This is going to be a long blog, so if you don't have time to read it, you might want to check back later.
I was thinking about how this election and election before it really polarized this nation. A lot of gays and lesbians lost friends and family back in 2004 for sure when Bush was reelected. If the polls could be believed, it was like a slap in the face and put you on one side of the issues and them on another. It was a bitter pill but, we swallowed. Now it looks like there may be hope at the end of the tunnel. Someone who will rebuild that foundation of support we lost....or so it seems. Someone who will unite and not divide this country. Someone who will help end a lot of the prejudices and sterotypes we hear every day. Little did I realize that so many on that Bush wall would be so bitter. And bitter believe you me, they are.
I had a friend; eh, ex coworker rather, that constantly peppered me with email forwards that were chaulked full of; English is the language spoken in America, Live by our rules or get out, Marriage is between one man and one woman, Obama is a Muslim, Obama isn't really a US citizen, etc., The kind of ignorant rambling convoluted emails you would expect from a teenager or a person with a low IQ trying to show what they think is political savy. I asked her in a joking manner to not send them because they were well, stupid, inaccurate and a waste of time to track down, correct and send back to her in an attempt to point out the obvious to her. I did for a while just hit delete but, it seemed like if I didn't comment, even more came. I even tried being blunt and saying, listen please don't send me this stuff. Always the same whiny excuse that they were "for entertainment purposes" only and not to be taken literally and that I should get out more (whatever that meant) came back to me as if I were the one with the 'problem' not her. Well, who's entertainment? Certainly not mine. This finally came to a head last Friday and I want to share this with you. I along with several others in her address book received the following forwarded email:
Prime Minister John Howard Australia:
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.
Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians'.
'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'. 'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!'
'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriat e to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'
'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'
'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LA ND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,
'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'
'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'
Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, American citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the
If you agree, please SEND THIS ON.
I I responded with,
"It is a real shame that people who forward this rubbish, don't have the backbone or the God given deceny to hit delete instead of forwarding them to propagate intolarance and hate. I would suggest that given the tone of this last election, a great many people in this country are moving forward not backward in their desire to learn to live and work with people of all religions, cultures, creeds, and nationalities. Many of us have grown tired of self professed Christians who spew hatred from their lips as they wave American flags and have their wives press their white KKK robes for future wear.
In the future, should you receive similar hate spewed versions of the same message, please leave me off the list of forwards as I will hit delete for sure. "
With that, I hit reply to all. I figure one of them surely has to either feel as I do or they were like her. Either way, I wanted everyone on the list to know I didn't agree with this. Which I'm pretty sure looking back, I accomplished. Within a matter of minutes I received the following:
I have no Idea who Xxxxxxx Xxxxx is but she comes across as a very intolerant person. 47% of the people in America rejected Obama and we have a right to any opinion we want as guaranteed by the Constitution. 90% of American's profess a believe in God so where are you going with this anti-christian burst. Anyway I totally agree with the Australian Prime Minister and have the same opinion for any one wanting to live in America. Live by our rules or stay home.
XXXXXXXXX's Father Xxxxx X. Xxxxxxx
From the Boonies
Alright, that totally enraged me. I have never been called intolerant in my life plus here he is writing this like I've committed blasephemy. So, thinking I know who this guy is because I thought I knew who he wasn't. (as my ex coworker had not to long ago, cried to me about her father dying and how she had been torn for days and couldn't stop crying) and also wanting whomever this was to understand my position. I responded:
I know who you are and last I heard, Xxxxxxxxx's father was dead. However, I assure you I am not the intolerant one here. You might want to check your facts. You certainly have a right to any opinion you so choose but, you don't have to email it to me and that is why I asked not to receive these emails. You also might want to try researching some of it before you send it as that whole speech by the Austrailian prime minister was written out of context. Bottom line is, I can't reconcile prejudice and hate with Christianity no matter how I try. Obviously you can and good luck to you and your 47% sir because the 53% of the people that voted for Obama don't think the same way.
Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxx
Apparently I hit a lot of nerves. Turns out that she was adopted and this was her adopted father. Ooopps, my bad. Still, the tone wasn't set by me and I really don't feel I said anything all that hideous to receive the following response from her. His response was brief and with none of the poision of his first msg so I can only surmise that he was saving it for her.
First his response
I adopted Xx a very long time ago
Xxxxx Xxxxxxx is my father in every sense of the word. The person that died in April of 2008 was my donor. I will never send you any emails. you are just full of hate. Emails that I forward to me are nothing but entertainment not for anyone to take out of context.
Thank you and it sure was nice knowing you.
Now, normally I would be upset and try to arrive at some understanding because I was out of line to say I knew who the man was when in fact I was mistaken. But, it was so obvious from even the way that was worded, that she was determined to try to inflict some type of gaping wound in my psyche and was confirming that she was not interested in what anyone thinks of her source of reading material as long as it is entertaining to her. It made me think back to all the insults and arrows that had been thrown my way when Bush was elected in 2000 and all the emails I was bombed with after the 2004 election. I began to see just how far wide and deep the gaping wounds in this country really are. Like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and others who called us unpatriotic, and not worthy enough to have the same rights as they have. People who said they were our friends but then supported people that caused us harm and wished us ill. People like that are not my friends. Granted they shouldn't be my enemies either. And so I pondered on that and finally I had an epiphany. What I should have said and done in the first place was to treat them like you would a dust bunny. And so I emailed:
Whatever Xxxxxxxxx. They won't be missed.
And then I deleted her email address, her myspace link and went out to dinner.