eeeeeee! it’s a spider!!! it’s a muslim!! it’s a hoodie!

Here in the “Inland Northwest” United States, Spring comes a bit later than I’d like. But all it takes is one 60 degree (15.5 C) day and the insects flutter and wriggle to life.

Based upon the accuracy of the available measurements, we can say that there are between 150 million and 1.5 billion insects for every woman, child and man: 148,574,965.09 insects per human.

Please don’t stomp, spray, poison, squish, burn them. Leave them alone or put them outside. Please! They’re necessary for the health of the planet. Your fright doesn’t give you license to kill others and this includes insects.

I realize how absurd that sounds given the state of human global warring of tribe upon tribe, country upon country, “collateral” damage, not to mention the utilitarian objectification and subsequent subjugation of animals, ditto for plants and trees, systematic destruction of plant and animal habitat for human “growth,” the war on the earth itself with fracking, drilling, mountain top removals, bulldozing…

The myth of scarcity, the anxiety of consumerism in all its manifestations of commodities and experiences, the panic of “never enough,” that someone will destroy, steal or otherwise harm you or your stuff is a driving force beneath the patriarchal paradigm. Fear is the seat of it all.

But fear cannot be the be-all-end-all. It shouldn’t trump introspection, kindness or fairness—though it does—and it’s the biggest drug pushed across the U.S. and much of the rest of the world disguised in words like: “homeland security” “health” “progress” “restoring our neighborhoods” “smart defense” “humanitarian intervention” “surge” “terrorist” “ambition.”

Don’t be fooled. Fear is behind xenophobia and homophobia, sexism and racism, all “-isms” and phobias. Phobia means fear, people; there’s a phobia for everything.

Fear doesn’t have to be the only thought, or even the first. Just because something could happen or has happened before doesn’t mean it will. Doesn’t mean your fear is rational. Justifications are just that. Rajneesh once said, “If you want security, get in the coffin.”

A man in a turban is usually just a man in a turban. A teenager in a tight skirt is still a girl. Neither is about you. If you’re afraid of the first and titillated by the second, deal with it within yourself. Don’t project your alarm or “need” outward. That’s YOURS! It’s NOT them. Difference is not an evil or an object.

If a spider crawls out from under your stove or a honey bee is working your flowers or a yellow jacket is circling your picnic or a black boy—wearing a hoodie and carrying a pack of Skittles—is walking toward you, that’s YOUR terror talking. That’s NOT reality no matter how real it feels to you.

Conceivably one day your fear of others’ power to “get” you or your goods will subside by starting small. Begin with gentleness to the ubiquitous insects by letting them exist, and move from there. Maybe then you can allow other cultures, species, people different from you to exist, too.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

3 thoughts on “eeeeeee! it’s a spider!!! it’s a muslim!! it’s a hoodie!

  1. Nice job. It’s amazing how you were able to link together insect and man with right and wrong and a current racial event debacle. You’re amazing! Another great rant!


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