Colorful, Laskowitzpictures.com, Photographs, Photography, Pictures, Ray Laskowitz
Comments 43

I Have A Question


Simplicity.

I have questions. A question.

Black people hunted and killed, pipe bombs sent to liberal people, a murderous mass shooting of Jewish people in their house of God. Last week was just horrible. In a year of terrible things.

A good friend of mine suggested that I not publish anything overtly political because he thinks that Storyteller is a place where people come to get away from the daily news. Fair enough. But, this post isn’t political.

I’m not taking the usual approach discussing our leaders. That really doesn’t matter right now because the whole world seems to be tilting extremely rightward. We are becoming nativist. We are extremely angry and mean. The leaders we all elect represent us. You know, “We the People.” We are electing populist right wing extremists. There, I said it.

My quest is a simple question. A toddler’s question.

Why?

I’m not asking why about the events of last week. I’m asking why is there so much hatred. Hatred of people who are not like ourselves. In every evil act last week, somebody was killing, or trying to kill, somebody who was different from them

Why?

Have we as a planet become some polarized that we want to hurt people who don’t think like us? Where does that come from? Why is it still among us? Why are people so damn angry at everything?

Why?

I read about Trump rallies and the people are still screaming, “Lock her up.” Hillary Clinton is barely a political force these days. She lost the election. They shout, “CNN sucks.” Huh? Is it because they cover the news differently from Fox? They don’t suck. They are doing their jobs. They aren’t evil.

Why?

I don’t understand it.

Where does this extreme hatred come from? I think that the word “hate” is a little word with big ramifications. Big enough to send you straight to hell when you die.

Given that so many of the haters also claim to be Christians, don’t they think about that? Don’t they think that taking another human being’s life can send your soul to hell for all eternity?

There are days when I don’t know what I believe when it come to spiritual thinking. But, I have a real clear idea of right and wrong. I must be praying to somewhere because I say that the work is the prayer.

I know. I’ve written a  lot. I’ve come to no conclusions. It’s well beyond my pay grade. Feel free to comment. Please. Maybe a discussion might clear it up a little. I dunno.

The picture.

I made this one at the same time that I made yesterday’s picture. A few steps away. Man, was stuff growing in Treme. I lightened the image and made it as simple as I could. I needed a little clarity.

I needed a little peace.

Peace to y’all.

 

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43 Comments

  1. There is so much hatred right now because people are afraid. Their fears are being fed and amplified by social media like FOX. By enemy regimes who have infiltrated Facebook, Twitter, and so on and spread hate, and discontent–and who have done this same thing in other countries to good effect. By computer tailored algorithms that feed people narrow views of the world loosely referred to as “news.”
    And you are right–as a nation we voted right-wing extremists into power– through complacency (when many of us didn’t vote and should have), and greed (where many of us voted to fatten our pockets at the cost of desperately needed social programs).
    I hear the protests now: “Why should I pay for some sluggard, drug addicted _______ who won’t get off their ass and work?” You shouldn’t. But you should help children. And not just the unborn. But two and three and ten year-old children. Because without intervention, which cost money, they live a life of hunger and degradation and fear. Then they grow up to be irresponsible, angry adults. It’s pay now or pay more later.
    It’s in our best interests for each of us to help one another. Because poverty breeds despair and hopelessness, which feeds resentment, drug addiction, crime and a hosts of other societal ills that eat at the core of our democracy.
    No, I’m not a Socialist. I’m a Realist. I prefer a middle road, away from the two extremes we currently see playing out in local and national politics. Pay now or pay MORE later.
    The bill has come due….

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think those are all surface issues. As I’ve been writing in comments, it’s a multi-generational hatred. I’m not even really thinking about the people who live in poverty. I’m around them a lot because of my work. They aren’t filled with hatred — although they should be — instead, they are filled with kindness. They’ll share anything with me or you.

      It’s different. It’s what we think are extreme right wing fringe. They are very angry and hate filled. They can’t exactly be poor. They have enough money to buy a dozen long weapons like AR15s. Those average around $1000 a pop.

      N. It’s carried on for generations and generation. That’s what I’m try to come to grips with.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Why? Ignorance compounded by fear, intolerance propagated by a megalomaniac asshole, and desperation and hopelessness perpetuated by greed and propaganda. Some of the latter have come to their senses. But for the majority, it simply boils down to sin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the surface. It’s way deeper than that. It’s halocaust deep. It’s inbred and it is generational. Yes, it’s true that the guy in the white house is giving the haters permission to act, but why is their hatred so deep?

