Many of us are on facebook and have a few conservative friends who post anti-Obama posts quite frequently. Now and then these conservatives post some of the "Urban Legend" crap that drives me nuts. For the most part I will ignore their over the top posts and likes of extreme opinions, because I am not going to change their mind about what ever issue they are posting about, but I draw the line when they post outright lies and smears.
I refuse to remain quiet, refuse to allow an "Urban Legend" to continue to grow out of control and without merit. Such a thing happened to me this week, and while it is a "small" victory, at least I stopped this urban legend from being reposted and spread even further.
Story below the fold
As many of you know, my son is in the Marines and when he was in bootcamp I joined a facebook group for his platoon, and I also ended up friending a few people from the group. I quickly realized that one of these new "friends" was a tea party conservative, but we did share a common interest in our sons, so I ignore many of her posts.
Last week she posted an urban legend about Obama, and well, I just had to step in and point out that her "story" was completely false. Here is the "urban legend" she posted:
D-Day MonumentThe truth is:
In recent times, only 3 presidents have failed to go to the D-Day Monument that honors the soldiers killed on D-Day. Those 3 Presidents were:
1. Barack Obama 2010
2. Barack Obama 2011
3. Barack Obama 2012
For the past 70 years, all presidents, except Obama, have paid tribute to the fallen soldiers killed on D-Day. This year, instead of honoring the soldiers, he made a campaign trip on Air Force 1 to California to raise funds for the upcoming election.
Analysis: This much is true: President Obama didn't attend D-Day commemoration ceremonies in 2010, 2011, or 2012 (though he did attend on the 65th anniversary of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 2009).And of course I did a simple search and found numerous sources that set the record straight, and posted two links on her post with the correct information. She did finally reply, and part of her reply was that one of my sources, Snopes, wasn't to be trusted. (she has been corrected on other posts as well with people using snopes, since none of the truth follows her mindset she now questions snopes instead of her sources, but that is another diary). I replied again and told her to check my second source and do a search for herself.
The claim that 2010, 2011, and 2012 were the only years since World War II during which an American president failed to attend D-Day commemorations is patently false, however. This is easily confirmed by checking the U.S. State Department historian's list of presidential visits to France.
Here are the facts:
The first American president to participate in a D-Day commemoration in Normandy was Ronald Reagan on the 40th anniversary of the invasion, June 6, 1984. He visited only that one time during his eight-year term.
Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, never attended at all.
Bill Clinton attended only once, on the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994.
George W. Bush attended only twice during his term of office: on Memorial Day 2002 and on the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004. (He also, in 2001, dedicated a stateside D-Day memorial in Virginia.)
As stated above, Barack Obama has attended only once, on the 65th anniversary of D-Day in 2009.
Between 1944 and 2012 — a span of 68 years — exactly four U.S. presidents have attended D-Day memorial ceremonies a total of exactly six times. Barack Obama was one of them.
Not only did a number of people thank me for posting the correct information, the woman who posted the original story deleted the post! So, instead of others spreading this falsehood with "shares," we instead have this untrue story not being spread by her or her other friends.
No, this isn't a "big" thing, and this person isn't going to change her opinion of Obama, but since this is the second time she has had to take down a post, I think at the very least she won't be posting these things quite as quickly in the future.
This is ONE small way that we can effectively stop these urban legends from spreading, which means there is one less lie out there about Obama. And it also makes people who share these things stop and think about what they are sharing, and when they see that 99 percent of what they share is baseless or an outright lie it might occur to them that while they would never vote for Obama, the hate that is being spread about Obama is more aligned with lies and smears than truth.
I no longer am on any of the wing nut emails because I usually would reply all and send the correct information out to the offender and their entire list. So, I don't get the chance to correct the record via email, but I will sure as hell make sure to correct what I see on facebook, with politeness, but with truths.
Just a reminder that we can all do a little to stop some of these things from spreading further, every little bit we do helps in the bigger picture.