Passing away and a sign of the times


Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...

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This post is not just about the death of Andrew Breitbart but it begins there.  No matter how he might be described someone will always take exception to what is written about him, such is the polarization that has taken place in 21st century America.  Rather this post is about just that polarity and how it has descended into an abyss that’s liable to destroy this country aided by those other foreign or enemies.

Breitbart made a name for himself touting Republican conservative causes in a way that has become typical of today’s GOP; mean spirited, slanderous, character assassination, guttural proclamations that neither reveal nor make clear but rather obfuscate and exacerbate.  He joined the chorus of those who want to pit one group of Americans against another for a political gain that benefited special interests but not the entire American fabric.  He took great delight in today’s in-your-face style of political confrontation when he was the one who confronted, but not very happy with that style of discourse when he was confronted.

When I heard of his passing, I thought about all these characteristics that made the man and despite them still could not take pleasure or “gloat” as it were in his death.  I reserve that only for those who commit atrocities on the order of mass murder live long lives and publicly relish their desecration of humanity until the second they die.  As far as I know Breitbart, albeit a grandstanding demagogue,  didn’t fit that mold so he escaped my condemnation, and I tweeted as much upon hearing the news of his death.

Juan Cole’s, Informed Comment, a suitable title for this particular story on Breitbart put things in perspective here where he neither deifies nor vilifies Breitbart but does accurately describe what it is he did in his relatively short life on the public stage.  I knew those things about him, that he was a con man a huckster, a liar and a cheat, but didn’t want to speak ill of him.  It is an American tradition not to speak badly about those who are dead.  One blogger, The Erstwhile Conservative  that I read regularly remarked he didn’t want to ‘become what it is he doesn’t like’,  and I understand that sentiment and agree.  However, I was smacked back down to reality when I read this article that Cole linked to in his post above where Breitbart remarked upon the death of Ted Kennedy that Kennedy was a villain, a duplicitous bastard, a prick mixed with other choice words for the Senator.  So much for speaking ill about the dead; such language was the trademark of Breitbart, it marked his tenor and in fact the modus operandi of people from the “Right”.

There is a ray of hope however in the news of Breitbart’s death and that comes from one of his victims, Shirley Sherrod, who was falsely maligned by Breitbart, the Obama Administration and many in America because of our habit of  pitting one group of people against another…..black vs. white, Jew vs. Gentile (and particularly Muslim Gentile), male vs female.  Sherrod, an African-American Department of Agriculture employee was featured in a video segment highlighted by Breitbart and  portrayed as a insensitive government bureaucrat who refused to do her job and help a white farmer.  The problem was that perception fueled by Breitbart’s edited video wasn’t even close to reality but it was only after Sherrod had been fired from her job and her reputation  in the national community maliciously sullied that the truth was known.  In today’s America, we shoot first and ask questions later, or we ‘kill them all and let God sort it out’…..we cliche ourselves into oblivion and in the process ruin lives of noble, decent people like Sherrod.  It was this victim of the deceased Breitbart’s way of doing things that restored my faith in humanity with two simple sentences about his death

The news of Mr. Breitbart’s death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning. My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart’s family as they cope during this very difficult time.

Maybe it’s me, but that seems, coming from a real victim to be almost Christ like….Christian.  Sure, many have said the same thing, but very few if any of them were at the receiving end of Breitbart’s spear in the gut, his malicious assassination (character) that happened to Sherrod, yet while in the throes of her torment (she’s still pursuing a law suit against Breitbart) she was able to make a plea on behalf of his family and NOT speak ill of the dead father/husband/son.  That’s the American spirit we are sorely missing in today’s discourse.  Notice who’s leading the way in bringing it back America………..

 

There is no race problem in America!


…..’and the cow jumped over the moon…the little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon’, such is the fantasy land we live in here in America. That there are people who still believe there is no race problem in America, after years of Arab bashing and Islamophobia that has seen images of a female, Jewish Supreme Court nominee, dressed in Muslim garb, or torture imposed solely on people of Arab/Muslim decent, stereotypical images of a black US president dressed in scanty clothes with bones through his nose, and on and on, then the nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle is completely within the realm of possibility.

In just a few short weeks we’ve had people fired because they expressed respect for a dead Muslim, the MSM pick up and run with the false story (more here)  of the Obama Administration’s racism and fear of prosecuting the New Black Panther Party, and that same Administration react to the story by firing a black government employee because it was erroneously alleged she didn’t want to help a white farmer.  We could dredge up more examples of how race and the fear and distortions surrounding it are the impetus for politicizing a segment of the population.

The Lebanese Muslim cleric who received condolences from so many riled the “establishment” we’ve already covered.  We simply as a country cannot express any respect for Muslims, they are only to be defiled and defamed  like so many other races and ethnic groups that grace American soil and have gone on to contribute just as much to its fertility as any other.

FoxNews ran with a story about how the Obama Administration didn’t want to prosecute a black nationalist group, hoping one would draw the conclusion, because Obama himself along with his Attorney General is black they are not fit to run or govern the country because of their obvious prejudices.  Preying again on peoples’ fears and prejudices, the people who carry these stories hope you won’t immerse yourself in the details which as the links above points out, proves the story is just that, a story with no truth to it. It does serve the purpose of imposing doubt and suspicion of people against one another, the typical tactic of people whose motives and interests have nothing at all to do with the Nation’s interest or security.  But because this is America, it sells!

Obama didn’t help himself any when he had fired a woman after a 2:36 tape tape surfaced of her remarks  courtesy of right wing political hack Andrew Breitbart which supposedly showed her making disparaging and even racist comments about her job duties to a white farmer client of hers.  It didn’t matter to Breitbart, Obama, the NAACP or the other news media outlets that the tape was edited from a 43:15 tape where Shirley Sherrod pointed out she came to the realization it was her duty to help poor people no matter their color.  Equally unimportant so it seems, to race baiters and those easily intimidated by  them were the words of the white farmer who said Sherrod was helpful and is not a racist, nor did they feel this way during their interaction with her.   What matters to people who use race as the standard for conduct in society is  an entire  group  must pay for personal offenses!  We too quickly believe the lies, because like the previous examples mentioned above, we have been bred to, led to, raised to indeed are expected to believe; all Muslims/Arabs are terrorists, that a black President and Attorney General want to rule by the street and gangs of marauding New Black Panther Party members or even impose Islamic law, that people who talk of redemption and social cohesion are a threat to the moral fabric of this country and should not be allowed exposure to the rest of us.  We are a  nation made up of racists,  and the sooner we come to grips with that, ALL of us, the sooner we will be able to fix it, for without acknowledgment that we are sick, we are far less likely to seek a cure.  That has been the call for as long as I’ve been alive and it seems we are no closer to realizing it now than we were before.