I’m still choosing love. And, because along with choosing love I am also choosing truth, I’m not going to let “A. Friend” off the hook on the rhetoric.
I just read the best piece, so far, regarding the “Climate of Hate” that surrounds us and I want to comment on and quote from that piece.
The opinion links to an April 2009 internal study by the Department of Homeland Security. “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” The title pretty much says it all but I recommend reading all ten pages. It explains how rightwing extremists are playing on people’s fears to recruit new members. It compares today with the 1990s and reminds us about the increase in rightwing terrorists groups and violent acts during that time. After the Oklahoma City bombing closer scrutiny of the groups caused them to tone things down.
Here is a breakdown of the different rightwing extremists groups:
- hate-oriented – this group hates mainly religious, racial or ethnic groups
- antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority (Ho boy!)
And apparently they are all bothered because we have an African American president.
The report goes through the whole rightwing extremist laundry list.
I think the most important part of the opinion, besides linking to that report, is pointing out the huge, HUGE difference between mockery and ridicule and “eliminationist rhetoric.”
And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.
Read this blog and you will see me mock and ridicule the Big Gas Mafia but you won’t read “eliminationists rhetoric.” Oh wait! There was that one time… Actually, there have been quite a few of those eliminationists statements made on this blog but they were made toward me not by me.
My son was only eight, when he read the translation of Beowulf. When I asked him to tell me the main point of the story, he surprised me with this:
A man can only be truly strong if he first accepts his weakness.
I can extrapolate that message to what’s happening with our environment. Before we can see where to go, we must see where we’ve gone wrong. And that, my dear A. Friend, is why we must fight with our eyes wide open.