He Lost His Only Daughter Due to ECA

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Cross-posted at Pam's House Blend.

What is color-aroused emotion, ideation and behavior and how can you tell whether it is benign, mild, moderate or severe?  The following story, recounted to me this morning here in Bahia, Brazil, illustrates both what the illness is and how to determine its level of severity with specificity.

I have a friend named Bruna, a white-skinned Brazilian woman who is recounting the following story, about a close friend of hers, and I am translating and typing it up now, as she speaks.  Bruna says,

I have a friend named "Monica" whose skin is very white, and she has long blond hair and green eyes.  She and I prepared for the college entrance exams together, and her case stands out as the most drastic case of color-aroused hatred that I have ever witnessed:

Monica's mother and father were divorced and Monica lived with her father.  She was an only child.  When Monica was in high school, she was secretly in love with a classmate, "João", who was also in love with her.  However, Monica's father was very color-aroused. Monica's father constantly told Monica, "Never date a Black!  Never fall in love with a Black!" Her father was stern and severe.

Little did he know that his daughter already was secretly in love with a Black.  In the private school they attended, Monica looked secretly toward João, and he glanced back surreptitiously at her.  Whenever João was not in class, Monica copied and passed her notes to João, as well as informing him of the homework that was assigned.  João asked Monica to go out with him and she was dying of desire to do so.  

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Resisting the Drums of War

The Bush administration promoted the misguided and destructive war in Iraq by targeting five core concerns that often govern our lives--concerns about vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness. Looking ahead, the continued occupation of Iraq--or an attack on Iran--will likely be sold to us in much the same way. I examine these warmongering appeals--and how to counter them--in a new video entitled Resisting the Drums of War available for viewing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81UKnb5zJ bM.

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Beware the Wounded Bear

When respondents in a mid-February Pew poll were asked to use one word to describe President Bush, the single adjective offered most often was "incompetent." Meanwhile, a recent Newsweek poll revealed not only that Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low, but also that a majority of respondents simply wish his presidency was already over. These rebukes cannot sit well with someone who has proclaimed himself "The Decider," who has become infatuated with the title "Commander-in-Chief," and who once told Bob Woodward "That's the interesting thing about being the President...I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

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Escalation: Five Questions and Their "Yes, BUT" Answers

My work as a psychologist suggests that five core concerns often dominate our individual and collective lives. These concerns revolve around issues of vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness. Briefly, for most of us nothing is more powerful than the desire to protect and provide security for the people and things we care about (vulnerability). We often react to perceived mistreatment with anger and resentment, and an urge to right wrongs and punish those we hold responsible (injustice). We tend to divide the world into those who are trustworthy and those unworthy of our trust, in an effort to avoid harm from people with hostile intentions (distrust). We frequently aspire to be better than others in some important way--perhaps in our accomplishments, or our morality, or our destiny (superiority). Finally, we strive to avoid the experience of helplessness, and instead do our best to control the important events in our lives (helplessness).

Political leaders should be responsive to these five core concerns in identifying broadly shared goals and pursuing positive social change. Unfortunately, the Bush administration and its supporters have instead chosen to exploit these concerns in an effort to promote their own narrow ideological agenda. Perhaps the most tragic example is the profoundly ill-advised and costly war in Iraq.

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How Conservatives Exploit Our Five Core Concerns

My work as a psychologist suggests that five core concerns--about vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness--pervade the worlds of individuals, organizations, communities, and nations.

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