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Author Topic: Will the racism, vitriol and nastiness escalate and where will we wind up?  (Read 23628 times)

Offline Debbie

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I'm a bit depressed over the escalation of vitriol, hatred, racism around the country.  Members of Congress spat at?  Windows in Democrat Party Headquarters being broken?  'N---' and 'fa--' being shouted at African American and Gay Members of Congress?  Guns brazently touted like they are toys?   A gentleman with Parkinsons being made fun of because he wants better health care?  And before anyone brings up the anti-war demonstrations, I think these tea party gatherings have a completely different feel.  Have a look at those crowds; I have not seen one person who looks ethnic.  What is going on?  Do you think it will get worse and where will it end?  Will there be violence?  Please share your thoughts.

Offline Billz1981

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I'm a bit depressed over the escalation of vitriol, hatred, racism around the country.  Members of Congress spat at?  Windows in Democrat Party Headquarters being broken?  'N---' and 'fa--' being shouted at African American and Gay Members of Congress?  Guns brazently touted like they are toys?   A gentleman with Parkinsons being made fun of because he wants better health care?  And before anyone brings up the anti-war demonstrations, I think these tea party gatherings have a completely different feel.  Have a look at those crowds; I have not seen one person who looks ethnic.  What is going on?  Do you think it will get worse and where will it end?  Will there be violence?  Please share your thoughts.

I think we'll be ok.

Offline kempsternyc

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I want to take some time to answer this because Billz1981 and I touched on this in another thread and I want to explain myself in a better way here because I think it is important.

I am very upset regarding the irrational attacks, verbal and otherwise, that I see occurring across the nation. And it's not just the signs of Obama with a Hitler mustache or the ones calling for an armed insurrection that would, I can only imagine, require an attack on Washington DC that will result in the destruction of the government.

Yeah, some can consider that bombastic silliness that will never evolve into an actual revolution. And I can understand the feeling there.

What upsets me is the reaction of GOP leaders that egg on the teabaggers. One example that jumps out is Sen Grassley talking about how Grandma isn't ready to die. How in all that is holy can a leading Senator make that statement? This is acceptable conduct? We have seen situations where GOP politicians are forced to apologize to Rush.....WTF? And we also had a GOP leader state that he understood the guy who flew a plane into a building that had IRS employees. Again....WTF. that action by that guy was an act of terrorism. How is it possible to excuse that action? I'm sorry but I don't effing get it. How is this acceptable.

What it seems to me is this. GOP politicians are fanning the flames to suit there own goals such as winning elections. But also, it seems to me that the GOP leadership is afraid to stand up to this insanity and say ENOUGH!

But it is more than that.

Last night, I watched the news with the examples of death threats, rocks thrown threw windows. And I cried. This is really scaring me.

And it really hurts. I support health care reform because I want my fellow citizens to be safe from fear of being denied care. I don't want to see a single person die because an HMO decided that the operation was to expensive. I'm not trying to destroy the Constitution. And neither is Obama or Pelosi or Reid.

Let me end this way and ask this question. What if we don't survive this? What if someone finally takes the next logical step. What if someone assassinates a politician. I'm sorry, but based on what I am seeing, I can't help but think that is what is next. How can I not?

I'm not writing this as an angry man. I'm writing this as a fearful man. Fearful of the path we seem to be going down at this moment.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 08:31:13 PM by kempsternyc »
I love talking about nothing father, it is the only thing I know anything about -

Lord Goring "An Ideal Husband"

Offline Sweeper

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Kemper, I have a modest suggestion. Leave the echo chamber. On a different thread you stated that you couldn't watch something because it was on Fox News. OK that's great. I trust very little that I see on talk shows. But by listening to the irrational rantings of Olberman or Maddow, or even worse, the Ed show you are just getting the other side of the marketing coin.
There are irrational people on both sides of the political aisle. Both sides threaten violence if they don't get their way. But, when you reflectively use the term "teabagger" you are contributing to the problem. You are mocking a legitimate concern (the government has too much say in free citizen's live) by throwing in a psuedo-sexual image to mock them.
So how about we address the issue. How much control should the federal government exert over free citizens? If I say that "a government has no authority to mandate that I purchase a product from a third party", can you refrain from suggesting that I suck balls?

Offline kempsternyc

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 You are mocking a legitimate concern (the government has too much say in free citizen's live) by throwing in a psuedo-sexual image to mock them.


