Monday, April 4, 2016

Denial.

I once read an account of an airplane crash from a stewardess who'd survived it. The plane crash-landed in more or less one piece, and then caught fire. The fire spread quickly, but still slowly enough that anyone who hadn't been disabled by the initial crash had just enough time to get out before the plane exploded. She did her job - guiding all of the passengers who could make it out of the emergency exits until she was almost the last one still left in the wreckage of the fuselage. Just before she got out herself, she noticed a normal-looking, middle-aged businessman, apparently unhurt, still strapped in his seat, calmly reading a newspaper. She yelled at him to get out while he could, but he just responded that he was fine, and everything was fine. She didn't stay to argue with him - she went through the emergency exit and managed to just barely get far enough away before what was left of the plane went up in an enormous fireball.

The thing was, the businessman had entered a sort of state of denial - he simply couldn't process the fact that he'd really been in in a horrible airplane crash. And, unable to process that fact, he simply continued to act "normally" - just calmly reading his newspaper, his brain still telling him that everything was alright. Unfortunately, for him, it wasn't, and his refusal to accept that it wasn't was ultimately suicidal.

Many mainstream conservatives are like the businessman in the crashed airplane. They look at everything that's happened in the past 50 years - or even just in the past 10 - and they can't quite process the idea that this is really all happening. Happening to them, to their country, to their churches, to their neighborhoods, to their children - even, quietly, to their race. They can't process what's going on, they don't know how to handle it, and many have entered a state of denial in which they're telling themselves that everything is fine; that everything will be alright just as soon as the Democrats realize that they're being the real racists, or we get just one more Republican nominee on the Supreme Court, or the Latinos finally start voting like the natural conservatives they are. Surely, if you present enough facts, the New York Times, Jon Stewart, and your kid's college professors will all have to eventually admit that you're right, won't they? I mean, we're all reasonable adults here, aren't we? What's that smell? It's kind of like a combination of jet fuel and burning seat cushions, but that can't possibly be what it is...

Comment by AntiDem on "Protective Stupidity." By Gregory Hood, Radix, 8/18/15 (re Northeast Airlines Flight 823, which crashed on takeoff from LaGuardia in February of 1957).

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