What is wrong with us?

This is the sentence that horrified me just moments ago:

Iowa Woman Admits to Hitting Children With Car Because of Their Ethnicity

It’s not click-bait. It’s real, and that makes it a million times worse.

The article is written by online blogging friend, Jill Dennison. You can find the full details, including the official statement by authorities, here https://jilldennison.com/2021/04/24/71725/

Be warned though, the account is chilling because the ‘Iowa Woman’ deliberately targeted two separate kids at two separate locations.

As a mother, I cannot conceive of any act more brutal, more evil. But the aftermath, sickened me almost as much:

‘What I don’t understand … this woman who attempted to murder children because she didn’t like the colour of their skin … is handled by law enforcement with kid gloves, while in North Carolina, a 68-year-old Black grandmother was dragged out of her car by her hair, slammed to the ground by police, stepped on, treated so brutally that she suffered a torn rotator cuff (part of the shoulder joint) … for exceeding the speed limit.’

And similar acts of brutality are being carried out, by police, right here in Australia. Against people whose

skin.

is.

not.

white.

What is wrong with us?

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

59 responses to “What is wrong with us?

  • robbiesinspiration

    This is so very awful, Meeks. I did research for Through the Nethergate on how people justify terrible acts based on ethnicity, it was very sad to read how people allow themselves to be brainwashed and really believe a group of people are so inferior they are not worthy of life. I am a believer in population reduction because I think we are heading for a natural catastrophe as nature tries to cull us. I also believe that fewer children will enable upliftment on a larger and more effective scale. My views, however, are reasonable and fair to all and merely involve limiting children to two per couple through tax and other incentives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I can’t disagree, Robbie. Humans have become a kind of plague. The only way it can be slowed is by raising the living standards of all humans. Stats shows that as prosperity levels go up, the number of children in the family go down. Of course, access to reproductive management is also vital.
      The earth is the only nest we have, and we’re fouling it. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    The ‘separating into two species’, theory makes sense actually … maybe we’ve been on this path for, who knows, millennia? and only now are we reaching critical mass … (holy guacamole, Batman, there’s a premise for a SF story! … **ahem, puts writer back in pocket and continues with comment** ) … perhaps there have been so many generations born that this ‘behavour'(the next evolution of our primal survival/tribal instincts?) is hardwired into us, and all it needs is an inciting environment/event to activate it.
    You mentioned in an earlier comment that you didn’t think we’d be capable of a genocide. I think we would, given the right motivation, but I suspect the global environmental collapse will make such decisions irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mick Canning

    HG Wells wrote about a human race split into two in The Time Machine, of course. I’m more inclined to put this down to tribalism, which seems so hardwired into us as a species. We must have spent a lot of our evolution living in tribes, distrustful of anyone who wasn’t part of ‘our’ tribe. Seems we just can’t get rid of that instinct.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      Yeah, tribalism certainly seems to be part of it, but why do people chose to associate themselves with one ‘tribe’ rather than another?

      A lot of the people I’ve come to know via this blog are writers or readers or creatives of one sort or another, and we seem drawn to each other because of that. But…we also tend to share a lot of the same kinds of beliefs and values.
      If that’s filtering, then what kind of filtering produces a monster like that woman from Iowa? 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mick Canning

        A variety of reasons – upbringing is powerful, inculcating your parents’ views and beliefs. Education, of course. So many strands to that one. Then your friends – those you choose to associate with and who will either strengthen your core beliefs or introduce you to different ways of thinking (or not thinking). TV, movies and social media.

        The real difference is all the different tribes are inhabiting the same space, which causes conflict. In the past, each tribe would have its own territory, so conflict would arise only when one chose to invade another’s space.

        Liked by 3 people

  • daleleelife101.blog

    A very interesting question Meeks, and also comments discussion. An answer… lack of empathy. Why? Who knows, but I get terribly terribly sad and fearful when I consider the effects and evidence of its lack.

