Sorry, Shazia, You Are Absolutely Right
For those of you who are looking at my headline and wondering, “Who is Shazia, and how does she fit into this topic,” I offer this explanation. Yesterday, when visiting one of my favorite sites, Margaret and Helen, a young seemingly Arab-American woman wrote a comment about the racism being spread against her fellow Arab-Americans by the McCain/Palin ticket and how nobody is picking up on it. I think she makes a very valid point.
Sometimes those of us who are political partisans only see the insult being hurled at our candidate by the other side and fail to see the over-all picture. Shazia, having a personal interest and perspective on this, pointed out the obvious that most all of us, as well as the media, failed to see. John McCain and Sarah Palin, while directing their fire at Barack Obama, are actually stirring up hatred against those of Arab descent who have come to our country legally and are participating, tax-paying citizens of good standing. McCain’s quick defense of Obama as not being Arab and being a “decent family man,” while admirable on one level, was insulting to Arab-Americans. It implied that Arabs could not be “decent family men, or women for that matter.” Shazia reports that only Wolf Blitzer on CNN pointed this out, and I feel he should be given credit for it.
I also think the same thing applies to us out here in the blogosphere. In attacking the racism that is apparent in the McCain/Palin campaign, we need to be sure that we are not adding to the anti-Arab sentiment in our citizenry. Racism is racism and prejudice is prejudice. What many Americans fail to recognize is that most of us come from “unacceptable” immigrant stock that came here well after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. The Irish were treated terribly on their arrival, as were the Italians and Eastern European Jews. And don’t forget the Chinese workers who were imported to build our railroad who were also the object of hatred. Then we had the Puerto Ricans followed by Cubans and other Latin Americans who came here to escape the life-threatening tyranny they were facing. The Haitians were not exactly welcomed with open arms to Miami when they straggled onto our shores. And don’t even get me started on the hatred heaped upon gays in America who had the nerve to ask to be treated like anybody else.
The unimaginable enslavement of Africans by our ancestors, including some of my forebears, is an easy piece of history to grasp and condemn. But they have not been alone in their struggles; although, they have had the highest hill to climb into acceptance, taking hundreds of years after their arrival. That is why the focus went there in the past several weeks. It’s a brand of racism that we are all very familiar with. But Shazia points out our short-sightedness. We forget that these same hate mongers have targeted everybody who is different from them, whether it be race or religious differences or nationality of origin. It is a BIG part of who we are, and we trip over the line easily and often.
I remember when I was in elementary school in Oklahoma City, how the protestants of Oklahoma launched a vicious anti-Catholic campaign against John F. Kennedy. They claimed that if elected he would allow the Pope to dictate his every move and outlaw Protestantism in America. What a crock! But it worked in Oklahoma which went heavily for Nixon.
On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough once again launched into a shrill tirade against the liberal left-wing media for criticizing Republicans for their misbehavior on this point, claiming the media turn a blind eye to Democrats when they do the same. Sorry, Joe, that gets a great big BULLSHIT from Jack. Republicans, and especially John McCain, enjoyed the greatest love-fest ever from the “liberal left-wing” media while they led us into the insane war in Iraq. The media bought the whole thing hook, line and sinker and never questioned a thing. As for John McCain, no politician over the past ten years has enjoyed a more favorable press. I would refer you back to my first posting in this blog – it’s what fired me up to write in the first place. Every day for months the “liberal left-wing” media asked the question: What’s wrong with Barack Obama? I reiterate for my new readers, doesn’t that question imply by its very nature that there IS something wrong with Barack Obama? What Obama has gotten from the main-stream media is not exactly a love-fest.
So now, the Republicans, in their last desperate attempt to salvage the flagging bankrupt campaign of John McCain are resorting to their other tried and true tactic: blame the liberal left-wing media. How pathetic you all have become. You want to rule the world, but you can’t even find one positive message with which to lead. Instead, the Republicans have adopted a default strategy, hoping to turn the people against Barack Obama. What I see in the polling is that the American people have had enough of that kind of politics and have rejected it. In the last debate I watched the CNN focus group needle sit in a neutral position through most of McCain’s presentation. I think, just like George W. Bush, the American people are tuning out the chaotic, flip-flopping McCain. Let’s face it, he hasn’t had anything new to say for weeks, and what he does say is exactly the same old thing in the same old words. WE’VE HEARD IT, ALREADY, JOHN! So keep on playing to that base. You may just need those right-wing nuts again in four more years. But, in the meantime, it is fun for us on the left to watch the rats desert the sinking ship three weeks before the election. More on that tomorrow.
Keep up the good fight, Democrats and Independents for Change. The polls keep sliding in our direction.
P.S. For a good laugh, go to my friend Willpen’s site today, Willpen’s World. She has a video and a poem for us. It’s just the levity we all need to get through our days. Thanks, Willpen!