Sunday, June 14, 2009

Still Crazy After All These Years

Avedon Carol pointed out that the "front page" of Media Matters is chock full of stories on the racist right's rage at being held accountable for their incendiary statements and behavior. Those infuriated by the DHS report suggesting that far right wing nutjobs might be preparing terrorist actions were even more furious when columnists such as Paul Krugman and Tim Rutten made the link between those who spewed incendiary encouragement to those unhinged souls and the actions of those unhinged souls.

The fact that such reactions have been so extreme leads me to believe that we can't let up, we can't stop reminding people that such hatefulness and such calls to action in support of such hatefulness have real world consequences, deadly consequences. The shooting at the Holocaust museum makes that clear. And that's why the beautiful essay by Leonard Pitts, Jr. in today's Sacramento Bee resonated so deeply for me.

It is jolting to recall that I once thought we were living in the last days of creatures such as this. My only excuse: It was the 1970s and I was young, raised on civil rights marches and Norman Lear comedies. Kids like me felt, with the offhand smugness of youth, that we were harbingers of a new world too enlightened to ever again hate people because of their ethnicity or religion. ...

We act as if it were all a game, as if it means nothing when people of position and visibility spew garbage, validating and galvanizing the unhinged and the disaffected who need little encouragement to believe all their problems are caused by "Them." We act as if we do not toy with fire when people of authority claim white Christians are a victimized minority or Hispanics a threatening and faceless "Other." We act as if we were not heirs and witnesses to a blood-soaked history that tells us exactly where this hate some of us so fecklessly stoke will logically, inevitably lead. ...

I've always liked the Holocaust museum because it is a stark reminder in an era where too many are in a hurry to forget. And so it is even today, even quiet and locked up tight. Behind yellow tape it sits, scene of a hate crime authored by an old man who thought he was great because his skin was pale. An American flag droops limply at half-staff as if tired of waiting, waiting for the last days of creatures such as this.

Mr. Pitts, the Holocaust museum is once again open, and people have returned to its message of "Never Forget." And we won't, as long as voices such as yours, Paul Krugman's, and Tim Rutten's remind us of what that memory loss can lead to.

Well done, gentlemen.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post completely confuses me. As does the articles by Tim Rutten and Paul Krugman.

For one thing, most of the anti-semitism is coming from the left (I have NEVER heard a conservative say 9-11 was a "wakeup call" to re-evaluate our foreign policy), and the shooter at the Holocaust Museum raged against "neo-cons". Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't "con" stand for conservative?

So he was right-wing nut job raging against ... right wing nut jobs?

But the real frustration is the enthusiasm with the left to blame the rhetoric of the right and no or no coverage of the army recruiter who was shot and killed.

Ever dawn on any of you that may THAT shooter's actions were a direct result of some rhetoric he's listening to ? Or is it only right wing nut jobs who are vulnerable?

And regarding your comment "never forget" it would seem to me President Obama has. What, exactly, does he think Iran is going to do with that nuke?

8:17 AM  
Blogger Diane said...


You seem to have forgotten that one of the tags put on the neocons was that most of them were Jewish. That's why the museum shooter went off on them.

You won't find many liberals in the militias as currently constituted.

And as to your claim that liberals are anti-Semitic, I suggest you study the difference between anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli sentiments when it comes to the Left Bank and Gaza.

11:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home