Thursday, October 09, 2008

Them

Who are they, these people who are voting for John McCain, who are cheering wildly for Sarah Palin, and who are even hollering out "Kill him!" about Obama at Palin rallies (to which she says nothing). Who are the people that believe Barack Obama is a terrorist, because of his name? Here are some of them in this scary video:
I have heard a lot of first-hand stories recently about educated people who believe Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist (yes, even a lot of educated people believe that is the same thing).

How is it possible not to develop an "us/them" mentality in the face of this willful, hateful ignorance?

23 comments:

rebecca said...

I can't fathom it either. I work with one who will not give him the benefit of the doubt because of his name and because his father was Muslim. Unfortunately, this election has brought out some people's true colors and fears. How can we ever become greater than we are, how can we ever progress as a people if we hold tight to our limited visions? I have not accessed the video, but will do so later on (i'm at work :)

Enna Isilee said...

I haven't commented lately because I really have nothing to say on the topic of politics, but I guess I'll say this:

Why do people get so riled up over politics? I understand being passionate for the candidate of your choice, but hate? Why? It just kind of makes me sad. *sigh* I know a lot of people who aren't of the same opinion of me, and prefer the candidate that I don't, but we don't hate.

And it isn't just the voters! I kept wincing while watching one of the debates where Obama and McCain kept making shots at each other. I guess that's one strategy, but I think they should focus more on selling themselves, rather than degrading the opponent.

I really shouldn't talk when it comes to politics, I don't think I know what I'm talking about. *sigh* (again)

Disco Mermaids said...

THANKS, Laini. Now I'm sick. Can't even hold my coffee down.

Seriously, I LIVE in this country??

Um, and when did "Muslim" (which O. isn't...not that it matters) become synonymous with "Terrorist"??

Puh-leeze, people. Read a book!

Eve

Amber said...

Listen, you know I try to be non-partisan. I am all about the non-partisan journey... But I have run into so many dumbasses lately, where I think we are having a logical, friendly conversation about it, and THEN they say something SO EFFING LAME it takes my breath away. *sigh* You are right, people you would think would know better-- even if they think different things from you, you still expect that they will be REASONABLE about why they think that way.

:(

Amber said...

Oh, and don't worry. It is good for people to see people like this. I think it will make people realize when they need to stand up and speak up.

:)

Laurel said...

It really does make me sad, and angry. It maks me hate people with Palin stuckers and buttons. It does divide. I met a woman last week, at a wedding, convinced that "they" (unclear if blacks or Democrats) had orchestrated the economic downturn to put Obama in the White House.

Crazies.

Alexandra Saperstein said...
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Alexandra Saperstein said...
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tone almhjell said...

Oboy. Now we're getting down to it. I'm just hoping for an Aaron Sorkin moment of right and not-so-right finding their appropriate place in the grand scheme of things.

A happy ending couldn't hurt!

(Though ending wouldn't be right, it's more like the morning after a gigantic, rowdy, messy, violent party, with tickets from the police hanging on the broken hallway mirror, all the jewellery gone, beer sloshing in the dishwasher, the livingroom carpet full of puke, all the neighbours mad as hell, and every single priceless vinyl record thrown into a pile and stomped upon. Welcome home, Mr. President.)

Tracey said...

It is truly disheartening to watch such footage. Obama seemed tired, less passionate on Tuesday night; I pray for his conviction, safety, and endurance through this morass. Blessings to him and his family for taking on such an unbelievable challenge for the betterment of our country. I take comfort in knowing that the very people who've called Obama a terrorist will thank him for his remarkable leadership one fine day.

Anonymous said...

holy sh-t.

it is staggering. it really is.

and I ditto Alex above--

~bluepoppy

Martine Joelle said...

Hi Laini,
Have you heard of the book "Getting to Yes" by William Ury? That is one small piece of avoiding us/them polarities. It is easy to go there, it is. I struggle with it too. The issue and illusion of this whole game seems to be when we focus on Issues with a capital I rather than people. Then we can agknowledge yes, people have positions. Politicians have positions on issues but what Interests do we share? What do we have in common? Because regardless of hockey and lipstick, we all want to have our families safe right? We just have different ways of positioning ourselves to get that need met. I'm big on Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication work, too. I have to remember there are *people* behind these masked performances of fear.

How do I not get riled and hold a place of peace and intelligent hope? Stop watching McCain. Focus on Obama. Focus on what my own personal responsiblity in my community will be after the election. What bothers me a bit is when someone says "why care about politics?" The truth is, I don't. I care about people and the systems that affect their access to joy, healthcare, literacy, art, music, nourishment, soul-making. I care about lives, even the ones that spew hate. Some days its easier than others.

