so i watched this movie the other night, this random movie [not-then knowing that it was not so random…since it, and the actors involved, were nominated for several awards] we had seen on the half-off previously viewed DVD wall at the video store. so we bought it…and i watched it.
powerful stuff, i tell you.
it’s about a man learning to cope with loss, the loss of his partner, his other. it’s about a man learning to go on, to move on, to embrace life without this other.
but it’s not really the movie that is the subject of this posting [although the movie was powerful enough to invoke postings of it’s own, none of which i will grapple with here]. in fact, it is just a brief few lines in a somewhat inconsequential scene that stuck out to me.
to set the scene.
firth, whose character portrays a university english professor, discusses a book read by his class. one student draws a conclusion from the book, pointing out that Jesus once said the Jews “hated me without cause” and could the same not be said that the Germans hated the Jews without cause.
to which the professor responds,
…their hating the jews was not without a cause, it’s just that the cause wasn’t real. the cause was imagined. the cause was fear….
there are all sorts of minorities.
a minority is only thought of as one when it constitutes some kind of threat to the majority–a real threat or an imagined one. and therein, lies the fear. if the minority is somehow visable, the fear is much greater…
minorities are just people, like us.
fear, after all, is our real enemy.
interesting. interesting parallel. interesting conclusion.
and true, both Jesus and the Jews [both in the minority] posed a threat. a threat to the status quo. a threat to life as was known, as was thought of, as was accepted. a threat [either perceived or real] to take over, to change, to disrupt existing life. and this threat [whether perceived or real] invoked fear within…that fear led to demoralizing consequences.
but not just them, back them. it seems to be us today as well.
it seems our world speaks in terms of the majority…and subsequent the voices of the minority gets lost. and they stick up. they want to be heard to.
it seems the voice of the majority reigns supreme.
it seems that our viewpoints are many times those of the majority versus the minority, us versus them. i know this all too well. i hear it, i see it…wherever i have lived. and being in the majority i am sure i see it differently.
but the night i heard these words, i began to view things a little differently.
why do we speak in such divisive terms?
aren’t we ALL people…just like you and me?
why should i fear those different than myself?
why should i go to extremes to protect the majority and it’s viewpoints?
fast forward a few days.
fk showed me this documentary on the defeat of prop 8. powerful stuff, i tell you.
it reminded me of the words above from the movie.
the majority versus the minority.
protecting our rights, our views, our families, our nation.
…at the expense of others.
and why? FEAR…it was implicit in the words, the message, the dollars, the time.
the “other” posed a threat.
a threat to the status quo. a threat to life as was known, as was thought of, as was accepted. a threat [either perceived or real] to take over, to change, to disrupt existing life. and this threat [whether perceived or real] invoked fear within…and that fear led to demoralizing consequences.
and this fear, perceived by the majority, still leads to demoralizing consequences every day.