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      • Been giving this a lot of thought over the past couple of years. Finally come to grip with the fact there are several Trump support personas ove

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      • … over broader than expected character/issue groupings. But the “base” includes the worst who have been living under a bridge of hate and ignorance. These I am now referring to as the The Trump Trolls.

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      • Of course. There are a lot of voters who wanted change. They see the government as being corrupt, antiquated, and not serving their interests. That’s why Bernie Sanders hung in there as long as he did.

        But, the Trump Trolls are not only to blame. Factions of the Democratic Party are no better. I’ve seen this in NOLA when we took down the Confederate statues. The left was as bad as the right. These feelings trickle down to all the rest of us who are more moderate.

        One more thing that I just read. Pure politics. People like Hillary might never get elected again. They have a long career serving us. They make mistakes because they are us. They have to defend those mistakes during their campaigns. Obama wasn’t even a one term senator. He had nothing to defend. Trump isn’t a politician at all. He has plenty of things to defend in his personal and business lives. he can spin that anyway he wants/ His people don’t care.

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      • Good points. Absolutism has replaced the willingness to compromise, though democracy itself depends on compromise. I look forward to the return of moderates on both sides

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      • I realize this is an oversimplification … but they’re angry because they’re afraid of losing their hegemony. They’re afraid that a woman, a person of color, an LGBTQ+ person, will be as shitty to them as they were to women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people …

        I truly believe that these people have been *taught,* generation after generation, that any failure of opportunity is because of those “others” and that those “others” need to be stopped, have their rights abrogated, etc. That’s the bottom of every misogynistic, homophobic, and otherwise bigoted law and act that has come down the pike for decades.

        Liked by 3 people

      • That’s closer to what I’m trying to find. But, it’s deeper still. It’s multigenerational and comes from the same place as the atrocities of WWII.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mr. Ray,
    This is the question my husband & I ask ourselves everyday too. Why?
    It’s a terrible global plague. I too, try to keep my photo blog focused on “photos” (and not politics) but, it’s something that cannot (and should not) be ignored… Admittedly it’s very frustrating and draining at times.

    That being said, if I may say so, your photography (especially the New Orleans candid shots) have often inspired me to keep going. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. For replying and your comments about my work. I would prefer to only post about my work here and maybe in other places. But, I’m influenced by the times and the news of the day. Sometimes, I have no other choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why indeed. Thought provoking comments Ray. We who experienced the crucible of the Vietnam war and the turmoil of Watergate have seen divisiveness before. Yet the Republic endured. Why? Because We the People exercised our right to vote and righted the ship of state. We have that same opportunity in the mid-terms and in 2020. Get involved, support a candidate with a positive, unifying message, not hollow promises and blind allegiance to a demagogue. Remember the 60’s mantra, ” If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Millennials take heed. You will have to live with the outcome longer than my generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I recall the Vietnam Era, it’s not that. There was no deep seated hatred like the kind that brought on the Halocaust. The htred that I’m talking about is centuries old, deep seated and is showing it’s face now because it’s being allowed to.During the Vietnam Era, a couple of things were going on, but mostly is was a generational battle for moving forward. I remember my day and I disagreeing vehemently, but I never hated him. He was my dad.

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  5. Why? Because humans are small and scared and compromised? Because fear is a strong emotion? Because we need to be taught that to love is stronger and more powerful than to hate? Actually, I have no answers to “why?”, but I know that the thing that keeps me going is people like you and so many others who are willing to ask the question. The weight of the current political and cultural ecosystem is almost unbearable, and yet, and yet…I have so much hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As toddler one would ask, “ but why?” There is something deep, dark and evil bubbling up from the depths. It’s been there forever… think about the halocaust, the pograms, the killing fields in Cambodia. That’s where today’s nastiness is coming from. That’s what I’m trying get at.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It seems as if we have been given the permission through example to speak aloud what’s on our mind. In the past a polite society demanded we kept silent when our thought moved into areas where we would offend someone. I’m hearing that too many people are delighted with the end of what was called politically correct speech. Now people can say anything they think is on their mind even if it is offensive. I keep thinking of my mother’s statement, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say it.”

    Liked by 1 person

      • One view point you might want to listen to that relates to this issue is today’s THE DAILY podcast produced by the New York Times. Today’s title is “The Business of Internet Outrage” I don’t know how do a link but it should be available from where ever you would get your podcasts.

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  7. Last week was indeed terrible. And I was at a memorial service for a dear friend when I heard about the shooting in PA. I have been walking around this week feeling like my nerve endings are exposed. I’m asking the same questions. No real answers yet, however.

