With a black man holding the highest office in the land you would think America is past the race-bashing hate-mongering crap that has crippled us from within for the last 200 years or so. Sadly two recent very public events provide more evidence than I really wanted of the cancer that continues to infect our society.
This past weekend protesters associated with the “Tea Party” camped out in front of the U.S. Congress to express their dismay with proposed health care reform – exercising a constitutional right to activism and turning it into a sad public display of small-minded foolishness.
They spat at Congressmen. They hurled racial-slurs at the gay and black communities.
There’s a part of me that empathizes with the desire to yell, scream, and maybe even spit at congressmen – heck, I don’t think there’s an American out there that hasn’t sputtered in frustration at the shenanigans of our country’s legislature at least once in the last decade.
But hurling the “N” word at our elected leaders like a lynch mob in the pre-civil rights movement South?
Republican leaders denounced the incidents as isolated and unacceptable, with grassroots coordinator of the Tea Party Express Amy Kremer telling FOX News: “It’s certainly not a reflection of the movement or the Republican Party when you have idiots out there saying stupid things. It’s disgraceful and the people in this movement won’t tolerate it because that’s not what we’re about.”
But I have to question … isn’t that exactly what the Tea Party and its supporters are about – idiots saying stupid things?
Months and months of fear mongering, us-against-them, “they” want to kill grandma-isms makes me wonder, seriously, if the few that spat and name-called the congressmen weren’t simply expressing – in very blunt terms – the feelings of every Tea Partier.
And then, of course, there is the following to consider:
Earlier this month a young man saw fit to grab hold of a public-address microphone and order “all black people, leave the store now” at a New Jersey Wal-Mart store.
According to the New York Times, the 16-year old apparently was so proud of his (dubious) achievement he went online to social media sites to broadcast his depravity. It didn’t occur to the young man that police investigators might also know how to login to Twitter or Facebook. (There’s a lesson there folks.)
Wal-Mart issued a statement, including the following:
We’re appalled by this incident and are amazed that anyone could be so backward and mean-spirited in this day and age… We are very sorry this happened and apologize to all of our customers and associates who had to listen to something so offensive.
Wal-Mart has had its share of public woes over the years – many associated with the treatment of its workers and the cost its low-cost sourcing/pricing has on society and the environment.
Sometimes, tho, even the biggest of the world’s “corporate devils” hits a home run – and this month, Wal-Mart hit it out of the park with that statement.
In fact, I don’t think I could have said it better myself.