Group-think is rampant because nobody, whether you live in Berkeley, CA or Evergreen, AL, nobody wants to think for themselves.
I suppose I can agree with that in a broad sense. I’ve found for my own part that I just feel more at home with people more similar to the semi-rural southern folks I grew up around than I do among the Yankees and the yuppies. I can still feel the pain and embarrassment as if it were yesterday, of walking into a northeastern fifth-grade classroom in mid-year as a new student in 1971, and seeing the entire room full of eleven-year-olds break out laughing like it was some George Carlin show, when I said my first few words in my native Dixie accent.
Yes, 1971. And from then on through the eighth grade, the rhetoric and world view we were taught in the classroom was practically word-for-word the same SJW nonsense one finds daily on Twitter or elsewhere today: white privilege this, patriarchy that, Doctor King the other thing…. For years I bought into every bit of it; I think that the very first experience I had of being an immediate laughingstock for being white, male and southern at such a young age left me thinking for years that my very existence as who I simply am was a thing I had to strive and strain to live down for “tolerance”s sake, whatever that means.
It took me years to grasp that the harsh intolerance I had been met with on my first appearance among my new schoolmates was not one iota different from any other form of intolerance. I was probably near forty years of age when I began to find myself saying “y’all” again and not feeling weird about it. And even then it was the experience of being a true racial minority for the first time in my life in rural northern New Mexico among the mostly Chicano folks who dominate in those parts, that made me feel as if being this thing they call “Anglo” is something honorable and decent to be.
I had a brief phone chat a year or two ago with a gal I had known up in Boulder, CO back in my thirties, one of those calls where you have found someone online you used to know and get in touch with them, only to find out that the prior relationship really only allowed for the one phone call out of the blue as a kind of novelty, before simply running out of things to talk about because you never had much in common way back then either….
One of the first things she said when I told her I had been in Oklahoma for several years now, was “yeah, you even picked up a little bit of an accent.”
I told her, “you know what? I’d had it all along, I was born and raised in the south, but I found out the hard way that Yankees and yuppies aren’t very nice to people who speak Dixie, so to spare Y’ALL the indignity of your own poor manners, I learned to hide it for a long time….”
(Most of the people I’d known in Colorado were from New York, New Jersey, and New England; it was like being right back in the fifth grade….)
Did I mention that there wasn’t any reason to talk to each other after that one phone call? She had gone through a list of people we both used to know from a shared workplace circa 1990 or so, and it reminded me of how many of those people I never really did like or have anything in common with, and how I had done the same thing for their sensibilities I had done for my classmates back in PA in the 70s, which was I made myself more acceptable to them because standing up for who I really am felt like too much effort at the time.
AT THE TIME.
Those days are over. My “Yankees and yuppies” period is years behind me, and now that sort of middle-class, northeastern, predictably left-of-center people seem excruciatingly intolerable to me; it amazes me that I tried so hard for so long to fit in with them, especially knowing how out of place their over-educated suburbanism and its attendant haughty manners would be in a little farm town full of white Republicans, stars-and-stripes Mexicans and no shortage of Mennonites.
So I find the people around me in daily life to be among the most tolerant and decent in daily interactions that I have ever experienced. This may be due in part to the sort of people they have decided to be, and in part because I chose to make a home here and stop my serial wandering at long last because the place and its people had kind of grown on me after a couple of years. If you’d told me in 1994 when I was having a good year while fully-entrenched in the aspiring lower-middle-class lifestyle of suburban Colorado and surrounded by confirmed liberals, that in twenty years’ time I would be happily settled on the featureless prairies of Oklahoma surrounded by churchy Republicans, I would have laughed in your face. Who knew?
I think that by and large, the essential nature of most of humanity is to self-segregate. Not as a means of exclusion of others, but more as a means of feeling like we have a place among people we share some common traits and values with. This is why the moronic project of “diversity” as enforced policy will never, EVER produce lasting and beneficial results. People forced to coexist with others whom they share little in common with, can play-act over the short term at being “tolerant”, but think about that: what does it say, that what it takes to feel at ease among one’s fellows, is primarily to tolerate them?
Tolerance, as it turns out, has it limits, its “sell-by-date.” Watch what happens, when the pretentious patience of merely tolerating one another, runs out:
As in, Berserkeley. Yeah, tolerance. Tell me more about how tolerant those lunatics are, or ever intend to be again.
We hear words like “nationalism” and “tribalism” used in mocking terms, as if those were somehow reprehensible urges in people. But why? When all of human history tells us that people prefer to be mostly with others they feel are somehow “their own kind” and just do their best to “tolerate” everyone else, where in the world is the working model that shows this idea of “diversity” ever resulting in anything but hostility and bedlam in the long run?