10.10.2008

Brown Shirt Patriotism

Now I know what it must have been like to be a jew and to watch Hitler lash out from his podium in Nazi Germany while watching Sarah Palin and John McCain whip up their crowds into mouth frothing frenzy using code words and innuendo. I saw it first hand Wednesday, when Palin landed in Wilmington Ohio, home of the Sarah Palin corn maze.

After introducing her kids, she slammed into her brand of attack politics while her people shouted insults at each mention of Obama’s name. It was a very scary feeling to see and hear such vitriolic fervor in the name of patriotism. The xenophobic hatred was palpable inside the Roberts Center.

The Republican Party continues to ignore the fact that America is not a monolithic culture of European descended, fundamentalist practicing immigrants. This country really is a melting pot of many cultures, many beliefs, many backgrounds, many origins. If John McCain was really serious about country first, he would speak out against this anger. He would tell his people to cool it with the nastiness. Same with Palin. But it’s obvious that this campaign is about control and power and not people or country. McCain’s silence speaks volumes about where his head really is.

I’m old enough to have heard Martin Luther King called a troublemaker, seen him beaten, spit upon and thrown in jail because he chose to disagree with the vanilla majority. I can recall as if it were yesterday the names of the people lynched, shot, beaten and mutilated because they tried to vote or tried to register others to vote. I remember when sitting at a lunch counter or attempting to gain entrance to Coney Island’s swimming pool, right here in Cincinnati, would get you arrested for disorderly conduct.

Chills literally played up and down my spine as I listened to Palin nearly drowned out by the chants of her joe six pack crowd. The contrast with the Obama rally earlier in the day was startling. No one took McCain’s nor Palin’s name in vain. No one attempted to link them to dubious folks from their pasts and they do have them. Palin sleeps with a homegrown terrorist...her husband Todd. McCain’s POW story is not quite as heroic as he would have you believe.

And I’m not mad at young blacks who want to be members of the GOP. I applaud them for their fortitude, because I believe that the only way to change the republican party is from within. Neither party will change unless forced to. The Democratic Party is learning. The GOP and its followers are still struggling with diversity. I have always felt they fear that we minorities will do to them what they have historically done to us. But if they truly looked at the civil rights struggle they would know that we simply want a piece of the pie not a piece of their hide, although we would be well justified in taking it.

Gandhi, MLK, and now Barack are preaching to “turn the other cheek” and so we will again.

Buddha says be the change you want to be...and so I will.....

© 2008 Jo Anne Moore, JAM Publications

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