Friday, October 17, 2008

He Crossed The Line


I received this letter from James Rucker at Colorofchange.org

Dear Pamella,

Over the last week and a half, supporters at McCain/Palin rallies have yelled "kill him," "terrorist," "traitor!" and "off with his head!" about Obama. At Wednesday night's presidential debate, John McCain refused to denounce those outbursts or take any responsibility for the violent, hateful atmosphere he's helped create. Instead, he attacked civil rights hero John Lewis for calling him out on it, and tried to cast McCain/Palin supporters as victims of a smear.
Either John McCain doesn't understand the dangerous words coming out of some of his loudest supporters' mouths, or he doesn't care.
As the leader of his campaign, he has a responsibility to condemn and control hateful speech, especially direct threats on a presidential candidate. We need to show that Americans of all races won't stand for this. When enough of us stand together, we can force the mainstream media to amplify our message. Please join us: you can watch a video from Brave New Films about the atmosphere at McCain rallies, sign our open letter calling out McCain and Palin, and ask your friends and family to do the same, here:

McCain-Palin rallies have started to look more like mob scenes than political events. The candidates keep asking "who is the real Barack Obama?" (a question that also kicks off almost every McCain television ad). In response, supporters have yelled "terrorist!" and "traitor!" And the venom goes beyond Obama--one McCain/Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at a Black member of a news crew, saying "sit down, boy." The outbursts at McCain/Palin events have crossed the line into direct threats and suggestions of violence. Last week, at the mention of Obama's name, a McCain supporter yelled "kill him!"prompting a secret service investigation. A few days later, someone shouted "off with his head!"

In the face of all of this, McCain and Palin haven't stopped for five seconds to denounce these violent outbursts. In fact they've tried to defend them and their fear-mongering smear tactics continue. McCain and Palin are going down a dangerous path. Watching some of their supporters being interviewed shows the kind of fear their campaign is stoking and exploiting. McCain and Palin are clearly in the driver's seat. They've personally made it a point to use "terrorist" and "Obama" in the same sentence; their surrogates have repeatedly referred to Obama by his middle-name; and they keep pushing the discredited guilt-by-association smears that have long been debunked.
All of it plays on false rumors spread by email: that Obama is Muslim (a myth designed to tap into anti-Muslim bigotry); that he is anti-American; and that he's somehow connected with terrorists. The strategy works and is powerful because it plays into the suspicions some White Americans have about Blacks: about our true allegiances and our trustworthiness. In the end, it makes Obama's race a disadvantage without appearing overtly racist.
A unified response

As Americans of all stripes, we've seen how Barack Obama's historic candidacy has moved our friends and family to have a more honest conversation about race in this country. It's inspired a lot of people to step out of their comfort zone and confront racism in their own communities, with their friends, neighbors, and families. Now we have McCain, at a time of crisis in this country, pandering to one of the worst instincts in America. His campaign is playing to the kind of suspicion, hatred and fear that brings out the worst in us all, which history shows can lead to horrible consequences.

We can fight back

In the final days of this campaign, we can't let a desperate John McCain and Sarah Palin drag us down. If enough of us act, we can create a powerful story in the media about Black people and our allies of all races standing together against race-baiting and fear-mongering coming from theMcCain/Palin campaign. But it will take a lot of us speaking in unison. Will you sign an open letter to McCain and Palin, telling them who you are and why you won't let them move our country backward? We'll publish the letter and make sure John McCain is forced to respond.

Thanks and Peace,

James, Gabriel, Clarissa, Andre, Kai, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org PAC team October 17th, 2008

I watched some of the footage from one of these rallies and I became mad enough to chew bricks. McCain and Palin, as well as their supporters are running scared. Now they think they can bully Obama supporters into submission. I am so damn tired of hearing that Obama is a Muslim. If he is, so what! I could give less than a damn about his religious affiliations. I want to know what he is going to do about the economy, health care, and ending this atrocious war. I am signing this damn letter!

3 comments:

Smith said...

As Americans of all stripes, we've seen how Barack Obama's historic candidacy has moved our friends and family to have a more honest conversation about race in this country. It's inspired a lot of people to step out of their comfort zone and confront racism in their own communities, with their friends, neighbors, and families. Now we have McCain, at a time of crisis in this country, pandering to one of the worst instincts in America.

Jennifer Snelling said...

MCCAIN/PALIN AND JOE THE UNLICENSED PLUMBER WHAT A JOKE.
THEY SAY THEY WANT A "REAL AMERICAN"
IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
THE 3 OF THEM CAN'T HOLD A CANDLE TO BARACK OBAMA'S INTELLIGENCE,HONESTY,
INTEGRITY, AND THE ABILITY TO MOVE AMERICA TO UNITY.
AFTER SEEING THE INFOMERCIAL THE OTHER NIGHT I CUT OF THE TV SAYING
THIS GUY IS REALLY THE ONE. THIS GUY
SHOULD BY ALL MEANS BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT

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