Peddling the Strife

Hate on a Stick, 2010 An Acrylic Painting by Artist Bill Rangel
Hate on a Stick, 2010
40"W x 30"H acrylic on canvas

With apparent ease, a manipulative puppet master sows discord among two unassuming boys. Instilling hatred is an age-old convenient strategy used to prevent or roll back social justice. Ironically, hate and fear-mongering mostly stem from institutions that teach love and compassion for all.

This week, during Hurricane Harvey, millionaire Joel Osteen squirmed in front of the media, making pathetic excuses for not being charitable or opening the doors of his megachurch to people in dire need. And, recently, after the unrest in Charlottesville, evangelical leaders in Trump’s camp said little or nothing about his statement in which he equated neo-Nazi demonstrators with anti-fascist protesters. The president’s comments on the violence were intentional; he aimed to drive a wedge between people and fan the flames of hate and intolerance by normalizing the white supremacists. In essence, if we are to follow Trump’s logic, anyone who helped rid the world of Hitler is a terrorist. The business community had enough of his vicious bullshit and bailed on him, and almost every week someone in a major government position resigns. And many other professionals and groups are distancing themselves from Trump because he’s brazenly poisonous. But not his religious folks, no mass exodus there. They remain supportive of almost everything he does, even though millions of people are torn apart by his policies, words, and actions. In the song "Durty," Lil' Kim sang, “Real recognize real,” and the same goes for con men, empty suits know their kind. And as long as their flock keeps buying the swindle, together they’ll keep peddling the strife.

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