Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hate and History

The older I get the more I look back in time and patch it together with the present. Things only seem different until you lay them side by side, strip away the defining edges of time, and let them exist as separate entities.

In doing so, the ugliness that intermingles with the good becomes a common pattern. As a woman I don’t have to physically go back in time to hear the taunts, the ugly accusations, the hysterical fears that were part of women gaining the right to vote three short decades before my birth.

I heard and lived the same language in the late 1960’s when as a young woman I fought for an equality granted to only half of America’s citizens at the time. I was spit on, had garbage thrown at me, was accused of trying to destroy the sacred American family by wanting to be paid the same as a man for doing the same job.

I didn’t let them stop me because I’d heard them before as a young girl, the same hateful words, the same spewing hatred from the mouths of bigots who tried to stop the civil rights movement and failed. But not before people died so others could live as equals in America. Not before my heroes were gunned down by men who feared equality, who fought against it with an ugliness that not even time can ever forgive.

Over and over again I heard the hatred, the ugliness, the lies invented out of nothing to control any kind of change trying to reweave the American fabric into something more humane, more in tune with the visions of its founding fathers.

I heard that I was a communist, a socialist, a traitor, a godless damned inconsiderate feminazi bitch for daring to want a world without war, for daring to have the courage of my convictions by refusing to support war in any way, refusing to see it as inevitable, as necessary, as anything but an unspeakable act of sanctioned murder committed for political gain.

But the hatred didn’t end there. It continued again wrapped in religion and the flag so it could be patriotically directed against Gays and Lesbians.

Religious bigots found Jesus was a convenient excuse to justify meanness and hatred against anyone different. They dug up  those ugly old words from the past and used them to deny equal rights to their own Gay/Lesbian family members and neighbors.

They used the same old hysterical fears to rage against Americans who were not white, Christian and Republican with a venom that steadily poisoned the last drop of compassion from their hearts.

And since the election of President Barack Obama, they don’t even bother with the hooded sheets anymore because hatemongers such as Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and those pathetic tools of the Insurance Corporations and Wall Street bankers—the teabaggers, spread their hate for them.

But maybe, just maybe when they let the the majority of American people who are still somewhat sane and fair-minded human beings see their actions over Health Care Reform, it’s possible they caused some well-deserved dirt being kicked over them for yet another generation.

Their behavior was shameful. It was ugly. It was the mentality of mobs who were directed by their own hatred, whose chains were sufficiently yanked so they would the bidding of anyone who stirred their fires of hate.

For all their claims of independence, they were the most completely manipulated crowd of fools ever assembled for someone else’s purpose. Their grandchildren will cringe in shame at the blood these “morans” contributed to their veins. They will deny kinship with them. They will mock their stupidity. They will curse their legacy. And they will never forgive them for the darkness they brought upon the land.

But if they have one purpose for those with an ounce of sanity and compassion inside themselves, it’s to pay attention because hatred and bigotry don’t go away just because inroads are gained into the darkness of its mean little heart. Equal rights won’t guarantee equal respect. Civil rights won’t create an equal world.

Those are battles that must be fought generation after generation because the same words, the same language, the same hatred and lies lay dormant waiting for the next paradigm shift to make itself known. And then they rise up from the cesspool  of the past and try to destroy progress once more.

To paraphrase several versions of the same idea: those who remain silent in the face of evil, allow it to flourish. Speak up now or force your grandchildren to apologize for you decades from now. The choice is yours.



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