    Liked by 2 people

  • StephenB

    Meeks, Jill, and friends, consider this: The large swath of the human race that is disappointing/revolting to us of the other large swath of the human race could be evidence that the human race has already begun bifurcating into two subspecies. I first entertained this idea after Tr*mp was elected US president in 2016 because I couldn’t fathom how 60+ million people could vote for him. I scratched my head that he still had so many rabid supporters throughout his disastrous “presidency,” and I am again aghast that he racked up 70+ million in the election of 2020. (Mercifully, Joe Biden racked up even more and won the presidency decisively.) I look back on the past five years across the world, and I have seen the rise of other authoritarian strongmen, namely, Johnson, Putin, Erdogan, Modi, Xi, Bolsonaro, those in the Middle East and Africa, among others. Why do these dictators have such strong support? Why do these supporters want to follow and worship God-Kings rather than live in a liberal democracy? My answer is because they are going down a divergent evolutionary path due to the reinforcement and subsequent selection of genes for fearfulness and tribalism. This is a retrograde development hearkening back to when there were numerous subspecies of humans, such as the Neanderthals, Denisovans, and others in addition to us Sapiens who eventually wiped out the rest, though not before interbreeding with them to a greater or lesser extent. The other path that I see humanity going down is the one of increased social intelligence and compassion. The genes for these are selected in the cultural environment of what we call Enlightenment values, which include liberalism and individualism. I’m thinking in this connection of the study that suggests that conservative and liberal brains are indeed different. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/conservative-and-liberal-brains-might-have-some-real-differences/) I don’t think this bifurcation will lead to a world of Eloi and Morlocks a la H.G. Wells, but I do think recognition of the real differences between these two swaths of the human race is necessary to come up with effective solutions as to how we all can live in peace with each other.

    Liked by 5 people

    • acflory

      Excellent article, thank you, although I worry about the use to which such research may/will be put.

      Here in Australia, our Prime Minister’s main claim to fame is that he entered politics from…advertising. He owes his election win to both the image his minders told him to project, and to the chillingly effective way in which he, and they, manipulated certain segments of the electorate. That manipulation triggered fear of certain opposition policies while at the same time pandering to the electorate’s self-interest.

      No. 45 did essentially the same thing with basically the same effect. Ditto Boris Johnson. All three men achieved ‘miraculous’ election wins.
      Is psychology to blame? I suspect that like any other type of knowledge it can be abused.
      I was interested in the findings regarding the amygdala though. I always thought it regulated our fear responses – e.g. once scared by a nasty looking spider, always scared of spiders. But I can well see how it might play a role in more subtle ways.

      Personally, I’ve been thinking along the lines of people with empathy versus those on the sociopathic continuum.
      Empathy, or the ability to imagine what an ‘other’ might be feeling, is the glue that binds any society together – the ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Or more simply, the ability to ‘walk a mile in my shoes’. It’s hard to hate/hurt someone when you know where they’re coming from.

      Sociopathy, on the other hands, sees others only in terms of whether they help or hinder whatever that individual wants or needs. At one end of the continuum you might have someone who is simply not very good at relating to others. At the other, extreme end, you might have a serial killer.

      And, of course, there is the nurture aspect that modifies whatever traits a person is born with.

      The monster in Jill’s article is so extreme, I can’t help wondering if she was acting out the kind of violence she does not dare display towards her own ‘tribe’…for fear of consequences.
      It would be nice if she were examined for the neurological anomalies already discovered in others. :/

      Liked by 4 people

    • jilldennison

      Well … you’ve certainly given us much food for thought! Is it possible the human species is splitting like an atom into two distinct and separate species? I’m no scientist, so … who knows? Definitely not writing off the idea that humans have begun the process of ‘bifurcating into two subspecies’. I might have scoffed at that a year or two ago, but today … who knows … perhaps you are right, for I often wonder “who are these people” when pondering the likes of Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy and more.

