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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

A Great Disservice

Except for what is seen on television, many of us in this country have had limited associations with people of color, yet alone people of color in authority.  For some, seeing a black physician or having a black principal is commonplace.  But for a larger part of the country, not so much.  So I guess the amount of vitriol after the election of our first Black president should not surprise me.   Somehow, however it does.  The strength of the hatred evidenced in nonsensical aspersions hurts me, hurts us all.  And the ravings of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other 'shock' jocks have done nothing but pander to and promote fear and rage and make it easier for others to make horrific statements and get away with them.  These demagogues have done us all a great disservice.

The most vocal of Obama's detractors  express such thinly cloaked animosity (sometimes not cloaked at all) at what often seem, at least to me, non-issues.  Or misconstrued issues.  A woman who lives in my mother's community was passing out leaflets entitled "This is How the Obamas Spend Our Tax Dollars".  It was about the First Lady visiting schools to fight childhood obesity.  And there are so many other examples.  When asked for specifics --"What exactly do you not like about this president"  the retorts are vague and non specific.  "He's going to abolish Medicare".  Not true. "He's a frivolous spender".  Not true, either.  In fact, he's spent less than the two previous administrations.

The anger is real and palpable.   It comes to me that this is not an election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, but a referendum to remove  Barack Obama whose election four years ago marked a definitive and important milestone in our country's history and presented us all with an opportunity to evolve.    

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that in negotiations of any type, progress will not be made until both sides  recognize the position of the other as valid.  My present objectives are to do just that.  I will openly and specifically state what I like about 'my' candidate and will abstain from name-calling and ignorant generalizations about 'yours'.  I invite the rest of the country to do the same. 

7 comments:

Gilly said...

Well said Kathy! In the UK, it tends to be the Asians, who the ignorant and rude call "Paki's" who get the anger and ignorant stuff thrown at them. But its the same attitude.

I have a net friend who lives in the far north of Michigan. She is of the same views as you, but the plain ignorance, pig-headedness and downright rudeness amazes her - and nearly made me fall down in disbelief when she told me!

forsythia said...

Then there's the "birther" flap and the silliness about his being a Muslim. Obama's opponents seem to make these things up out of thin air and try to lend them substance by endless, stubborn repetition. It's be funny if they weren't so deadly serious about it.

Kimberly said...

You can't see it, but you are getting a standing ovation over here!

Retired English Teacher said...

I so agree with you. I love this rational, level-headed approach of yours. I support you in this request and will make it my own.

Linda Reeder said...

Yes, to all you just said! and yes, we can discuss politics without name calling and insults (although I admit it gets darn hard sometimes).

Kay said...

Yae, Kathy!!! Thank you for this fabulous, perfect post. I wish every American would read it and learn from it.

Bilbo said...

Very well said, Kathy! And I support your final paragraph without reservation (although I do reserve the right to engage in name-calling as long as it's backed up by facts).