What I posted came from the heart. I am not mocking anybody. I meant my post as an honest way of how I see things. Nothing more.....nothing less.
I love talking about nothing father, it is the only thing I know anything about -

Lord Goring "An Ideal Husband"

Offline megc

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My sources tell me that "tea party" was originally "TEA Party" - "Taxed Enough Already".  I think it was an unfortunate convergence of ignorance and opportunity that "teabagger" was first used.  I shake my head when thinking about it, for both sides.  Anyway, I agree that when one tries to argue against ridicule and worse, using "teabagger" sort of defeats that.  I also expect that some people do not use "teabagger" to mock or hurt anyone, as MSM has used that term enough throughout this whole thing to somewhat legitimize it.  kempster comes off to me as a thoughtful guy and I'm sure he didn't use the term as a dig.  Anyway, those are my (off-topicish) thoughts, coming from a progressive even. :-o
 :wink:

Offline kempsternyc

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For the record, there is a difference between the Tea Party and Teabaggers. The Tea Party is mostly comprised of Libertarians. The "don't interfere with the way I want to live my life" type people. Which, as a gay man, I understand. Teabaggers are the people that hold up misspelled signs comparing Obama to Hitler.

Trust me, I know the difference.

As far as the echo chamber goes, I watched all 11 hours of the House debate on Sunday on C-SPAN.....not MSNBC. Because I don't like to be told who I should think or see a political event by the MSM. I am someone that has a poliSci Degree. Hell, I explained to one professor what a legislative tree was (Bonus points to anyone who knows what I am talking about).

I eat politics up like it is candy. I can still recall, vividly, an hour long speech by Sen Byrd comparing the US Senate to the Roman Republic Senate. So please don't say I am living in an echo chamber. This is s___ I passionately care about.
I love talking about nothing father, it is the only thing I know anything about -

Lord Goring "An Ideal Husband"

Offline Billz1981

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I appreciate your thoughtful posting, kempsternyc.  I'm truly sorry that you feel as though you have to live in fear because of your political preferences.  The people who use violence or the threat of violence to promote their cause are bullies, and when you fear them you give in to them.  This is true of the small fringe of the Tea Party movement just as it is true of the fringe element of any protest group, be they anti-war, anti-globalization, environmentalists, etc.  I honestly do not believe you should live in fear.  Don't give them the satisfaction.  If you are convinced that the health care reform package is the way to go, then proudly stand firm in that conviction, just as I stand in staunch opposition.  The genius of America is that we are free to have those differences without mortal fear.

That said, I do think it's a bit disingenuous of Democratic politicians to feign surprise and outrage at the response they are facing.  While it is completely inappropriate to shout slurs at congresspeople as is allegedly happening, this represents but a tiny fraction when compared to the legitimate protest movement.  There are going to be some bad apples in any batch of thousands of (understandably!) angry people.  The Democratic politicians are grownups, they believe they are doing the right thing, and they should have the courage to stand by their vote.  When you say that the stakes have been quietly and quickly raised, it's as though you are surprised that such a large and momentous legislative package would cause people to take notice.  I worry that such an attitude comes from the well meaning failure to take a look at the other side.  In other words, "How could these guys be so pissed at this bill?  It's empirically a good idea!"  Anyhow, regarding the threats against members of congress, I think the situation is being overstated.  The cynic in me thinks that this is the old tactic (which both parties are guilty of) where you over sell something negative the opposition is doing for political gain.  (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0310/Embracing_the_freakshow.html)  I think the real threat these guys face is in November.

And although Debbie has already preempted me from using this example because apparently not enough minorities participate in the Tea Party movement, there are plenty of examples of other groups using violent imagery or even making the totally unjustified comparison between ANY U.S. leader of ANY party with the Nazis. (http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/)  When the violent fringe of your own movement has engaged in the same tactics, you don't get to call out the other movement on their fringe.

If, God forbid, some politician gets assassinated tomorrow, the country will move on just as it has in the past.  It would be a horrible tragedy, but we have weathered such things before.  Personally, I believe that is highly unlikely.  You act as if all of this blind hatred towards our leaders is a dangerous new thing.  But look at what Bush and his Republican colleagues contended with for years.  None of them were assassinated.  Weren't those who hated them just as vehement?

And while I am speaking only for myself, I don't believe that President Obama and his colleagues are evil or deliberately attempting to undermine the constitution, I do believe that this reform package is of questionable constitutionally.  And probably antithetical to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers.  But I get that they are acting in what they think is in the best interests of the country.

