Thursday, July 2, 2009


HATE, much more than love, is BLIND.

I thought the Hate Mail Bag was full, but its cup runneth over. The heat of President Barack Obama's critics is definitely not on simmer. It is on high, possibly higher than when he was a candidate.

North America's first African-American president, the man right-wing talk radio calls "Messiah," "Savior," "the holy one," with all the cynical sarcasm they can muster. Such hate speech is not only on the rise, but dangerously close to urging some gun nut to attempt to hunt him down.

Lush Rimbaugh (not his real name, I don't want to give him any free publicity), the arch-conservative radio guy, called Obama a "half-rican," because his mother was white and his father a black African, famously played the "Barack the Magic Negro," take-off on his program. He applauds anyone who denigrates our president.

His latest idiotic "news" is to blame Obama for South Carolina Governor Sanford's going to Argentina. Obama has made government so bad, Sanford had to leave the country.

There is a cable-TV program that claims to be a "no spin zone," which might better be called "Don't try to out-spin the host of the O'Really show." Though his spin is apparently well rehearsed, it shows lack of research.

Another Fox TV cable show, the Hean Sannity program, proudly gets in on the act of slamming Obama. One of his radio program sponsors is a San Angelo church. (Again, I will not name the church because they do not need any more free advertising, but it is on Sixth and Main.)

This week a San Angelo radio station played a national talk show where a caller compares Obama to the biblical "uncircumcised Philistines." The host agreed and noted ancient Israel knew how to take them down. (I will not name the station, but it is 91.9 on the FM dial.)

Then there is Dr. Sam Vaknin, an Israeli psychologist whose writings are making the Internet rounds. He writes:

"Obama will set the clock back decades. ... It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists [sp], the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of destruction. There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president."

Just for the record: Vaknin (I suppose that is his real name) has no medical or academic training in the field and his Ph.D from Pacific Western University is in philosophy.

These brazen attacks on our president have not been entirely by politicians and media personnel or pretend-psychologist. Several black ministers and some white preachers are getting bolder with their potshots.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a West coast black preacher, has published a thesis called: "10 Reasons to Fear an Obama Nation." He calls Obama's appointments dangerous and corrupt (a free-speech opinion); continuing genocide against the unborn (poor use of words against a law of the land); and claims Obama is turning "America into a ghetto." (We've had ghettos from the get-go.)

Peterson attacked his black brother preachers like T.D. Jakes of Dallas for "worshipping the wrong Messiah."

Rev. James David Manning (appears on YouTube a lot) reached way down low and said Obama "was white trash." He has written more vulgar things about Obama but I omit those as this is a family newspaper.

Some blacks are not sure he is really black while there are still some white preachers on radio still saying he was not born in the United States. My problem with all this is these guys have a growing following. I've no problem with people expressing their views or opinions. I do that for a living myself. Hate speech incites those with wobbly minds and is dangerous for all free-speech lovers.

Then there is Wiley Drake, a Southern Baptist pastor in California, former vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced he was praying for Obama's death. Using Old Testament texts to back up his "prayerful spirit."

Where were these critics when President Bush and Vice President Cheney took us from "shock and awe" into war? Where were the hate speech purveyors? They were cheering the neo-cons ever-onward into battle

Criticism of city, state or national government policies or church practices, or our neighbor's lifestyle, is a part of human nature. Hate, if nurtured, infects like disease. Look at the misguided mob in a scene from a Frankenstein movie (where the villagers go after the monster with pitchforks and blind hate). Think before your criticism evolves into hate.

If readers have read to this point, I admit my approach has been confrontational. But when all is said and done, I fully agree with humorist Garrison Keillor. Last week on the American Masters TV program, he reminded us that this beautiful country of ours could not have been created by angry people, people who hate.


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