Last night I saw Howard Zinn speak here in Boulder at the Voices of a People performance. Dr. Vincent Harding, mentor to and cowriter of the "Beyond Vietnam" speech Dr. King gave April 1967. You switch out a few nouns and the speech is spot on with issues we face today. For a moment that made me sad. Then I realized that I should be so grateful I have these great words and markers in history to say IT DOES GET BETTER. I know I'm young so maybe it's easier for me to say hope is a refined tool and go with all the gusto I have.

I want to write books for young people about history and love and sparkles and life. I want to work for human rights. I want to teach. I want to learn to make a mean lavender cake, too...I want to have purple hair (inspiration, Ms. Lady!) Most of all in my little life I want to remember that I -AM- THEM. I suspect, maybe, though I only know you through your blog, that you too believe in a bit of magic and hope and elbow grease for each one of us to pitch in and do our part.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Check out the book if for nothing else you are curious about new skills. I went through a great mediation training last week and I wondered what the debate would be like if every citizen had to relearn communnication skills and nonviolent communication. I'm 22, I'm a peace studies major who watchs cartoons and reads picture books to find some peace amid the rubble I study. We're all doing the same work, just with different brushes. We all want a world, a country, that cares about our interconnections. One day, that will get a little easier. For now, keep sparkling! You gift us with your shine.

Amber Lough said...

I woke up this morning to an email from my grandmother (saying she was preaching to the choir but thought I'd "enjoy this"). It was that email that's been going around trying to link Obama to Muslim Extremists and, sadly, the antichrist.

Needless to say, it derailed me for most the day. I thought she was smarter than the fear-mongering. Anyway, Eve the Mermaid was right: "Muslim" is not a dirty word. It does not mean "terrorist" in Arabic.

I had to respond to my grandmother and set her straight. She hasn't written me back, but she could be busy, I guess...

Oh, and that "the Democrats created the economy crash to rush Obama to the White House" thing? Jim came home saying people at work were talking about it...and believing it.

I can't wait until this is over and we can do more positive things for our country.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you see Tuesday night's Daily Show, where they did a skit on Stupid Voters...it was funny but tragically right on.

(P.S. I live in Portland, too, but even my Republican friends are voting for Obama.)

Diane (aka violetismycolor)
http://valentinois.typepad.com

Axtlan said...

Scary!

it is VERY important to know about politics, people who say they are not interested are leaving important decisions that will affect them -and the rest of the world-to ignorants

Hope there are more intelligent than ignorant people in the States

Jeanine said...

This is shocking! I'm an American citizen, permanent resident of Canada. Whenever I think I might want to move to the States (beautiful landscape and beautiful people such as yourself), this is what stops me (and your health care system - it so saddens me to think of how expensive it is for you to get medical services). I'm not saying that we are any better - I mean, have you seen our Prime Minister? I'm just saying that ignorance, anywhere in the world, breeds this kind of crowd and it's scary.

Kiana said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. It helped prompt an amazing conversation from my best friend about the state of the world. And, helped me realize that there are sooo many people out there without a clue in the world...

Catherine Winnie said...

I can no longer read your blog.
You write about hatred for Obama, and yet you yourself show so much disdain for the McCain campaign and it's supporters.
What happened to agreeing to disagree? I've tried to do just that with you and your blogging, but I can't stomach the hipocracy, or swallow the insults you are throwing my way.

You made a comment in a previous entry about Sarah Palin, calling her a "female-vote-grubbing choice of the pro-life, Creation-spouting, wolf-killing, polar-bear-hating, grizzly-pelt-sporting, kill-everything-for-oil governor of Alaska for veep."
Talk about being filled with hate. How are you any better than the people in the clip?

I personally just wish we could vote already, Obama will win, and you can gloat and then move on, and I can go back to enjoying your writing. Until then I think I'm going to be taking a break from this blog.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Catherine,
I'm sorry to have offended, but this was a risk I knew I was taking in deciding to be honest about my political views on my blog -- something that many authors and bloggers have chosen NOT to do. To each his own. I think it's important to use what little platform each of us has. As for my statement about Palin that you cite above, all of those things are true, and much worse can be said of her, now that I know more about her. If you equate that with supporters shouting out "Kill him!" at rallies and labeling Obama a terrorist because of his name (did you watch that video? I'm guessing you didn't, if you are defending those people) then I don't know what to say. Call me a hypocrite if you want, but if you really think that the things I've said here on my blog are in any way comprable to the hate being spewed by McCain/Palin supporters, you just haven't been paying attention to what's going on in this campaign.

