“Humanity” connotes empathy and good will toward fellow human beings. When I say sometimes I feel optimistic about the GOOD in humanity, yes, I am saying that I don’t think humanity frequently demonstrates much of its supposed inherent GOODness. I have been watching the town hall health care discussions disrupted by unhinged mobs. I have witnessed the intentional right wing dissemination of misinformation about health care reform. I thought this behavior was reserved for a minority of zealots and wing nuts. However, a cursory glance around the coverage of my Obama cover for Rolling Stone alerted me to how naive my assessment of the hatred and insanity quotient was. My Obama cover was not an endorsement or criticism… it posed a reasonable question. Some of the responses it conjured are terrifying. I did not fish for crazy comments on right wing websites. Many of the comments below are from places like the Rolling Stone site and the Huffington Post. My heart is in the pit of my stomach seeing the hateful, racist, fear based comments about Obama and health care reform that dominate the web. I try to find the good in people, and long after 9/11 I graded people on a curve for their poor behavior. Sadly, there is no excuse for the abundance of hatred currently on display. I implore sane people to read the comments below, which are the tip of the iceberg, and realize what we are up against if we want rational, thoughtful, humane behavior to prevail. Please stay focused and diligent in your efforts to restore “humanity” to a GOOD word. As a country we are better than this. Thanks for listening.
As a country we are better than this….
• “Oh, I get it. The picture looks like he has a Godly HALO around his big eared head. Believe me. The Anti-Christ will not have a halo around his head.”
• “Aww, isn’t that nice. Commemorating our first Kenyan born president. And you can’t even see the kinks in his hair.”
• “I wouldn’t wipe my ass with that piece of shit. I hope their headquarters burns down.”
• “I’ll bet fairey know what obummer’s dick tastes like.”
• “They should have put “Obama is not Jesus.”
• “The muzzle end of a .45 pretty much says ‘Go Away’ in my language.”
• “Real question: will he continue on the road as an unconstitutional dictator or will he be brought down and become a powerless president until he is gone? And that cultist portrait looks exactly like this archetype:”
• “A more fitting and realistic image would be a photograph or painting of a prolapsed rectum.”
• “Fairey said it wasn’t meant to be a halo.”
• “There have been too many picture shots with camera angles that deliberately deify this idiot with halo effects in the background. Quit lying, you Fairey – he is your false Messiah.”
• “And for you Obama groupies and homies, you better pick up a book and find out just what Stalin did to his own people. No one was safe from a bullet to the back of the head in Lubyanka or the wilds of Gulag.”
• “From what I’ve seen in the first six months, Obama’s future was written in the past by men named Marx, Engels, Stalin, Lenin and Mao. And his tactics came from Alinsky, Axelrod and Hitler. Fascism has been tried before – by Wilson, Hoover and FDR. “Spread the wealth” is NOT a good motto.”
• “Obama has done nothing but create hate and discontent. I like the poster. Shows that he is two faced. I can’t believe that people can’t see through his smooth talk. He is evil, a racist (Cambridge, MA proved that) and wants America to become a Socialist or Communist country. Read the health care bill. At age 55, you don’t get any medical care. So I guess there will be no more nursing homes.”
Here is a very great response from someone with a rational perspective and a sense of humor. Thanks.
Subject: On the topic of U.S. Socialism
The city and area where I live has a socialized police department, a socialized fire department (that uses our socialized fire hydrants), socialized water treatment facilities, a socialized public works department that cares for the socialized trees planted in our socialized roadway medians, a socialized zoo, a socialized convention hotel, socialized sports arenas, socialized hiking trails, biking trails, soccer fields, tennis courts, football fields and basketball courts for those who want to do more than just watch socialized sporting events, a socialized pound for the animals who overuse our socialized dog parks, a socialized streets system with socialized traffic lights and socialized stop signs, a socialized public transportation system, a socialized sanitation department that delivers garbage to our socialized trash dump and socialized recycling sorting facility, several socialized airports, a smattering of socialized water reservoirs (we call them socialized lakes, stocked with socialized fish), a socialized homeless center, socialized housing, a socialized public school system, socialized children’s meals programs, a socialized library system, more than five socialized campuses for higher education, a socialized jobs training center, a socialized civil courts system, a socialized criminal courts system that sentences people to one of several socialized jails, a socialized arts program, a socialized parks department that maintains more than a dozen socialized swimming pools, a socialized CNG filling station for the benefit of our socialized fleet of cars, and it provides socialized loans to small businesses while socialized electrical lines help keep the lights on for those working inside.
We even have a socialized yearly Fourth of July fireworks display.
Thank God we’ve held the line on not giving 50 million uninsured people a public health insurance option just for the sake of staying as far away from the socialist boogeyman as possible.
Chin up on the Obama illustration hate mail; the fight’s a good one and completely worth it. –M.
From MoveOn.org Political Action:
It’s getting ugly out there.
All across the country, right-wing extremists are disrupting congressional town-hall meetings with venomous attacks on President Obama’s plans for health care and clean energy.
Last night in Tampa, Florida, a town hall meeting erupted into violence, with the police being called to break up fist fights and shoving matches.1
A Texas Democrat was shouted down by right-wing hecklers, many of whom admitted they didn’t even live in his district.2
One North Carolina representative announced he wouldn’t be holding any town-hall meetings after his office began receiving death threats.3
And in Maryland, protesters hung a Democratic congressman in effigy to oppose health-care reform.4
We’ve got a plan to fight back against these radical right-wingers. We’ve hired skilled grassroots organizers who are working with thousands of local volunteers to show Congress that ordinary Americans continue to support President Obama’s agenda for change. And we’re building new online tools to track events across the country and make sure MoveOn members turn out at each one.
But we need to scale up our efforts quickly to make sure this plan works. To really swing into action during this month’s congressional recess, we need to raise at least $250,000 immediately. Can you chip in $25 to support our work?
If the shouts of the right-wing mobs are the only voices our senators and representatives hear over the recess, we’ll have a hard time passing health care and clean energy legislation.
That’s why we’re launching our Heat Up Congress campaign so quickly to fight back, using new technology to implement rapid response town hall turnout, organizing personal phone calls from small business leaders and donors to their representatives, running new ads, and activating an energized network of on-the-ground organizers and volunteers.
This month could decide the future of health care and clean energy in America—and we’re already one week in. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, now’s the time to get involved. Talk to your neighbors, go to a town hall meeting—and today, please chip in $25 to support our work:
1. “Tampa Town Hall On Health Care Reform Disrupted By Violence,” The Huffington Post, August 6, 2009
2. “Local Fox Reporter Attends Town Hall And Finds ‘Some Attendees Admit They Don’t Live In The District,'” Think Progress, August 4, 2009
3. “Dem Congressman’s Office: His Life Has Been Threatened Over Health Care Bill,” Talking Points Memo, August 5, 2009
4. “The Danger Over the Right’s Anger,” Politico, August 3, 2009.