When does a slip of the tongue cut one's throat?  The best answer comes from Trent Lott, who made an inappropriate comment that is destined to topple his career as a senior politician.   But what about all the other politicians who "slipped" and are now hiding behind Trent Lott's body?   What about both sides?   Is it right to sacrifice one in hopes it will cleanse all of racism, bigotry and prejudice?  You be the the judge.


Wednesday--December 18, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 462
Feed Terrorism, Starve Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 18--"It all comes down to the one I chose to feed."
      I listened to my friend describing his day.  He was having a Vigilant Day--one of those in which all the storm clouds hanging overhead had silver linings.  Nothing could knock him off the center.  He was nailed to the Core of Vigilance.
       "I didn't feed my Beast of Terror," he exclaimed, happily.   "I starved it today."

Feeding the Beast of Terror

      James, my buddy, has been struggling with his Beast of Terror.   He and I became friends a few months ago when I started talking to him about how to manage the Beast of Terror.  He's about my age and the scars on his back from the Beast's Fangs razor his back like herringbone marks made by a skier marching up the side of a mountain.   James, like many of us, carries around a ton of demons in his Emotional backpack.
       "I just didn't feed him.   I kept my eye on the horizon.  I kept thinking about the present, and how great everything was instead of how many problems I had."
        I thought about the simplicity of James revelation.   Each day when we awaken we stand before the mirror and chose of two options--Feed The Beast of Terror or Feed The Sentinels of Vigilance.
       Our minds have no gray.
       Ultimately, they're black or white.


Seeing only in black and white

        Either our thoughts push us forward into the sunlight of life's joys and happiness's, its great adventures and rewards, or, we become victims caught in the jaws of steel traps that sink their bloody teeth into our shame, guilt, depression, futility and turn us into victims about to get "beat up again" by the pressure of the day.
       You can tell which people are trapped by the way they walk and hold their heads.
       The trapped walk with their heads down, eyes furtive, shoulders slumped.   If you look carefully, you can see the ball and chain locked to their legs, and hear it clanging as they drag it behind them.  They don't smile.   Their eyes are either blank or like those of a doe caught in the headlights of the oncoming car.
       Often they talk very loudly, masking their own fears by trying to make too much noise and trying to capture false attention to their presence. When they do, they glance all about to see who's looking,  They force their obtrusions on the ears of others as a diversion to not reveal their inner Fear, Intimidations or Complacencies. 
        Then there are the quiet ones--the Vigilant ones--who walk with their heads up, shoulders back, looking at others and nodding or smiling, reaching out with their countenance as though their whole being was a handshake and greeting, welcoming humanity to walk alongside them.

Lott's comments were heard but others with like thoughts hide on the Swing of Complacency

       One of the most Terror Stricken beings in America today is Senator Trent Lott.  He's swinging in the wind, legs dangling as he is hoisted up the political gallows kicking and screaming, and below are his "friends" watching him rise up slowly, the hangman's knot of indiscretion tightening around his neck.   Lott is walking around with shoulders hunched, eyes flicking here and there, looking for the Beast of Terror that is haunting him, stalking him, breathing is fire on his neck, singing his credentials as a political leader, as a man of credible stature.
        The other day he went on BET, Black Entertainment Television, in a desperate plea to atone for his verbal sins when he made an inflammatory comment that the nation would have been better off had Strom Thurmond been elected on a segregationist ticket back in 1948.    There was no humor in his comment.   The Beast of Terror regurgitated the words after Lott, Senate Majority Leader, fed them to the audience.   The vomit now sticks to Lott's face, and no one is offering him a Brawny Towel to wipe it off.
        Lott, a Conservative, played the "race card" in a birthday talk about Strom Thurmond's long service to America.  He forgot he was subject to the microscopes of political assassination.  He forgot that alienating himself from America's black population would bury him and remind the national leaders there is no room for prejudice or the hint of it in the political arena.
       His buddies ran from him as though he had smallpox.  
       Even President Bush distanced himself, refusing to mollify his statement as a "slip of the tongue."
       Some claim his comment is only an example of what others say and think, but don't get called on.   Others say that any leader who suggests a division between black and white by a leader is a crime far more vicious than lying or cheating or stealing.
       Mark Fuhrman knows what it's like to be caught in the vice of saying things against another race.   The Los Angeles detective in the O.J. Simpson case denied every using the "N" word, and was impeached when it was proven he had.   He lost his job and credibility over it.
       I have been watching the nation dig Lott's grave over these past few weeks, and wonder why society doesn't attack a person who tells a child in public, "I hate you, don't bother me."   Which crime of the tongue is worse--a racial slur or telling a child that he or she is nothing, a nobody.

