Will the real anti-Americans please stand up?

This BlogHer post written yesterday by Erin about which parts, exactly, of our country Sarah Palin thinks are the un-American parts foreshadows the anger I'm feeling, but Erin did a great job trying to put the bubbling up into perspective:

If I can take the liberty of reading a bit into [Sarah Palin's] remarks [about enjoying speaking to the Pro-America places such as where she was campaigning], spoken
from North Carolina, Palin was talking to her base. The base of a party
rallying against Senator Obama's and Biden with hate speech and touting
their belief in prayer.

I have a very hard time reconciling the dynamics of that. Then I
remember there are the extremist in my party. Those so far off the
beaten path they firebomb car dealerships or preach their own version
of hate.

So what are we to learn from this? That Michelle's comment came
from a place many on the right couldn't understand, and Palin's comment
came from a place many on the left can't understand.

However, I can't imagine either side going as far as to call either woman unpatriotic...but they do, and they will.

We must not define who is and is not American by virtue of how much any one of us holds opinions that are different from anyone else's in this country. That was given a name in the middle of the last century: McCarthyism, and unless people are interested in updating it for the 21st Century, I suggest we end this sick slide we're seeing and hearing and reading about. You want to talk about what must not be tolerated?

This must not be tolerated:

This must not be tolerated:

 

[ACORN spokesperson Brian] Kettenring said that a senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland, after appearing on television this week, got an e-mail that said she “is going to have her life ended.”

A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of “We know you get off work at 9,” then uttered racial epithets, he said.

McClatchy is withholding the women’s names because of the threats.

Separately, vandals broke into the group’s Boston and Seattle offices and stole computers, Kettenring said.

This must not be tolerated:

A Republican women's club in San Bernardino County sent out a recent newsletter with a photo of Barack Obama surrounded by fried chicken, watermelon and ribs, sparking widespread outrage and rebuke from GOP leaders and Democrats.

The illustration shows the Democratic presidential candidate's head atop a donkey's body on a bogus $10 bill referred to as "Obama Bucks." Inscribed on the money are the words "United States Food Stamps" surrounded by stereotypical African American food.

...

"My daughter who is 16 was standing over my shoulder when I opened the e-mail, and her mouth dropped wide open," [club member and African-American, Acquanetta] Warren said. "I actually turned the screen away and sent her to her room so she wouldn't see. I don't want to talk to anyone; I want a written apology so the public knows that this is not right and this is not representative of the way Republicans think."

From another article about the same incident:

An African American member of the group told the newspaper that she cried when she saw the artwork:“This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party,” [Sheila Raines] said. “I’m really hurt. I cried for 45 minutes.”

People want to say that they don't like people who are different from them? Then for God's sake just say that, own it and structure your own life to fulfill that unrealistic and homogenous life you want. But don't you try to define for me what is and isn't American and then tell me that I'm anti-American because I seek to understand, get to know, empathize, engage with and argue for people who aren't like me. This country is diverse and populated by multitudes of people with no single, unentangled history, pure unto itself. Including people who don't like what our government does and speak out about it.

If there's one sin I've known since I was a young child, it's xenophobia - because it's in the Jewish prayer books for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. And it's as big a sin as they come. And if it's in my book of prayers, don't even try to convince me that it's not in the prayer books of an awful lot of people who follow organized religion.

I got news for you, Michelle Bachmann: Americans elected all those people you want investigated as possibly anti-American, in fact, more Americans voted for all those Americans than voted for you. You want to define who is an American? I suggest you check with those voters first, because I'm guessing few of them have an interest in your conclusory definition of who is and isn't anti-American.

Cross-posted from Writes Like She Talks.

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