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This amusing article has been all over my Google+ stream tonight. It has caused a bit of controversy due to both it's content and it's timing.

Michele Bachmann Thankful No Americans Died In Sikh Shooting

It's tempting to side with the people who say the Onion is wrong to write this article so soon after the tragedy. If your thoughts are only with the families of the victims, and how they must feel today then that is exactly the sentiment I would expect anyone to have when they see this. But our thoughts should also be on the cause of these events. A symptom of a much greater sickness.

Follow below the fold for more...

The Onion touched a nerve, and they have perhaps inadvertently started a much more important conversation. While it may be too soon to lighten the mood it is never too soon to discuss the role hate plays in these sort of events. The fact that so many have fallen for this article speaks volumes.

Obviously Michelle Bachmann did not say what the Onion is reporting. For those of you who do not know, the Onion is a parody news site. But there is truth in parody. Odds are if the Onion had not run this piece, she would have said something very similar within the next few days. Michelle Bachmann is racist. There is no other way to put it. She demonizes honest American citizens and uses the lowest common denominator of fear and hatred of the "other" to drive a wedge between all of us for her political gain.

Politicians like Michelle Bachmann, give cover and a warped sort of legitimacy to the views of hateful scumbags like the now dead suspect Wade Page. When you see these sort of fringe, crazy ideas being represented in one of the highest forms of Government it does nothing to quell such sentiments and most likely encourages those who may already be on the tipping point of sanity.

Everybody has the right to Freedom of Speech. But people who hold hateful opinions like Michelle Bachmann have no place in Politics, certainly not at the Federal Level. Public servants are supposed to serve the entire public, not only the white, christian demographic to which they belong. They are also supposed to have a basic level of respect for all people, religions and cultures. Forget politics, that last one is part of being a decent human being.

A little restraint when it comes to voicing less than responsible ideas has also been the norm in Washington until very recently.

Bachmann's calls for Congressional witch hunts, outright discrimination against Muslim Americans, the demonetization of faithful Americans like Representative Keith Ellison and Huma Abedin, as well as her constant fear mongering with non-issues like the supposed rise of Sharia Law and a non-existent plan by Obama to supposedly fly in millions of Muslim Immigrants, are exactly the sort of hate based conspiracy theory bullshit people like Wade confuse with reality.

To have that crap expressed by an Elected Representative of Congress only lends such non-sense undeserved credibility and makes the warped rational and justifications behind these shootings that much easier to concoct.

So if we're going to look at this satire piece by the Onion and decide now is the time to have a conversation about what it means to be respectful, what is and isn't considered poor taste, and what counts as hurtful or offensive, lets start with something that actually matters. Let's start with something that might actually make a difference.

Let's focus that conversation on those who turn Americans against each other. Let's make something positive come out of this whole ordeal and let it be known far and wide, with our voices and our votes that such filth is not okay. That it will not be tolerated from our neighbors, our crazy uncles and certainly not our Elected Officials.

This article hit home because it might as well have been true.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's never to soon for comedy. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lupin, rb608, Lujane, rhubarb

    Comedians would be out of work if they had to stop creating whenever innocents are killed.

    Ms Bachmann represents a real group of people. Their views should be represented - even in government. If you want to keep people out of political violence, you need to give them a say in the governing process. Otherwise they'll turn to violence.

    That doesn't mean doing what they say. Their views are in the minority now, so they'll lose the argument. But it's an argument worth having out in the open, even if just as a demonstration to our children and the rest of the numbed and dumbed citizenry that racists do, in fact, walk amongst us, and their ideas are legitimately dangerous.

  •  The Onion must have mind-readers on staff, (11+ / 0-)

    as that is exactly what Michele Bachmann was thinking, she being a racist ignoramus.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 12:27:05 AM PDT

  •  More importantly, I think the Onion (8+ / 0-)

    is voicing the opinion of a whole lot of Sikhs right now, who deserve to have their voices heard, and many times people do that with jokes - to say something serious, without inviting more violence upon them. They know Bachmann is a racist and part of the problem. The Onion's headline makes perfect sense to them. They know it speaks to the problem.

  •  The power of satire (7+ / 0-)

    Better it be said by a satirist before someone serious says something similar.  That gives the eventual response less credibility, when someone crazy voices it.

    I wonder what the reaction would've been if The Onion wrote that costumes would be banned at movie theaters in the wake of the movie theater shooting.

  •  Hateful and aggressive speech is abuse. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, DuzT, Lujane, a2nite, Oh Mary Oh

    Unfortunately, except when it is directed at agents of law enforcement, where it is considered assault, the citizens of the U.S. have great tolerance for abuse, even torture.  Perhaps that's because there's a psychological commitment to self-defense, which a victim of abuse cannot, in fact, effect.  That's because the object of abuse is to injure briefly, not permanently or fatally, and self-defense increases the risk of injury.  So, in defending oneself against abuse, one unwittingly becomes the abuser's tool and does his dirty work for him.
    Even simple assault which causes no permanent damage and doesn't leave a mark is classified as a misdemeanor and has to be witnessed by an agent of law enforcement to be charged.
    The law harkens back to the time when husbands and fathers were empowered to exact "discipline" from wives and children and keep the "unruly" in line. And males, to a large extent, considered their authority to impose discipline their reward for meeting familial obligations. Of course, people who have a hard time with the proper sequence of events are not unlikely to exact the discipline first and meet their obligations later, maybe.

