© Leslie Blanchard
Before you read this, I should tell you where I'm coming from. I should be, want to be working on my WIKI about Multiple Sclerosis. I can't. The reason I can't is because I am so very very pissed off. That's not a good place for me. It harshes my mellow. It's piss on my bliss. It really stirs up the Multiple Sclerosis so now I'm Tremoring like an earthquake as I type. Since I am a lousy typist this anger doesn't help. Why am I mad? At whom? Well, if you follow me on Twitter @1txsage1957 you will have noticed over the past couple of days I've been posting primarily about hate groups in the U.S. As if we needed more proof of the discontent, the cowardly malcontent of the waring Ideologies mentioned in my last post Lincoln's Vision? Blindsided-James von Brunn gave it to us. As I was writing that very article listening to Bob Dylan, having turned off the T.V. news, I had no idea of what had happened until I finished my piece and turned the T.V. back on.
So I'm pissed at James von Brunn, and Shelley Shannon who shot Dr. George Tiller in both arms in 1993, and I'm mad at Rev. Jeremiah Wright who said yesterday, "them Jews won't let Obama talk to me", and I'm mad at Scott Roeder who murdered Dr. Tiller in his church. In his CHURCH! So I'm pissed at all the hypocritical Christians that weep & moan over abortions, but whose hate speech stirred an unstable man enough that he would think it RIGHTEOUS to kill a man in a house of worship. I'm extremely angry at these infotaineers like Mr. Limbaugh who constantly spew out vitriolic diatribes that ignite the flame of hate. I consider Mr. Limbaugh and others of his
white-livered, pantywaisted, ilk guilty of conspiracy to incite a riot, guilty of stirring the shit pot of right-wing terrorists with his microphone. His microphone which, in my belief, now has the blood of 2 innocent people dripping from it.
I'm angry at the media, I'm angry at all the closet racists, I'm angry of all the cowards that are so damned afraid of change, one of which happens to my older brother, that they won't even give change a chance. If John Lennon were still with us, I believe he would be chanting "give peace a chance, give change a chance". These cowards hide behind labels of "conservatives" "patriots" "true Americans" "constitutionalists", and yes even the label of "politician". They people are frightened because of all the propaganda and bullshit that's been feed to them by news outlets like Faux News, by Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and in so many more subtle, nearly invisible signals of division, racism, discrimination. The fact that Disney finally has a black Princess is one of those invisible signals. The stereotype that all Jews care about is money is another. Every Muslim is in Jihad against Christianity, every queer is trying to recruit your children, the good guys wear white hats-the bad dudes wear black hats. There are thousands of these little whispers in the wind, we've seen and heard these supposedly innocuous things all our lives, so much so- they don't even raise a flag in our consciousness. Now, I don't know if G.W. Bush's mindset of cowboy justice and "if you're not with us you're against us" added to the hate of others that are different, but I damned sure know it didn't help. I addressed this issue in a previous post The Others.
Weren't we proud? Weren't many of us so damned proud of ourselves in November 2008 when we elected the first Black President of the United States? I know I cried like a baby. I had so much hope for my country. I thought that perhaps change had finally come to America. But, I'm a realist and a Texan and I have to admit that there was a sliver of fear in there with my pride and hope. Not fear of President Obama, or of change, but fear of the slime that would rise up from the toxic waste dump of White Supremacy. When I was very young, 4-5 ( 1961-62) my daddy and I saw a cross-burning in front of someones home. It scared me to death, I actually threw up in his old Nash Rambler. He told me that things were changing. That I'd never have to see anything like that again. Unfortunately, over the next several years I saw that and much more on television. And over the years I've known in my soul that just because we passed the voting rights act, that the racists weren't automatically changed, their minds and hearts didn't suddenly, magically open up. Just as if the country ever passes a law where I can marry my partner of 14 years-I know homophobia will only ramp up.
So here's a list of the progress we've made.
There are 66 documented hate groups in Texas alone.The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate groups for almost 30 years. In its spring 2009 Intelligence Report, they found that 926 hate groups are currently operating in the U.S., an all-time high. These groups include the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads and Black separatists. All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.
In St. Louis several weeks ago members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) gathered, dressed in combat boots, wearing all black clothing and sporting signs and flags of hate. While you and I condemn these types of groups, they see nothing wrong in their message. They innocently claim to be a "Civil Rights Group for Whites". Now, I'm white and the only time my civil rights have ever been violated were in cases of homophobia, and sexual discrimination. I'm White so shouldn't the NSM defend those civil rights of mine, to be a lesbian, a woman? Hardly. As usual, these groups claim one thing and do another.
They are growing rapidly due to the state of the economy which these groups blame on President Obama. They are also growing because a lot of jobs have been lost and they have nothing better to do with their time. In Texas, Arizona, & California they are growing even faster because of immigration.
We all know that the Dept. of Homeland Security issued a report last month on right-wing Conservative extremists. We heard protests from everyone on the right. Even if they were not extremists they screamed they were being picked on because Obama was black and they oppose him. I do have to give props. to Shep Smith of Faux News for admitting there was validity to these reports. But that in itself, is not going to win the battle. Not when you have insane claims by other members of the press that James von Brunn was a leftist! Even more troubling, there's several million people that believe this preposterous claim.
The right says we do not need a Hate Crimes bill. They say that by the very nature of the crime all crime is done for hateful purposes. Not so. The crack addict that needs a fix doesn't go scout out a homosexual, or a Mexican, or a union member to kill...they just want enough cash to get a fix. Since George Bush and Dick Cheney committed massive hate crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder if the right is just trying to save their asses.
I do not have an answer to this problem. And I'm still angry. Maybe we should start an Anti-Hate Hate Group. Maybe we should stand en masse and start pointing fingers at the Hate Mongers on the air waves. Maybe we should start anti-hate groups websites and write a manifesto to download. Perhaps we should treat hate criminals as we do sex-offenders, with their pictures all over the web, in mailings, making them register with local authorities. Let's have a 1 strike and you're out policy... they should enjoy that since the prisons are overflowing with gang and hate violence, we can just let them go live in that environment, most likely they would feel right at home since they can't tolerate our society.
As always, I wish you peace.