And there ARE issues on which I can "agree to disagree" but I will never agree to disagree on the conservative policies that are destroying our country: the erosion of our civil liberties, the dismantling of the Constitution, and of our hard-fought environmental laws; I will never ever ever agree to disagree on the wrongness of the war in Iraq. Agreeing to disagree is often just an unwillingness to engage in debate, and as you have seen from my blog, I am not unwilling.

Gloating is not what I will be doing when and if Obama wins. The fact that you use that word is telling to me. This is our nation at stake, our future, our rights, our economy, the lives of our soldiers, our place in the world, it's not some funny little game to be gloated over. This is very, very serious to me, which is why I will not ignore the fact that the most important election of my lifetime is in progress, even if I risk alienating some readers.

rebecca said...

Laini -

Tell it like it is, girl! Amen!

McCain has now had to step in and cool the fires of which he and Palin have been stoking in their dirty, little campaign all along. I'm sorry, I've not seen these kind of "hate" gatherings for Obama. I will give McCain this one, however, for finally stepping in and doing the right thing and saying that Obama is a decent man and if elected President they do not need to fear him (and of which he was booed). To me, Palin is the worst choice he could have picked as a running mate for so many, many reasons, one being that after seeing her time and again she comes off to me as someone who likes to fight and that is exactly what she is promoting -- aggression and hate, not unity and peace. is this who we want as a leader if the time ever called for it?

and, to me, animal advocate and lover, environmentalist, and woman, i disagree on so many of her personal views....so many. i do not see her as charming nor witty nor cute (with all that winking, enough already please!); i think she is a tad bit (if not much more than that) narcissistic, self-serving and with a tremendous ego. if she clearly loved her country, then she should have "blinked" when asked by mccain to be his running mate and ask the most important two questions that she should have asked: am i really ready for a position like this and am i the best candidate to serve my country if the need rises? to me, she did not blink and did not think twice because the title of vice president or maybe president was so tasty and to hell with the capability factor. if dubya could do it, she probably figured she too could too.

Wyman said...

Some quiet points. Is the video representative of Republicans overall? No, I think not. I suppose in 1968 one of the reasons Lyndon Baines Johnson failed to run for reelection was in part due to hate-filled epitaphs tossed his way by fellow Democrats, so sounds of hatred and genuine hatred have long been a part of American Presidentil elections. Thanks to YouTube, both parties can now spread the most vile version of the other party and do. Posting the video here is one example of doing that. Ah, but that is your right. Perhaps better to post it than not post it.

I must agree that Catherine makes a good point in her quote and criticism of you. If it is not out of context, that sounds a bit more emotional than rational, afterall she was elected Governor of her state, so surely if Alaskans objected to her views they would have turned her away. One would guess her views are a bit more nuanced than what you suggest. I doubt you were trying to condemn the majority of Alaskans.

As for your quote versus what is said on the video (I do not plan to view it, but have heard much about it, so I accept your posting it is with honest intent of letting those people speak for themselves.), both are extremely strong words, seemingly meant with injurious intent. One must get to the reason behind the anger of both to discern the truth.

As I mentioned, I only wish to make some quiet points. Catherine I feel should continue to read your views, commenting if she feels the need. When we stop listening to each other, then we run the danger of hearing only our view, believing only our view, but most of all, feel the need to impose our view on others. We also lose out on new ideas we may have never considered.

My views are not stated perfectly, so that they are beyond question or rejection. However, I am not readly to sound strident here either. I am enjoying the discourse, knowing whoever wins the election has a task ahead of them, which may be beyond any man or woman. I suspect the race will tighten up and become much closer, as they usually do at the end.

I have a unique view this election. I am without a TV. I have seen fewer bumperstickers than ever, have received very little campaign literature, and must seek out most of what I wish to know about this election. Yet, I think it has been one of the cleanest elections I have seen in my lifetime. Some racial politics has been played on both sides, no one is allowed to forget McCain is not a young man and has a temper, and other such things; yet, overall, the nominees have kept it clean compared to past elections.

Wyman said...

Good news, it seems editorial writer Michelle Malkin has found some instances where Democrats have been quite unkind to the McCain campaign, including a YouTube video of less than friendly anti-Palin rants, as I recall. Most of it has gone unreported she says. Me? That's typical politics on both sides. My point? It's out there on both sides, if you can find it and if your eyes and ears are open.

I think it is sad myself on both sides, but I am convinced that both McCain and Obama have no taste for that kind of politics. It is just that there are those on both sides of the campaign who think it works and has to be used. I would rather know what bills these two have been the lead sponsor on or consponsor in the case of bills with only two major sponsors. That says more about what they are willing to stick their neck out for than any campaign rhetoric. It speaks to their own ideas.

Alexandra Saperstein said...
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