Thought for the day and maybe forever: “The left wing and progressives have always stood for inclusion and equality. The right wing and conservatives have always stood for exclusion and elitism/inequality.”
I’m an Atheist and therefore freedom of religion is important to me since the very concept implicitly includes the freedom to not believe.
I was a child in the “good old days” of the 1950s which were good only if you were white, right and well to do and what we described as WASP.
To be queer was so outre as to be sufficient reason to be driven from small town America to seek ones life in the ghettos around America where we could find a modicum of acceptance among “liberal and sophisticated people” described as artistic. Indeed queer was considered so taboo that they describe LGBT/TQ kids as “sensitive” rather than as queer.
Racism and anti-Semitism were alive and well and anyone who said either were wrong was a “Goddamned Red”.
They also had choice name for people whose ethnic back grounds didn’t conform to the WASP ideal were were being programmed to think of being “normal”.
It was a time when using racial and ethnic slurs was widely accepted. People who argued for politeness of language were not being “politically correct”, they were “Goddamned Reds”.
The charge of “Political Correctness” has been cut loose from its founding root in the left wing communities where it was used as ironic chastisement for people who were getting carried away with their own superior level of consciousness. When it used by right wing it is an euphemistic way of calling someone a “Goddamned Red”.
But heaven forbid one point out to the right wing that their ideology bears a great deal more resemblance to something found in Nazism than in the US Constitution.
They wrap themselves in the flag and wave a Bible in your face while wiping their asses with the Constitution. In the world according to the right wing the US is a “Christian Nation” and the Constitution only has one amendment, the Second Amendment.
I was a child of the 1950 but I came of age in the 1960s. Oh wasn’t that a time? To be young and radical meant hearing everyone’s call for equality and social justice. It didn’t much matter to those of us who read Steinbeck’s Grapes Of Wrath as high school students and were so moved as to take Tom Joad’s soliloquy to heart.
Whenever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Whenever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there . . . . I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’-I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build-why, I’ll be there.
At the time of publication, Steinbeck’s novel “was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event. It was publicly banned and burned by citizens, it was debated on national radio hook-ups; but above all, it was read.”  Steinbeck scholar John Timmerman sums up the book’s impact: “The Grapes of Wrath may well be the most thoroughly discussed novel – in criticism, reviews, and college classrooms – of twentieth century American literature.” Part of its impact stemmed from its passionate depiction of the plight of the poor, and in fact, many of Steinbeck’s contemporaries attacked his social and political views. Bryan Cordyack writes, “Steinbeck was attacked as a propagandist and a socialist from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. The most fervent of these attacks came from the Associated Farmers of California; they were displeased with the book’s depiction of California farmers’ attitudes and conduct toward the migrants. They denounced the book as a ‘pack of lies’ and labeled it ‘communist propaganda’. However, although Steinbeck was accused of exaggeration of the camp conditions to make a political point, in fact he had done the opposite, underplaying the conditions that he well knew were worse than the novel describes because he felt exact description would have gotten in the way of his story. Furthermore, there are several references to socialist politics and questions which appear in the John Ford film of 1940 which do not appear in the novel, which is less political in its terminology and interests.
I’m watching the hysteria being whipped up by the right wing and the cowardly acquiescence of so many in the Democratic Party who seem more concerned with acting like good Germans by not rocking the boat and I think this is how something like the Third Reich happened.
People were too afraid to say, “No, this is wrong. Too afraid to not join the lynching mob.”
Yesterday I quoted Pastor Martin Niemöller . Last night Tina and I went to see Jr. John and the Lower 911. In one of their songs they inserted a song I used to sing on special occasion when I faced the thugs in blue with their clubs and Mace, “I shall not, I shall not be moved, Just like a tree standing by the water, I shall not be moved..”
I wasn’t Black, yet I stood for African American Civil Rights.
They were never going to draft me, yet I opposed the draft.
I was not a Native American yet I supported AIM
I was not a Chicano migrant farm worker, yet I supported the United Farm Workers
I am not Muslim (Indeed I find their religion among the most misogynistic of all religions and abhorrent on many levels),, yet I support their constitutional right to freedom to practice their beliefs.
The scapegoating of Muslims and blaming the entire world of people who practice Islam for the acts of 18 people who committed 9/11 is ugly, stupid and ridiculous.
Let them have their cultural center and their equal rights.
The memory of LGBT/TQ people having to fight various city halls for the rights to open and maintain our community and cultural centers is to fresh for me to join the lynching mob.
It appears as though beating up on Muslim people has become the new sport of the right, replacing LGBT/TQ bashing. Or perhaps it has just momentarily supplanted it.
It is all the same hatred that is the stock and trade of the right wing. Do not be fooled if it puts on a different mask.