Empathy and My Father’s Roots

In response to the following article published by columnist and blogger Jay Bookman, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on his blog this morning, January 8, 2016, I wrote the following words:  (Link to Bookman’s thoughts:

(http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2016/01/08/anti-immigrant-fervor-drives-georgia-gop-batty/ )

“Okay, thinking beyond all this because it is just the 2nd verse of the same song I heard sung in Georgia in the 1950s and 1960s before I fled to NYC.

There must be something lacking in the DNA of most, or at least of too many, white Southerners   Yes, it has now been scientifically proven that those human beings who lack empathy for others have a smaller part of the brain that determines one’s ability to be empathetic.

Get me back to my father’s roots, western North Carolina, where my German ancestors came in the mid 1700’s from Lansing, Pennsylvania (where they had just migrated from Heidelberg, Germany) because the NC hills reminded them of the hills of Heidelberg.  Most of them have been ministers and teachers over the years, with great empathy for others.  It is in my DNA.  I have no patience with the small-minded, mean-spirited men and women.  I am sad for Georgia, though, that it keep electing small men and women with little empathy for others to public office.

For the record:  I believe we need more judges who are not strict constructionists of the American Constitution.  ‘The mind is form, unfertilized.  Be fruitful and multiply said the Lord of the Soul.  Form without Substance is barren.’  – MES, 1971”


Post Script:  Jay Bookman entered another entry on this issue on January 13, 2016.  Below is the link to that entry, as well as a post of mine to another poster on January 13, 2016:  Link: http://jaybookman.blog.myajc.com/2016/01/13/opponents-of-lopez-nomination-make-their-case/

MaryElizabethSings: “If some black Americans, or some black Southerners, or if members of any ethnic group, lack empathy for others in need, then they, too, may well lack full development of that part of the brain which determines one’s ability to be empathetic to others in need.  The brain knows no colors, nor race distinctions.

The fact is that white Southerners, for the most part, resisted changing Jim Crow laws in the South in the 1950s and 1960s, even though their insistence in not changing their hearts, minds, and laws hurt the spirits, and in many cases the bodies, of many black citizens in the South during those decades.  We see today in many white Southerners the same resistance to accepting Hispanic immigrants into Georgia.  I repeat:  In both cases the soul or spirit is lacking.  Of course, the DNA analysis of the brain, as related to empathy, would have to be an individual call, determined by scientific inquiry to each individual’s biology.”



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