So Cafepress decided to take down the assassination gear after all. I suppose I should be happy they came to their senses but instead I'm left with this gnawing suspicion that they crunched numbers, talked to lawyers, measured the cost of indignation, were appalled (and not totally understanding) why they were singled out for shame on TV and Zazzle was not, and then went with the bottom line that favored them, which is the way they make all their decisions. It would fit their "profile" as they've refined it over the last year. It would solidify their standing as just another corporate crap shop that cares only about money. Yeah, thanks guys, but you already revealed who you are and doing the decent thing came too late. As they used to tell us slutty girls who actually enjoyed sex as much as the boys back then, you can't get your reputation back.
I really wish that they and others would have immediately recognized it as the hate-fueled crap it was and taken it down immediately, or at least been the leader and kept it down once they made the decision like Zazzle did. But that would imply a decency and intelligence they, and a lot of people do not possess. There's times when we seem to have become a nation of poorly educated morons goosestepping to either the almighty dollar or some barely disguised hate group.
I don't know at what point a human being can say I've had enough of this crap and I'm going to start fighting back, but that pretty much sums up where I'm at right now. I've always tried to have a live and let live approach to life. But damn it, when crazyass hating jerks who use the Bible or whatever book they choose to wave in my face to justify hate, then I'm done letting live.
I'm not a violent person and I will never, unlike these hate groups, advocate violence, but I do have ways to make my voice heard. I use my art, my words, my helping others to fight back. Those are more effective and lasting ways to effect change. If you kill someone or piss them off then you haven't really done something that will create positive change. All you've done is create more enemies, more hate, more victims.
Yesterday two of those pure little Mormon converters made the mistake of knocking on my door. All I could see were representatives of a church who used money and power to deny citizens of another state the right to marry. I still remember when African-Americans were not allowed to hold positions of power in that church. And now I see that same bigotry directed toward gays and lesbians. How dare they come to my door and push that crap on me? How would they like it if I went to their doors and lectured them on Atheism?
I sent them on their way without too much verbal damage because it's not their fault they're ignorant of what their church really is, but with enough warning that coming back would not be a pleasant experience for them. It did leave me feeling as if religion is its own worst enemy, that politicized churches have created more Atheists than believers in the last few years.
Maybe there's a downward spiral they've sucked themselves into that has to happen, and right now the pool is just starting to whirl. Maybe some day history will look back on this time the same way they looked back on the fall of the Roman Empire, the end of Hitler, the disgrace of Nazism and Facism, the cruelty of tyrannical dictators.They will be able to point to certain people who were the propagandists who stirred up the ignorant with hatred and created enemies/scapegoats for these uneducated and mostly stupid rabble to rail against. There is no easier person to control than one who hates. They are truly the tool of any master who feeds them hateful crap.
This may seem like the most idealist nonsense you've ever read but I really do believe love and tolerance can defeat all that. As I said, you can control a hater with no problem, but a person who loves is fairly hard to turn into a missile of evil. Love is a power that only works for good and immediately recognizes when not good is threatening them.
I'm not talking about the kind of love that happens in relationships. That's a whole different kind of love, a sort of willful blindness that only hurts those who choose badly. I'm talking about the kind of love that most religions conveniently forgot were the basis of those precious books they're so fond of waving around. Maybe if people were required to actually read their bibles, their religous books, and not go on just the word of some unholy intermediary with an agenda to push, we might create that better world that religion promises so deceptively to its followers.
But in the meantime, it's up to us as individuals, as artists, as human beings to take over the message of hate and replace it with love. It's up to us to take the negative crap and replace it with positive goals. It's up to us to stand up to the haters, to call them on their hate and make as much noise over love as they do over hate. It's up to us to realize we do have the power to fight back against mean, against cruel, against hateful, against bigoted and intolerant.
We all have the means inside our hearts and it's time to start digging or the haters will win.