Why all the hate?

In 2008, I sat with a group of local government officials in a Georgia city and listened to some of them predict that if Barack Obama won the Presidential election, he would be assassinated before ever taking office.

“There’s no way the racists and extreme right-wing will let him serve a day as President,” said one. “It won’t happen.”

I’ve thought about that conversation many times over the last year-and-a-half. Their certainty that Obama would never be allowed to take office bothered me. No one at the table advocated killing a candidate for President for office. They just took it for granted that it would happen.

It didn’t happen, but Obama’s election and first year as President has brought an increase in activity by extremists, hate groups and self-styled “patriots” and anger against the American government.

The recent arrests of a ragtag group of “Christian militia” members, who called themselves “Hutaree,” on charges they planned to start a new American revolution by killing cops and then bombing the funerals to increase the carnage highlights the rising level of hate in this nation.

The Tea Party racists who screamed “nigger” at African-American congressmen and “faggot” and “homo” at openly-gay Rep. Barney Frank underscore the vitriol that flows through the inflamed veins of political rhetoric.

The cowardly domestic terrorists who cut a propane line at the home of a Congressman’s brother in Virginia or hurl a brick with a threat attached through the glass door of a New York Congressman’s district office are defended by the self-righteous right as purveyors of free speech.

In Massachusetts, a campaign of hate against a high-school student by her classmates may have led to her suicide. Freedom of speech ends when that speech turns to hate and causes harm to others.

Those who issue threats and advocate violence are usually cowards who hide behind anonymous screen names or send unsigned missives through email or just leave them in your mailbox.

Hate too often spills from the mouths of such cowards. It eats away at the fabric of a society and should never be defended nor tolerated.

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10 thoughts on “Why all the hate?”

  1. You forgot the Obama donor that was arrested for threatening to kill Eric Cantor and his family. It is looking now like one of those Hutaree Militia nuts is a registered Democrat. http://tinyurl.com/yjuwzy2
    The others have no political ties. Lets not forget the WTO conference in Seattle…or the Weather Underground….Or bricks being thrown at buses carrying people at the GOP convention.
    There is plenty of hate on both sides, it’s a shame you are too partisan to see it.

  2. Yep. I can’t understand the hate. Democrats that are CERTAIN that, as a group, other fellow Americans are willing to kill a President because he is “black.” And then bloggers continuing to push the lie of racist chanting about a crowd of people that did no such thing. By the way, the Hutaree are registered Democrats. And talking about bricks through windows? Where is you mention of bricks through windows of Republicans? Or the egging of moving vehicles? Or the death threats against Stupak by the left before he switched his vote. Or the violence of the protesters in California, or the anti-capitalism protesters, or the Pentagon shooter or the IRS Plane crasher. All leftists.

    The left doesn’t apologise for leftist violence. It down right ignores it. So, apparently, you’re a bigot. You hate fellow Americans because you disagree with their politics and believe the worst of them. Without evidence. Or despite evidence.

    Yep. Its a good question. Why all the hate.

  3. Kilo: Where did you obtain information that Norman Leboon, the man accused of threatening Eric Cantor, was an Obama supporter? If you obtained it from a web site, would you be willing to post the link? I can only find this stated on unreliable, right-wing web sites….unreliable in more ways than one, since they also mispell his last name. A reasonable person would conclude, based upon Leboon’s own statements (including that he is “the son of the god of Enoch”), that he is mentally ill and anti-semitic. And, my gosh, one of the “Christian” Hutaree Militia nuts is a registered Democrat! One… but not the other eight! (It must have been an foolish error in judgment made in his irrational younger days!) Are you trying to imply that the Hutaree Militia is a left-wing, radical group? Oh, pleeease!

    Over the past three decades, there have been very few protests by the political left that have involved violence. Usually, we simply ignore the taunts and insults shouted from the rabid right-wing counter-protestors. There will always be exceptions, and you mention WTO conference and the GOP convention. The WTO protestors were mostly young and have a lot to learn about political action, in my opinion. Regarding the GOP convention, how many bricks? How many people throwing bricks? There will always be a few bad apples. It is somewhat humorous, however, that you have dig back 30+ years to mention the Weather Underground. That is such old history that most people, nowadays, probably know of it only as a weather web site.

  4. As a Republican/Libertarian I think we should celebrate the right that liberals have to push this agenda. The ballet box is the place to settle these arguments.

  5. What agenda are liberals pushing that is exemplified in Doug’s post or any of the subsequent comments? Everything in Doug’s post did, in fact, occur. He is simply noting and deploring it. And I’m not sure that Doug would refer to himself as a liberal. Please clarify your comment, Lauren.

  6. Yvonne,The FEC filings are public info
    http://tinyurl.com/yh3trh9

    Leboon, Norman Sr
    Philadelphia, PA 19149
    Disabilied/Retired OBAMA, BARACK (D)
    President
    OBAMA FOR AMERICA $250
    primary 06/21/08
    Leboon, Norman Sr
    Philadelphia, PA 19149
    Disabilied/Retired OBAMA, BARACK (D)
    President
    OBAMA FOR AMERICA $255
    primary 06/20/08

  7. Yes Yvonne One of the Hutaree Militia nuts is a registered Democrat. Can you prove that any of the others are Republicans? Can you or Doug prove any ties to a gas line cut to any political party?
    Hate goes both ways and Doug’s partisan b/s does not help. Pretty dang Ironic that Doug posts about hate and displays hate at the same time.

  8. Yvonne, I was talking about the people Doug listed and their misguided hate. They are upset over the liberal tilt that this country has taken and some are looking to violence as a way to resist. My point simply is that I like the fact that everyone has the freedom to push any agenda they wish. To often the conservative approach is to attempt to reduce the rights of the other side while promoting their own rights. Sorry, I’m not sure I’m coming through very clearly.

  9. Doug’s picture says it all: regardless of party affiliation, religious beliefs, whether “liberal”, “conservative” or middle-of-the-road, mean people suck. There is no good reason to be an a**hole; it accomplishes nothing of any value to anyone. With that said, I’m certain we all have moments for which we owe someone an apology. Let’s all get along, okay?

  10. Lauren: Thanks for your clarification. I agree with you that we are fortunate to be able to express our opinions, and that should always be done nonviolently and without hate.

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