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Is Hope Really the Gateway to Despair?

If hope is the gateway to despair, to paraphrase Thomas Merton,  pessimism, or the abandonment thereof, doesn’t sound likely to lead anywhere worth going either.

Although I’m not one of those all in a panic about teaching what the academics are calling Critical Race Theory. Where it belongs is pretty much where it’s been since the 1990s and that’s not in your kids’ high school classroom.  Brother Merton is also quoted as saying:

Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a person deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost”

To listen to some proponents and apologists for Critical Race Theory suggests that nasty taste in our mouths might have been explained.

Theories are things to be discussed in relation to phenomena and to how well they describe or explain observable reality. In that sense, CRT seems likely to remain a hypothesis or perhaps no more than conjecture rather than theory, even though the air is filled with Fox Fables and falsehoods. Perhaps, and in my opinion, this pessimistic theory can be applied to the analysis of the past, but only the future can prove it. The future is a world we have not yet entered. 

Is the observation that advances in racial equality seem to have caused an equal and opposite reaction, may hint at Newton’s third law, the kind of legal and social reaction the late  Professor Hill postulates is, not so simple at all and as I said, can’t be tested as a predictor. While I don’t believe the course of Human events can be predicted, I will only go so far as to guess that the debates on the subject will not stay where they belong: in Graduate Schools and in the papers published by professors.

Of course, it’s already flown the coop, as could have been suspected in our obsessed America. The chickens in that coop have been dragged out by The Fox and the Radical Right, but they have been helped immeasurably by the narcissistic Left. Shortly after Gabby Petito’s remains were found recently, articles began to appear asserting that the public only cared because she was white. We owe NPR’s Gwen Ifill for that bit of rotten luxury and if I may refer back to the loss of hope, It is as Mr. Dante has suggested,  the road to perdition. The public is getting tired of the tired  “you can’t get there from here ” lament and Zeno’s premise has long since been abandoned. Being a cynic, I’ve wondered whether those involved in directing discussions about race in America are really trying to promote job security more than working for a better future.

“We always lose, it’s a law of nature” At least some people are taking CRT to mean just that. Does it promote hate, psychological apartheid, and worse? Perhaps I’m way off the mark here. I hope so because my 75+ years tell me we have made great progress. Again, if Hope be a gateway to Despair, Hope has succeeded in the long run since the beginning. Long may that continue.

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Posted by on September 27, 2021. Filed under PETS—POLITICS,Political. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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27 days ago

The human race would benefit greatly if we would just focus on what we can do and who we can be today. Yes, learn lessons from the past. Make amends if you have hurt someone, intentionally or not. But we can’t “fix” any of it. It happened, it has left its mark, but it can’t be undone. The future will unfold as each new day becomes the present. If we could all just focus on being our best selves today and every today after, perhaps we could evolve out of the murky swamp creatures of the past into enlightened beings of the present. I have no hope of this happening, but that doesn’t stop me from embracing this ideal.

Glenn R Geist
Glenn R Geist
Reply to  Rocky
24 days ago

I strongly agree.

Michael John Scott
27 days ago

I try not to think about hope, really, because it makes me worry I am thinking in vain. Hope, like happiness, is elusive and only rarely rewardng.

Bill Formby
Bill Formby
Reply to  Michael John Scott
23 days ago

What you three said. I am tired of thinking.