Morning Cup O' Joe

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Diffusing Hate with Humor

You may have heard the phrase “What you resist persists.” It’s been attributed to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the activist Sonia Johnson, among others, so it’s hard to pinpoint from whom it originated, but regardless of its origin it’s certainly proven itself to be true in my experience.

In other words, when I find someone who is 1) deeply entrenched in their beliefs, 2) close-minded to the point of refusing to consider or even hear an alternate point of view, and 3) morally presumptuous enough to sincerely believe that anyone who thinks differently from them is wrong, ignorant, etc., well, in my opinion there’s just no point in continuing interact with that person in any way, as they have effectively closed down all avenues for meaningful conversation.

Now, you can argue from hell to breakfast with someone like that (and, mistakenly, I have in the past), but generally that only further entrenches the other party in their adamant belief that they are right, you are wrong, and you’re an idiot for not agreeing with them. Furthermore, it can spur them to spread their “message” to others with renewed vigor. My solution nowadays is not to fight them, but to just ignore them and continue working towards the goal/cause/idea with which they so vehemently disagree.

For example, Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

Which brings me to the whole impetus for this post:

These folks learned that there was going to be a KKK/Nazi rally in their town. They could have protested/picketed them in the traditional sense (and many did), but I’m sure you can imagine how effective that would’ve been. Instead, they came up with a truly ingenious solution: humor.

Rather than just yelling at the rally-goers with more anger and hate, a few chose to make light of the situation to the point that the KKK members were left seething with impotent rage and were forced to leave the area, dejected and absolutely failing in the original intent of their hate rally.

The 100th ARA (Anti-Racist Action) came to the KKK rally dressed as clowns, pretending come to the rally to support their “fellow clowns” under the mistaken believe that the KKK members were clowns themselves (since they do wear white robes and pointy hats). Apparently they did a good job of staying in character, treating the Klan members like fellow clowns and acting confused and dismayed when the Klan members refused to laugh despite the clowns’ continual jokes and pranks.

When the Klan began their trademark chant of “White Power!” the clowns yelled back “White flour?” and began running around throwing flour in the air and holding “White Flour!” signs up.

The Nazi’s yelled “White Power!” again, and again the clowns yelled back, “White flowers?” this time, cheering and throwing white flowers in the air as they danced around happily.

By this point the Nazi’s were just digging their own grave, but they tried one more time to get their message across. As they yelled “White Power!” the clowns yelled as one: “Wife power? Oh, now we understand.” The clown women were dressed as brides, grabbed the male clowns and began to dance and chant “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!” (pictured above)

Needless to say, I think that was pure genius.

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September 1, 2007 - Posted by | News, Oddities, Philosophy

6 Comments

  1. that is GENIUS indeed! thanks for sharing this story. It made the end of my day…

    Comment by mikkelina | September 1, 2007

  2. Brilliant!!!

    “… seething with impotent rage… ”

    I love that!

    Comment by Bernard | September 2, 2007

  3. Awesome.

    Comment by Mike | September 2, 2007

  4. WHITE FLOUNDER!
    WHITE FLOUNDER!

    Comment by xraytech | September 2, 2007

  5. WHITE CHOUDER!
    WHITE CHOUDER!

    Comment by xraytech | September 2, 2007

  6. Ooops!!!

    I mean

    WHITE CHOWDER!
    WHITE CHOWDER!

    Comment by Bernard | September 2, 2007


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