We’re seeing an epic struggle between the forces of Hope and the forces of Hate. This began last year when Hope was the main message of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. We witnessed the hatred unleashed against him as an African American seeking the highest office in the land. Read any online board and you can see the thousands, nee, millions, of racist statements and threats being made against the President. The tea baggers are so full of rage and hatred as to be very scary. The culture of Hate and violence is having effects already as a census worker was hanged last week and the word “fed” was written on his chest.
These Hate mongers are making every little matter incendiary. Obama cannot even urge school children to study without being demonized. The census cannot be performed without extremists objecting to poor citizens being included. Violent extremism always results in violence. Ordinary whackos seem empowered when they hear leaders calling for violence and fuel Hate. We see this every time gays and lesbians are used as political pawns and real people are victimized. Every time a gay marriage amendment comes up and our community is targeted violence against gays and lesbians increases dramatically. There are direct connections between levels of hate speech and violence.
The conspiracy theories abounding from the forces of Hate have already killed three police officers in Pittsburgh this year. Gun nuts believe that the President is going to come and confiscate all their weapons. They are stocking up on ammunition and guns like mad. They are mad. They are angry, insane and off their medication. Of course the corporate manufacturers of these products love the upswing in business and will perpetuate these myths as long as possible.
As we see gun nuts fortified by the forces of Hate appear outside presidential events openly carrying rifles, hand guns and even semi automatic weapons the potential for violence increases. I’ve been at these events and got fearful enough for the potential of violence that I left. This was before the tea baggers decided these were opportunities to show off their gun collections. The anti-government hate mongers don’t need more than a match to set them off.
Meanwhile we have the President continue trying to preach a message of Hope. The positive statements coming from the positive side are being drowned out by the opposing forces. It is important for the forces of Hope to be at all these events with messages of Hope, Unity, and Progress. The progressive community needs to take lessons from the gay community about dealing with the forces of Hate. Silent Witness is an organization which isolates and ignores the forces of Hate which always appear at GLBT events. Rather than confront them Silent Witnesses hold hands around these hate mongers and sometimes hold angel wings or shrouds so they cannot be seen. Acknowledging the Hate mongers gives them power. Ignoring them emasculates them.
The forces of Hope can win. People want Hope rather than Hate. The vast majority of people are positive rather than negative. Messages, images and acts of Hate grow old quickly and the inevitable violence, murder and even assassination, as we witnessed in 1968, is transformational. America cannot afford another 1968. We know how to win over the forces of Hate and we must.