Offline Debbie

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I think that only time will tell as to how violent this movement gets.  It is my belief that there are many more of this fringe group who own guns vs. the masses that protested the Iraq war, although I may be wrong.  And if a politician is assassinated yes, we will move on but I would certainly not be so blase about it as some seem to be.

What makes me cringe are the slurs shouted at African American members of our government, some of whom have been through this before.  Is it necessary to show the world our ugly rascist past (is it in the past?)?  Even if someone is against this bill, why bring rascism into it?  It does not matter that this is just one person out of hundreds, I have a feeling that the sentiment is still there - just been to the South and felt it myself.

Is it unlikely that someone who is already angry at the world, has hatred in his / her heart, and hears 'messages' from the far right picks up his / her gun and uses it?

Offline odenhal

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we reap what we sow   :lol:
 ODENHAL remembers quite a bit of vitriol and nastiness from other threads (see below)
"If your problem is that you think all these people don't agree with you, and you are upset because they get angry with you for trying to cram your ideals down everyone's throat, then leave.
The bottom line is, if you go somewhere and knowingly piss off the majority of people there, and then are surprised when they get angry with you, then you need either a hobby or some real friends
."

hmmmm,
you can not deny this gorgeosness, you can only hope to handle it

Offline Billz1981

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And if a politician is assassinated yes, we will move on but I would certainly not be so blase about it as some seem to be.

I'd say I'm being more flippant or dismissive than blase.  While it would obviously be a tragedy if some political leader were assassinated, I really don't see it as a possibility at this time more so than any other.  I was genuinely moved that Kempster is so fearful, and I wish I could assuage that fear as a compassionate human being.  No one should have to live in that kind of fear under our political system.

But aside from that, I have the suspicion that many of the people expressing "concern" with the "violence" of the Tea Party movement are actually playing it for political gain.  Like I said, there are bad apples in any bunch.  But the majority of Tea Party events go down like the one photographed here (http://www.ringospictures.com/index.php?page=20091025).  Which is to say without any racist or violent incidents or even comments.

To address such "issues" at length only serves to give credence to your opponents talking point that you're an organization full of racists.  All that needs to be said is "Hey, this is not what we're about."  And I have heard John Boehner say that as well as the leaders of several Tea Party orgs.  So that closes the case.  So my goal is to marginalize this as an issue.  I think it's fear mongering and political opportunism to make the issue bigger than it is.

Also, the equation of lawful gun rights with higher risks of assassination is baseless.  Also when you say more of this "fringe group" owns guns than the masses who protested the liberation of Iraq, I hope you don't mean that the whole tea party movement is "fringe."  We are talking about dozens out of thousands, let's be clear.

Offline Debbie

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we reap what we sow   :lol:
 ODENHAL remembers quite a bit of vitriol and nastiness from other threads (see below)
"If your problem is that you think all these people don't agree with you, and you are upset because they get angry with you for trying to cram your ideals down everyone's throat, then leave.
The bottom line is, if you go somewhere and knowingly piss off the majority of people there, and then are surprised when they get angry with you, then you need either a hobby or some real friends
."

hmmmm,

I wish I could understand this statement but it is quite beyond my comprehension.  Can anyone translate for me?  Not wishing to be hurtful.  Truly, I cannot understand the point you are trying to make.

Offline Mer

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I wish I could understand this statement but it is quite beyond my comprehension.  Can anyone translate for me?  Not wishing to be hurtful.  Truly, I cannot understand the point you are trying to make.

Or, at the very least, link your quote.

Offline odenhal

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I wish I could understand this statement but it is quite beyond my comprehension.  Can anyone translate for me?  Not wishing to be hurtful.  Truly, I cannot understand the point you are trying to make.

ok , let ODENHAL explain, your original post complains of the "racism, vitriol and nastiness" associated with a few individuals at a rally, ODENHAL feels we reap what we sow, what you see in red is a previous post from"Astorians .com"

ODENHAL feels that this post is what most of the opposition is saying about the health care bill

while ODENHAL feels it is inappropriate to spit on  or to call someone f@g / n&gg$%,  just look back at some previous post's regarding JOHN McCAIN , SARA PALIN , G.W BUSH  heck republicans in general, the NYPD,
F.Z and we see the same vitriol,and nastiness , WE REAP WHAT WE SOW
you can not deny this gorgeosness, you can only hope to handle it

Offline odenhal

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Or, at the very least, link your quote.

it is from a different thread, ODENHAL  isn't very computer literate
you can not deny this gorgeosness, you can only hope to handle it


 

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