Shadow Issues


Posting this here although I’m still thinking this through:

I was thinking this afternoon about how LBJ said, when he signed the Civil Rights Bill, that the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. He was right, if a bit optimistic. Racism tore apart the Democratic Party in ways that are still hurting it.

And, now, maybe, racism is also tearing apart the Republicans.

Sad as it is to admit it, for years Democrats tolerated racism to keep the Southern states voting D. It allowed them to push through Social Security, the TVA, some other good stuff, even if that good stuff benefitted white people far more than African Americans. And, then, when push got down to shove, the Democratic Party (by a bare margin) did the right thing even though it cost them — and still costs them — more than a few elections.

What’s interesting is that the Republican Party, which, just like the old Dem Party has been happy to tolerate racism as long as it let them achieve their other objectives (low taxes on capital gains, deregulation, funding the military industrial complex), is now being torn apart by racism, but that’s happening at a time when the demographics are changing much more rapidly than they were were LBJ signed the Civil Rights Bill.  I think that means that the cost for the Republicans may be higher and may come due sooner than it did for the Dems, but I’m still, as I said above, thinking that through.

I guess what both parties are learning is that, if we’re ever going to move forward, America is going to have to actually deal (rather than sweep under the rug) with what some (obviously non-First Peoples) have called America’s Original Sin.

It’s almost as if there are some Shadow Issues so big, and so deep, and based so thoroughly upon so much “unfaced and unfelt suffering” that they have to be addressed and not ignored, projected, buried.  And the longer and the harder that we try to ignore them, the more loudly they clamor for our attention.  So, maybe America needs to deal with race.

And then maybe we can talk about women.

Picture found here.


3 responses to “Shadow Issues

  1. Beautifully said. Acknowledge our Shadow and withdraw our projections..and allow the healing to begin. No easy task but definitely doable. Projection was the hardest Jungian concept for me to grasp. It made sense intellectually but it took my gut awhile to recognize and claim the shitola.

  2. Yes, please. Racists — and really people who hate for any broad reasons — have scurried from one political party to the next for far too long. Republicans lost the south with Reconstruction, then Democrats with the Civil Rights Act. In a so-called free country, what will it take to drive out the hate so we can start building a decent future?

  3. Dear Hecate, thanks for this post and many others.

    Concerning the American Shadow, have you read James Hillman’s A Terrible Love of War. I think you will like it. And just now I have come across a meditation on home burial in Vermont by a poet I had not known, Verandah Porche, who was in a photo of an old friend during commune days in Vermont.
    The link is

    The prose and poetry – and connection to the land – brought you to mind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s