting for themselves. Once it starts, there are no good choices. That’s got to be the essence of hell.Print This Post