Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The Symbology Matters
On August 3rd (how's that for irony ?) 1980, candidate Ronald Reagan gave a speech mentioning "States' Rights" in Neshoba County, Mississippi. The only thing Neshoba County, Mississippi is famous for is the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964 . (If you haven't ever read an account of that case, please do so.) You might want to listen to that speech so you can get a feel for the emotion in it. I hope you'll notice that Ronald Reagan demonizes two groups -- government workers and welfare recipients -- right before he mentions "States' Rights".
All of that is context. It's a history lesson. So you can know when history repeats itself. Four days ago, Mitt Romney spoke at Liberty University -- the college founded by Jerry Falwell. He too used the code words of the day to embolden the bigotry of our time.
"Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman."
The issue isn't marriage. It isn't your belief or mine on the issue -- which one of us is closer to being right. The issue isn't religious freedom. The issue is emboldening hatred.
"“(re: 9/11 attacks) "...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen."”"
Those are a few words from the founder of Liberty University. In fairness, Reverend Falwell apologized for them a short time later. Also in fairness, it's not real hard to find other instances where he expressed the same type of sentiments.
I've already pointed out how Mitt Romney wouldn't be good for air traffic controllers. I also know many of you think you should put your country before yourself. Again, a noble thought. But Mitt Romney isn't going to be good for America either.
We have a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in this county -- a day to celebrate a man that drug many of us (kicking and screaming) into a better future. We will never have a George Wallace Day. We aren't going to have a Jerry Falwell Day either. But, hopefully, we will see a day when we don't hate so much that we are willing to kill somebody just because they are different than we are.
May 16, 2012