Kristin Clotfelter

Does societal life mirror family life?

This article in the NYTimes is both depressing and enlightening. There is so much violence wrapped up in bigotry. Whether its outward toward society or inward toward the household, toward the self, verbal or physical, if its there, it is there. Hatred cannot be isolated. It can be targeted, I suppose, but it permeates and is toxic. It’s manipulative and creates manipulators.

And yet, how can we move on from tragedy like that in Orlando without feeling some hatred for the one responsible? As many people have cautioned, we cannot react to acts of terror with hatred or terror as that is precisely the reaction sought from those terrorizing. And this article suggests that we may blame our own political culture in this case.

“Ms. Gowrinathan, who studies gender and terrorism, warned against making assumptions based on Mr. Mateen’s having been a Muslim raised by Afghan immigrants to the United States, saying that domestic violence and homophobia are prevalent across cultures. ‘He is the outcome of the United States’ political culture, not the Islamic State’s,’ she said.”

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