Parent too busy for children

       How about the parent who tells a child eager to share his or her day with the parent and is rebuked by the comment, "Don't bother me, I'm busy!"
       Is a Lott comment worse than slapping a child's face with Indifference and Complacency.
       And what about all the political leaders who have ever used the "N" word in their comments--should they be investigated and treated the same as Lott?  How about all the blacks who refer to the whites as "Honkies," or say to their children, "Never trust whitey!," should they be marched out onto the same narrow plank that Lott finds himself teetering upon?

The "N" word abuse covers up bigger issues

       I find the flap over Lott a pimple on an elephant's rear.   It's a diversion that suggests once we lop off Lott's head, our society will be cleansed of bigots and prejudice.   I fear there will be a groundswell of righteous indignations that suggests the strains and stresses of racial conflict represent a purification, but the purification will be only on the White side.
         What about all the inflammatory statements shot daily at the Whites by the Blacks that are considered to be "politically correct?"   Don't they also feed the Beast of Terror?  Don't they fatten the guilt, shame, the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that bulges the Beast of Terror's belly?    Is ignoring the vitriolic nature of accusing White America of oppressing Black America a "victimless crime," while the opposite requires a political death sentence?
        This issue isn't exacerbated by Lott's demise.
        It is only buried.
        Vigilance demands that we, as a society, look at our choice of words in relation to the children and the children's children.  It means that there is no sanctuary for either White or Black to disparage the other, and that attacking an individual rather than the root--the Beast of Terror--is nothing more than a diversion.

Lott interviewed on Black Entertainment TV

       Prejudice and bigotry will continue to prosper when we accuse each other of the crime, rather than seek out its motivation.   The motivation of prejudice is to divide and conquer, to make one side better than the other, to cast dispersions on the soil of a democracy comprising a wide variety of opinions.
        It isn't so much what Lott said that we should be attacking with our Swords and Shields of Vigilance.  Our concern should be not to bury prejudice and bigotry, but to expose them as sources of fuel for the Beast of Terror.   If there is someone who can teach the children of the world why it is not worthy to express one's feelings to others, and why harboring them can ruin the good intentions of one's actions and deeds, it's Trent Lott.
        But instead of using Senator Lott as a teacher, as an example of one who has fed the Beast of Terror and suffered from its poisons, we are going to bury him.  We are going to dig a grave and swallow him up, and stomp on his grave as though he were an Osama bin Laden or a Saddam Hussein, a Terrorist of the Tongue.

Terrorist of the Tongue

      When he resigns, which he will under great pressure, and the sound of his neck snapping is heard as the political hangman's noose finally tightens around his neck, and his feet dangle wildly in the air, and his bowels relax and the bile in his body runs down his pant legs as he swings in the wind of righteous indignation, we will lose a leader, a teacher of how prejudice and bigotry can ruin one's life.
         Instead of hanging him, we should appoint him as our Sentinel of Political Bigotry and Prejudice.  We should ask him to be in charge of our Homeland Security and remind both blacks and whites that racial comments that inflame the division between people hurt not help the bonding of our society.   Instead of apologizing to the world, he should be used to teach the world how he had changed, for if a child is to believe that the crime of prejudice and bigotry--something so common in a multicultural society--is met with a death sentence instead of rehabilitation, then why would anyone want to shift his or her views?    Threatening others with a death sentences only buries bigotry and prejudice, it doesn't bring it to light, to the sunlight where it can be cured.
         I think the Sentinels of Vigilance would rather Trent Lott be given a pardon than to have him hanged.
         But I think no one is listening to their Voices.
         They would rather "white wash" the situation with his blood.  And when he is hanged, if you listen closely, you can hear the Beast of Terror laughing.   It will be a happy laugh for the Beast, and a sad day for all who believe that human beings can change.

Dec. 17--Murder, Terrorism and Rape Flees Big Apple

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