Jeffrey Polet’s opinion on Ferguson: …

I’ve had a number of students over the past few days ask me for my opinion of the events in Ferguson, MO. They register shock when I tell them I don’t have one. “You see,” I say, “Ferguson is not my place. I don’t have intimate knowledge either of it, or of the events there. In the absence of such knowledge, any opinion I have is going to say more about me and my concerns than it will about Ferguson.” We live in a world that resists judgment when we have intimacy, but encourages it when we don’t.

(Jeffrey Polet, emphasis added)

“Resists judgment when we have intimacy” evokes the new Categorical Imperative: Be Nice.

“Encourages [judgment] when we don’t [have intimacy]” evokes the execrable habit we’ve developed of letting “news” media whip up two-minute hates so we can feel good about ourselves – you know, good like the Pharisee: “God, I thank you that I am not like that racist pig Darren Wilson in Ferguson.”

But as our local two-minute-hatemongers have shown is, an anonymous owner of a Confederate flag can become a lightning rod, condemned by one piece of circumstantial evidence of being an atavistic racist.

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.