      Liked by 3 people

  • jilldennison

    Thank you so much for sharing this story, Andrea. It brought me to tears and then rage, seeing how utterly heartless this woman could be, and there are, no doubt, others like her. I’m so disappointed in a large swath of the human race today … I’m ashamed to call myself ‘human’. Hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  • D. Wallace Peach

    The racism here is outrageous, Andrea. The only good thing I can say about the recent news is… finally racism is getting covered and the world is seeing how horrifying it is. This has been going on for centuries. It’s so stressful to turn on the television every day and see another murder, another act of violence, another mean-spirited idiot making racist statements. Arrgh.

    Liked by 4 people

    • acflory

      You’re not alone, Diana. Here in Australia the racism against First Nations People is less overt because there are less of them and the mainstream media ignores their plight until something like the Black Lives Matter movement comes along. Until then, it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’. -pulls hair-
      Even our official history of settlement is a tissue of lies woven around Terra Nullius. They weren’t even considered human. 😦
      It’s appalling.

      Liked by 2 people

      • D. Wallace Peach

        Same here regarding the First Nations people. The genocide of 80 million people isn’t discussed or taught in school. Nor is all the barbarous treatment (including the endless raping of women and children, not to mention the murder) perpetrated on African Americans for centuries). My African American husband is 56% White. I wonder how that happened??

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          ‘To the victor the spoils’. 😦 Seems as if that has been the motto of powerful men everywhere since the dawn of time. My ex is Anglo-Indian, a product of British colonization. And until the last fifty or so years, 51% of the world’s population was little better, irrespective of the colour of their skin.
          I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everybody a nice latte colour, but I guess we’d just find different reasons to ‘other’ people. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Yep, this is the state of the world right now. So sad.

    Liked by 4 people

    • acflory

      Hi Yvonne. I want to believe that humans are basically decent, but sometimes it’s impossible to keep the fantasy going. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yvonne Hertzberger

        Me, too. But I do believe that it’s a pendulum. We need to confront the bad at its worst before we see how to make it better.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I kind of agree, Yvonne, but you’d think we’d already seen the worst, at least in our parents’ and grandparents’ lifetimes? WWI? The Holocaust? Hiroshima? I shudder to think how much worst the worst has to get.
          I know it’s generational, but that means we’re condemned to make the same mistakes and learn the same lessons, over and over and over again.
          Sorry, I’m usually a glass half full type. :/

          Liked by 1 person

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    It’s disgusting and appalling – but so were the past four years, and all the years since enslaved people were brought to other nations.

    We can’t continue to paper over it – and the gun culture is unbelievable. I have no idea what to do. To understand how almost half of the people in this country were okay with a lot of this is also unbelievable.

    I thought MOST humans were decent; I’m not sure I can ever again.

    Liked by 4 people

    • acflory

      Gah…’I thought MOST humans were decent; I’m not sure I can ever again.’ I just send almost the same thing to Yvonne.

      And you’re right, not a single country on Earth can claim to be innocent. It seems as if we can’t feel good about ourselves unless we’ve got someone to look down on. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        Not all of us, fortunately.

        Anything I say will sound either wrong or like virtue signalling, so I won’t, but what is learned can be unlearned – with the right motivation.

        People who think they are good are at least open to having it pointed out that they are not – and in improving themselves. Some of them/us.

        But this has been a huge year for noticing one’s own privilege – and realizing most of it was not earned.

        We can go back and forth – one group thinks it’s superior because God put them in charge – proof is that they are in charge!

        We all have the same end, until someone figures out how to steal that from others – they can already pay for some life extensions such as kidneys from poor people.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I know what you mean. I keep thinking that ‘they’ must feel that they are right and I/we are wrong. Sometimes I wish I had a lot less empathy because I also know that facts and logic simply don’t work. As you say, if they are in charge then it must be because God or Destiny or the Universe decided they were the ‘good’ ones.
          It really does do my head in sometimes. 😦

          Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            ‘They’ (often white men) think only of what is important to them. We think of the world, and don’t discriminate (at least in principle) between genders, national origins, and economic class.

