“But I was also saddened by that display of racism, because it not only pointed up the weakness of our cultural immune system, I think it compromises it even further.” That might be one of the strongest metaphors for our current political and civic climate I have ever heard. It’s not enough that the Trump circus (I once labelled it a sideshow — but it now deserves full billing) has ripped the skin off our country’s social ecosystem exposing our grotesque bigoted and racist protruding veins … but his legitimacy has given it a shot of steroids.
I believe this “intervention” you speak of Derek can be assisted locally. We can’t legislation morally. But what we can do is create community personalities of giving, inclusion and empathy. City and civic peer leaders (of all ages) need to “step up to the plate” and lead the way. The community we informally create through our actions and inactions will be the one that becomes etched in stone that generations to come will rely on.
Whether we view ideology as a virtue or an obstacle, or whether NIMBYism is the norm or a condemnable exception; and whether we confront someone for bigoted talk and attitudes … or we just let it slide — these determine our community’s personality. These are the socially expected attitudes and norms that determine what we do when it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient to do so. They determine our communities’ character. This can and must be the “intervention” we need.