Democratic Club Discusses Xenophobia at January Meeting
The January 19th SBLW Democratic Club meeting, lead in an interactive fashion by President Mary Larson, was both friendly and spirited. Members were seated at round tables to facilitate small group conversation and reactions to the topic for the day, which was “The Politics of Xenophobia.” After a spicy joke about a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word, xenophobia was defined as the fear of foreigners. President Larson defined the word further by quoting from an article by Alexander Dawoody, assistant professor of public administration at Marywood University,
“Xenophobia is a state of mind and a form of illness that differs from classic racism.”
“As a nation, we are in the process of destroying racism in our society. Xenophobia will also be eliminated and dealt a blow to as well. However, and in order to do so, we need to be aware of its hidden venues and better educate ourselves on how to identify, isolate, target, and then eliminate it.”
“ . . . by exposing xenophobia and encouraging ourselves to stand up against it, this ugly phenomenon may also be uncovered and rooted out of our society.”
The meeting’s scheduled speaker, The Rev. Frank Wulf, was unable to attend because of illness. In his place, board member Laura Wilson read a powerful Dec. 10th New York Times editorial entitled “The Trump Effect and How It Spreads,” followed by a response written by Rev. Wulf. A lively discussion ensued.
The meeting also included a variety of reports from various board members. Dale Lieberfarb updated members on the Club’s Ambassador Program and expressed a need for more volunteers to welcome new Democrats to Leisure World. President Larson outlined future program ideas and shared that the Club’s Annual Dinner would be held on July 9th in Clubhouse 2. Grace Kim, busy with membership renewals, made a brief presentation.. Betty Kobata thanked all of the volunteers who had called members to remind them about the meeting. Laura Wilson urged members to view the new club website via first visiting the Leisure World Master website. She indicated that a link to the New York Times article discussed at the meeting would be posted on the Club’s site. During the meeting, members had the opportunity to express their interest in having a catered lunch served before each Club meeting as well as the possibility of having follow-up small group discussions after the formal meetings adjoin. They also discussed and submitted their suggestions for future meetings.
The next Club meeting will be held on February 16th at 1:00 p.m. in Clubhouse 4. Erik Taylor, Executive Director of the Orange County Democratic Party, will be speaking on THE ROAD AHEAD: A Look at the Future of the Democratic Party in Orange County. All Leisure World Democrats are invited to attend.
The following is a link to the New York Times Editorial, “The Trump Effect and How It Spreads.”