    "Meeting obligations later, maybe," has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it? Remember when Willard answered the question about tax returns with "maybe?"  
    Willard's an abusive person, but he's also a coward.  So, the abuse he practices is not direct. You could say it's vicarious.  He relies on money to enable him to deprive others of their rights.

    Was Willard an abusive parent?  His son Tagg reports that he would never put up with any insult or rudeness to Ann. Which raises the question why the five sons would have been disrespectful of their mother.  What if they weren't?  What if Willard just characterized any misbehavior as disrespect to her and punished them in her name?  That would be consistent with his habit of blaming others for what he does.

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage". He's not into "catch and release."

    by hannah on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 02:48:20 AM PDT

  •  Comedy is important (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4mygirls, sunbro, Lujane, ColoTim

    because people pay attention to it.  One can espouse reason and facts all day, you'll get nowhere.  Make a clever joke illustrating that same point, and people get it.  The Onion piece, like so much good satire, is great because it illustrates the problem clearly and succinctly.  

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:41:21 AM PDT

  •  Comedians speaking truth to power.. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, 4mygirls, sunbro, Lujane, ColoTim an old, old tradition.  Think: the court jester being able to criticize the king.
    It's a vital component of any society.

    I can see Canada from my house. No, really, I can.

    by DuzT on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 03:41:59 AM PDT

  •  Although there is a racist element in Bachman (0+ / 0-)

    I think it is safe to say she is not a racist. I'm sure she likes persons of different colors who think, worship, vote, have sex, wear clothes, and see others the way she does.

    She is ethnocentric to the extent that she is egocentric. I am the norm, am America, am mom, am  goodness.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 04:16:08 AM PDT

    •  You mean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk, a2nite

      her apparent racism is incidental to her religious bigotry? You are too kind.

      •  Religious Imperialism. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skrekk, a2nite

        Her movement doesn't merely hate other religions, they are taking over.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:17:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. To her total bigotry. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm a heterosexual white Christian male. I promise you she hates me too.

        Her problem is not that she can't get beyond her ethnicity. Her problem is that she can't get past bleeping anything. She thinks lesbians want to corner her in public restrooms, that people who think the government should have any role in "the general welfare" are litmusly identifical to Siberia-deporting bolsheviks. That any Muslim whose family tree includes anyone who had any time at any time to an orgaznation that could be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood is working on behalf of said brotherhood. That most of the other-party members of the U.S. Congress are un-american.

        I just don't want to simply separate from that that she is scared of shades of brown darker than her own. It implies that if she resolves that, that what is left is at all acceptable.

        Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

        by textus on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:52:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The detractors are right. (0+ / 0-)

    Truth to power and all that, sure.

    But it's completely disrespectful to the families of the victims to post that just a few hours after this all went down.

    The fact that you all can't even see that is distressing.

    Even the Onion waited a week after 9-11.  It's not about respect for Bachmann--it's about respect for victims.

  •  This is an example (the Bachmann views) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    of stochastic terrorism, of inspiring the weakminded, the angry looking for a justification to go and commit hate crimes of this kind.  Republican hate conspiracy theorist Bachmann listed several of her foes, as did Allen West  andn his list of 81 commies, but the shooter had his own targets, he simply needed to feel empowered and approved of in a general sense do this.

    Bachmann is chasing evil Muslims  in her paranoia, and she gets contributions to continue her 'crusade" from other paranoiacs and haters. The shooter read into that the approval to attack his bet noire, the other race tyhan whites lethally.

    I noticed our FOX radio outlet mentioned the shooter was a decorated Army veteran, no comment on his white power band or skinhead white supremacist history.  This is the converse of the race hatred they slyly push by promoting Bachmann and others every day on their hate radio programs.  Omitting the salient features of the killer was to avoid confusing and stirring up their base that is racist. To disapprove now would conflict with the continuity of their message.

    Respect for the victims will be most aptly demonstrated by the community support from people of all faiths, all races coming to honor and stand with the Sikh Guruwa tonight in Mailwaukee.  If you live in or near Wisconsin, you should go.

    This currently under construction..

    by BeeDeeS on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 05:58:01 AM PDT

  •  Her talking about the Muslim Brotherhood (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk, Oh Mary Oh

    directly led to people attacking our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade in Cairo on a recent trip because they had heard that a US Congresswoman, and a powerful one at that because she had been one running for President, claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was being encouraged by Hillary and her State department.  I'm just glad it wasn't worse than thrown objects.

  •  Huckleberry Finn (0+ / 0-)
    “We blowed out a cylinder-head.” (Huck)

    “Good gracious! anybody hurt?” ( Aunt Sally)

    “No'm. Killed a nigger.” ( Huck)

    “Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt. (Aunt Sally)

    It is all the more remarkable that Huck later decides that he will go to Hell if that is the price of freeing his friend Jim. As Twain put it, it is a case of a good heart overcoming a deformed conscience.

    Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

    by Mokurai on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 12:32:12 AM PDT

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