It's Hard to Think of Them as Real People

"The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you 
pour upon it, the more it will contract."  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Well.. we like to hope that education will solve such moral dilemmas. However, that's rarely the case where bigots are concerned, as Mr. Holmes pointed out.  Shedding 'light' into the mind of a bigot only makes his mind grow more narrow, because he staunchly refuses to give up his hateful bigotries. Compare with what Jesus said regarding spiritual and moral darkness...

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"  Matt 6:22-23

"Oh look, a couple of ink spots,"  she said one morning as she observed two African-American fellows crossing the street at an intersection. She laughed at her own joke even though I didn't see anything funny about it.

It's not just black people, but anyone who is non-white... "it's hard to think of them as real people."  That's another one of my Narcissist mother's thoughtful proverbs (or sayings).  Yes, she is fond of thinking her thoughts right out loud, and often either doesn't care who hears them, or is completely oblivious to the fact that everyone within a ten-foot radius can and does hear them.  It is embarrassing to be anywhere in public with her because you just never know what she will say, and who will hear it when passing by.  I will say this however, in defense of her blatant racism: My narcissist mother finds it hard to think of anyone as a real person; even the members of her own family. 

Despite the fact that her Facebook updates are filled with hate-rhetoric and thinly veiled racism in the name of religion and politics (but mostly religion), my Narcissist mother will be the first to claim that she is, in fact, not a racist.  After all, she's never donned a hooded white sheet and burned a cross in anyone's front yard.  She is rather quick to point out, however, that the Jews deserved what they got in the Holocaust, because they are Jews and not Christians, and God doesn't like the Jews anymore. (Never mind that Jesus was also a Jew.. and not a Christian).

But what exactly makes a person (halfway, sort of) real in the eyes of my Narcissist mother?  If they are belligerent, obnoxious and ultra-right-wing (and white) like Newt Gingrich, that makes them (sort of real) and worthy of my Narcissist mother's respect and admiration.  Although I think it goes a little deeper under the surface than that, especially where Narcissistic Personality Disorder is concerned. Newt Gingrich is a real person because he has many of the exact same personality traits as my Narcissistic mother, he agrees with everything my narcissist mother believes (regardless whether Newt is even aware of this).  Oh, and because "Newt is a Christian," too.

"Really?  But hasn't Newt been caught in dozens of lies, sex scandals, and blatant hypocrisies? How can he possibly be a Christian?"

My Narcissist mother responds with a blank stare, behind which she is furiously plotting how to twist the topic into a different direction.  But before she can go there, I tell her bluntly--"Barak Obama is a Christian, too.  He said so.  And he's lived a moral life where his family and work ethics are concerned.  Didn't Jesus even say that 'you will know them by their fruits?'" (Matthew 7:15-27)

"Well, he's not a Christian."  That's her answer.

"Why don't you believe he's a Christian?"

This is not about politics, though.  Not in any way, shape or form.  It's not even a theological religious debate. It's merely about judging someone by the color of their skin.  I don't personally know Barak Obama or Newt Gingrich, and neither does my Narcissist mother.  Whether either man believes in God or subscribes to the Christian religion, I do not know.  And neither does my Narcissist mother.

"Because everyone knows he isn't!" My Narcissist mother will adamantly refuse to accept the fact that she cannot possibly know what is on Barak Obama's mind and heart concerning religious matters.  Then: "Why do you always have to go against everything I say?!" she simply changes the subject at this point, but behind her shifty eyes and wrenching fists, she's reaching a boiling point inside. She literally goes berserk with rage if anyone quotes a bible verse that contradicts her own warped beliefs.  It isn't rational, her method for judging people.  The immoral white fellow who embodies my Narcissist mother's loftiest goals in her own fantasy world, is the Christian--the good guy.  The other guy, the black one--he is the bad guy.

"It's because he's black, isn't it?"   No, we don't dare risk saying that to my Narcissist mother's face, not without incurring her screaming, ranting rage.  It's what everyone in the family (and those outside the family who've been privy to her racism on Facebook) says jokingly to each other behind the Narcissist's back.  Only.. it's not very funny.  And somehow, I doubt that Jesus-the-Jew would find my Narcissist mother's blatant racism very inspirational or conducive to promoting the notion that 'God so loved the world..'

The whole world.

Terri M. © August 2012

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Anonymous said...

Loved this post. It's true. They consider those to be human (or nearly) only those who are like them. Hope to read more of your blog!

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