THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AND SCAPEGOATING

A particularly disturbing outcome of the spiraling financial and economic crisis are signs
that the scourge of Western civilization, anti-semitism is on the rise.  There are multiple sources for this evidence–all of which are reprehensible. 

Certainly, there are individuals, institutions, systems, policies and procedures which, in hindsight were clearly out of control–but when 'we' begin to blame particular ethnic, religious, racial groups for our problems……we begin a slippery slope that leads to irrational hatred.

One would have hoped that in a time and place where a black man may very well be elected
president and in which tremendous progress has been made in shattering stereotypes, resorted to scapegoating of particular groups would no longer be an issue.

Let's be clear about the crisis–there are many INDIVIDUALS who share responsibility….from the politicians who wanted 'all' Americans to be home owners [regardless of their ability to pay their debts] to political action committees who were pushing for the same goal.  'Poor' people have the 'right' to own homes– don't they?

 Then there were the mortgage companies and their salespeople who were rewarded for 'selling' the product, even encouraging clearly unqualified individuals to go for the largest mortgage possible. Yet they had no accountability in the future as to whether their clients could ever pay the bills, particularly when the value of their homes slipped. There were members of Congress, flush with PAC money from Freddie and Fannie to avoid the close oversight of their practices. Then there were the capitalist 'pigs' [excuse the  expression] who saw money in bundling, trading, selling investment products which were intrinsically of little value but which generated billions of dollars in income.

The point is this–there were black, white, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, atheists—all complicit in the crisis.  BUT THEY WERE ACTING AS INDIVIDUALS– not members of a particular group!!  When someone blames a 'group' for a crisis–this is known as scapegoating. The 'group'  should be irrelevant to the crisis at hand.

Let us be very careful to avoid the scapegoating mentality which has set the stage for some of mankind's greatest sins, atrocities, genocides far worse than any financial crisis we could imagine.

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