How sad, that it’s come to this...
Madison County, Idaho was once dubbed "the reddest place in America" by Salon, but that didn't make it any less shocking when elementary school children allegedly started chanting "assassinate Obama" on the school bus.
And last week, on Long Island, where I was born and raised, seven teenagers killed an Ecuadorian man while out "beaner jumping".
Over the course of this long, excruciating campaign, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the violent right wing rhetoric being spewed by the Republican party. Now that it’s over and they have lost, in large part due to alienating anyone who is not a white Christian, I hope we can have a long, heart to heart discussion about this in the media. (As soon as they are finished with their obsession over the prettiest purveyor of hate, of course!)
Democratic pundits should be bringing this issue to the forefront of the political discourse in this country. But just yesterday, Evan Bayh tells us we should simply "forgive and forget" Joe Lieberman’s betrayal as simply politics as usual. I don’t think so! During the worst of this season’s hateful display of bigotry-brought-to-us-by-the-republican-party, I called Lieberman’s office and begged him to put a stop to it. But it continued and he stood by and listened and said nothing to stop it.
When political figures, calling themselves "Christian", bear false and dangerous witness against their counterparts, there are some real ramifications to society. And they should be called out on it. As the mother of a good liberal Korean son, I had to warn him to be careful what he said. An Indian friend expressed her extreme fear and worry about her son. Two Asian women I know refused to put up Obama lawn signs for fear of violence.
As shouts of "kill him", "he’s a terrorist", "off with his head", and "muslim" emerged from the Palin rallies, I am sure people of color all across this land became equally alarmed.
This is America damn it! Whatever happened to our "melting pot"? While great stides have been made with the election of Barack Obama, if this breakdown in racial harmony continues it will do great harm to our country.
While there is plenty of blame to go around, this stuff doesn’t just spontaneously jump into children’s minds. The Republican party bears responsibility for its part in this destructive and potentially violent trend. When children hear and see the coded and not-so-coded racism of politicians and right wing talk radio, Bill O’Reilly and the daily anti-immigrant drumbeat of Lou Dobbs, and their own parents spewing out racial hatred, then it doesn’t take long for these hateful thoughts to filter down to the little "sponges".
While racial tension, especially against illegal immigrants might be a common reaction to stressful economic times, I believe the media and all politicians who peddle this filth should be held accountable. Because if it’s allowed to continue, I can’t imagine it getting any better. And who will be next?
We must all step up to the plate and demand that our political figures and the media do their part to stop this destructive, frightening trend in American politics. Now.