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  8. maryoconnor123 says

    Friend, We are not electing right wing extremists. Rather, we are electing people willing to stand up to the hatred and vitriol we see, mostly on one side. I agree with you that it absolutely has to stop, but we all need to work on it.

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    • Mary (bot), Sure. Trump is the worst of them all because he stands for nothing but lining his own pockets just as the rest of the Republican Congress does. They have become far right wingers.

      Before you respond, please make sure you understand this. Storyteller is not a democracy. Start a nasty fight here and I’ll turn you and your ilk into spam. Gone from here forever. Is that clear?

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  9. Why? Is what I ponder about everyday. Greed, pride, power, sin, selfishness, evil, ego, ignorance and the list goes on. There is no simple answer, this is a deep seated issue that may never get solved. Some of the answers are found by simply looking at history going back in time from the beginning. The answer lies in the search for the truth of all things that is being withheld cause it may destroy many current belief systems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • debzzzz says

      Dayvean23 said it just about right.
      If, we could just get rid of our ugly egos, we would be on the right track. But, we can’t. We are born with it & we all will die with it. We can work to transend from it. It’s an everyday walk.
      I believe the Buddist monks have pretty much found the way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe. As far as Buddhist Monks go, I’ve spent a long time in SE Asia. Some of them can be as sgifty as the next guy. After all, they are just men like all the rest of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. The Establishment Elite have been monkeying with our government and our lives since they came into power after the Industrial Revolution. (They then teamed up with the already existing elites-royalty, financiers, etc.)

    Those elites have bought off many of elected leaders and installed their own minions into public office. Those who are legislators have enacted laws to unfairly benefit the rich.

    Those same elites have also bought many of our sources of news and entertainment. They use those to sway public opinion for their own self interests. They have also installed many of their minions into our educational, judicial, financial, etc. systems in order to use them to their benefit.

    Many of us have been arguing against that evil conspiracy for a long time and our numbers keep growing. In the last presidential election, Donald Trump recognized our growing movement and used his wealth and celebrity status to help spearhead it.

    The Establishment Elite are desperately attempting to hold onto their ill-gotten power. They are marshalling all of their minions to do everything they can to stop our movement from dethroning them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They came into power during the Revolution. Think about it. Our Founding Fathers were all rich old white men, slaves were thought of as 3/5s of a white man. The system has been gamed for 300 years.

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  11. rrvalleynorth says

    The why was agreed on by those in high places centuries ago. An engineered product is hate. Guiding the heard, nipping the hocks, relentless, never ending meddling and subversion. I don’t believe hate, aggression, contempt, deceit, betrayal, cheating, lies, corruption were at any time part of the core package of man. From within the dark, behind scenes are the corrupt evil people never satisfied, always plotting the means to keep up pressure. Conflict, be it in marches, rallies, alleys or Nations at war. Who, how what starts it in truth only a hand full of evil know. Good men and women sent out to kill. Proud Patriots volunteer. The innocent are killed, used discarded by thousands and millions. children and babies blown to bits The warriors return shattered and scarred, many for life. Suicide the only way out of the pain for so many and just keeps on growing. The blood that is spilled is for tyrants without honor, no remorse, no shame! Beyond understanding how their mind works. I’ll stick with the heard. If we can,t come together recognize the threat and focus together we will all become losers, a heard to the slaughter. People have been carefully taught to hate and all the other hateful traits. Skillful with time tested methods they will never stop. More and more their being exposed for what they are. We need unity . we need to stop segregation. We need to overcome labels the bigotry, racism and divisions we have allowed them to drive in between us. It is up to us, we are the generation in time put to the task. Add to the why. How? How old man, how did you let it get this far, how? What were you guys thinking? Damn fools! Damn you! Sorry about that. First time in your neighborhood. didn’t intend to get so dark . I like your colors flowers and art. Gardening and growing, people outside doing their thing. Friendly and approachable neighbors used to be. Families spent time together, easy to see now the disruption of family didn’t take long at all. Get mom in the work force away from the kids, Schools without values in moral decay. Our youth targeted with drugs, alcohol, sex to dumb them down. So much lost in such a short time. Well Ray, you caught me with your why. Thanks for listening. Hope I didn’t offend anyone. going back up to see what’s behind your art and flowers.

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    • I’m not much of a conspiracy believer. Most history is, as they say, a collection of accidents. Your comments don’t offend me, but I can’t speak for others. While I do say that Storyteller isn’ A democracy, I also champion sincere comments. Yours are certainly that… but the kind of hatred to which I’m referring is from the inside and not manipulated.

      As far as Storyteller, you are only seeing the pas couple of months. Dig around. At my heart I’m still the photojournalist that I started out to be.

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