Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Trayvon Martin's Killing Wasn't Isolated Incident

Our recent article published in Women's eNews addresses the hierarchical programming of people who think that African Americans are overreacting to the Travon Martin killing. The African American community is responding to yet another example of what they live with constantly, while others are seeing the killing  as an isolated incident.

There's a double standard in any hierarchy when it comes to assumptions about abuse or violence. Whenever a group that's on the top of a hierarchy exhibits an undesirable behavior, it is considered an isolated incident. Conversely, when if a member of a lower group acts out in a way that’s undesirable, their behavior is viewed collectively as being universal to the whole group and their culture. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Not a Joke

Washington Post Columnist Kathleen Parker's recent article – about the clown skit with an Obama mask at the rodeo in Missouri – used a Role Reversal that illustrates how one's perceptions can change according to her or his place on a hierarchy.

Role reversals provide us enlightening experiences; elusive hierarchies reveal themselves in an instant. When we're on the top of a hierarchy (here, race) the concerns of bottom groups can look ridiculous. But when we become the bottom group, we often see the harm of the hierarchy instantly.

Kathleen Parker writes:

"To be honest, my first reaction was: What a lot of bull. But then, as one must, I put myself in the other’s shoes. How would I feel if my face were on the clown’s mask and the arena were filled with men who cheered the beast who would trample and destroy me? 

"This is where political commentary becomes something else. Frightening. We all know what happens when the mob is empowered, especially when further emboldened by the excuse of humor. Few statements are more dishonest than 'It’s just a joke.'"


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

John Lewis's Life for All to Read

For those of us who would like to use a new medium to learn more about the fall of hierarchies, we note that a new comic book series is being published by Congressman John Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement. Starting from a suggestion by one of his staff members, Mr. Lewis is presenting the first of a series depicting his life, called "March," at Comic-Con International 2013 in San Diego this week.

Seems like a good opportunity to bring history to life for people of almost all ages.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Elders are Resources

When a relative moved into the Community Cares facility in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, we decided to use the internet to find out more about her new home. We watched a television spot about the organization and were impressed by their description of a center that considered the residents' thoughts, skills, abilities to be the its greatest resource. The center has an on-site child daycare center where multiple generations can get to know each other. They go out into the community often and there are several animals that live at the facility.

The director of the non-profit organization said that they followed the  Eden Alternative model. When we looked at their website, we were impressed with their 10 principles. Here are some of them:

An Elder-centered community commits to creating a human habitat where life revolves around close and continuing contact with plants, animals, and children. Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship.

An Elder-centered community honors its Elders by de-emphasizing top-down bureaucratic authority, seeking instead to place the maximum possible decision-making authority into the hands of the Elders or into the hands of those closest to them.

Creating an Elder-centered community is a never-ending process. Human growth must never be separated from human life.