            For some reason ‘they’ think we should serve them, or at least not get in their way.

            There are actually far more of us than of them, but they are very good at keeping us fighting among each other. While they laugh all the way to the bank.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Yes. 😦 It’s as if the bitter cream rises to the top and is rewarded. Ruthlessness pays dividends.

            Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            Because they take no time or energy to care for lesser beings (someone else ensures their genetic survival). The things I could have done!

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Maybe one day, someone will, but which gene will get deleted? The one for empathy or the one for ruthlessness? -sigh-

            Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            Without empathy humanity wouldn’t work. Without enterprise we wouldn’t survive. But individuals get rough deals a lot of the time.

            Liked by 2 people

          • acflory

            If by enterprise you mean capitalism? I kind of agree. Take away a person’s ability to better their life or the lives of their children and they become little more than cogs in a wheel. Unfortunately, the rise of neo-liberalism world wide has pushed the concept of capitalism way past the point where it’s a healthy form of economics. In fact, I blame much of the current populist sentiment to the fact that neo-liberalism has taken /away/ the promise of betterment intrinsic to the ‘old’ idea of capitalism.

            Like

          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            I was trying to use a nice word for the results of that ruthlessness – productive projects completed in spite of everything (and not necessarily by the first group to try it).

            They are usually male projects such as the Suez and Panama canals, the railroads, interstate highways. There is a hierarchy – usually brown workers at the bottom, rich white men at the top. Everyone is kept in line, and the only vertical movement is usually when a man turns out to be very useful (such as at designing or building mining equipment), and his bosses can’t.

            It is the robber-baron theory of history: those who have will get more, those who die will often be young and using their muscles.

            Capitalism is healthy – but headed back, by buying the government regulators off (who do you think bankrolls the politicians?), toward the robber barons.

            The key missing factor is using more of the profits for raising the level of the lowest workers – via education. The rich at the top don’t want educated workers who think.

            Etc., etc., etc. Democratic socialism, with government supervision with teeth, seems to be the best so far – but only because everything else isn’t even remotely fair. And government sinecure workers can be very unproductive.

            Nothing’s perfect. Idiots abound and don’t go away even when schooled. And then we die.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Robber Barons…yes, that seems to describe the current situation perfectly. We have warlords heading up countries and robber barons heading up corporations. And the serfs at the bottom miss out. I truly hate how feudal things have become. No vision, no moral compass, nothing but greed.

            Like

  • davidprosser

    We have a very sick society where it seems it’s becoming more acceptable again to be racist since Trump declared white supremacists to be ‘Fine people’. The so called leader of the Free World openly cheering on corrupt governments and creating the same.
    Maybe the guilty verdict of the policeman who murdered a black citizen quite openly in public will be a turning point and show this kind of behaviour will no longer be tolerated.
    Huge Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      -hugs back-
      I’d like to believe that the conviction of ‘that beast’ will be a turning point, but then I read about a woman who tries to kill /kids/ with her car, and all I can think of is that our world is full of monsters. We just don’t see them most of the time. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • Candy Korman

    This story—and so many others of a similar ilk—are revealing the horrible truth about the 21st Century. The sins of the past—racism, authoritarianism, intolerance, and “tribalism”—are alive and continuing to plague the United States and other so called “advanced” nations.

    Liked by 4 people

    • acflory

      Yes…and there’s no end in sight. Not really. We’re facing up to similar horrors here in Australia and I know the UK has them as well. I fear that the capacity to hate is something just under the skin for most of us. Truthfully? When Jill wrote that she’d consider the death sentence for that awful woman…I was nodding my head. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Candy Korman

        The principle different between the U.S. and the rest of the developed world is the crazy, variable regulations of guns. I live is a state with strict gun laws, but you can drive a few hours and buy all sorts of firearms in other states. The gun lobby, the fear of being stripped of private collections of guns, and fear in general, makes life more dangerous for everyone in the United States.

        Liked by 1 person

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