And during an Unlearning Racism workshop I attended many moons ago, we were taught the difference between openly saying "I wonder who you are" versus an inner "I know who you are," which is a prejudice (or prejudgement).
But times change, don't they? As I noted back in October 2011, during my Selfish &%$#@! Theme Week:
Teachers have a saying: "Judge the behaviour, not the child." However, when it comes to adults, I'm judging them by their behaviour! So if their behaviour is selfish, then so are they. And if their behaviour is mean-spirited, then so are they.
So what do we do with this situation? My husband is on a climate change listserve that was started and is moderated by a lovely person ... who insists that if two brothers — whose family name starts with K and sounds like a soft drink — walked (virtually) into their group, she would expect all members to treat them with respect and kindness, because they're humans, too.
That attitude, so bloody pervasive amongst New Age-leaning lefties (or are they left-leaning New Agers?), makes me sputter (or is it splutter?). It's, it's ... ludicrous, absurd, ridiculous, preposterous, foolish, mad — and dangerous.
"Hello, Mr. and Mr. Progenycidal Mass Murderer, come in. Welcome. Please take a seat. May we offer you a cola? Thank you for taking the time to allow us to show you how important niceness is to our side. In fact, niceness is more important than safeguarding the viability of life on this planet. So please, do enjoy your soft drink. Oh, you'd like to keep getting stinking filthy rich from choking off the future for the children of all species? By all means, go ahead. We're too nice to stop you. Politeness ... where would life be without it?"
I would like to point out that if compassion is going to have a hand in saving us, it's not compassion for the Soft-Drink Sound-Alike Brothers and the rest of the fossil fuel and big money mafia that we need.
What we need to conjure up in our hearts and minds is compassion for all children, everywhere. It's compassion for the millions who have already lost their livelihoods or their loved ones, their food security or their water sources, their homes or their entire homelands. It's compassion for the billions who are going to be affected by climate chaos.
We need to express to the K--- Brothers and their co-conspirators the derision, disdain, scorn and contempt they and their actions richly deserve. Indeed, their deeds should be judged as a crime against humanity by the International Criminal Court (but it doesn't seem there are many Rich White Guys getting tried there these days).
We're talking about the ongoing, now-deliberate destruction of the viability of the Earth's biosphere — its ability to support life. There can be no forgiveness when they know exactly what they do. They deserve no compassion. I refuse to "suffer with" the rich bastards who refuse to leave one ounce of fossil fuel in the ground, even as they're killing off their own descendants.