Wednesday, September 10, 2008

To a Blog Reader, Who Stopped Reading

Towanda wrote, in response to yesterday's post, A Powerful Statement from Arkansas:

"the same ones who shout no abortion are often those who will send the young man to his death at 18 without a tear." My God! My dear God! Just because you do not share the same political philosophy with conservatives -- does it make you feel better and more compassionate perhaps to actually believe that some conservatives do not grieve for every soul this country loses in the war against terror? What kind of monsters do you think we are? Just as I grieve for every unborn baby killed in an abortion, I grieve for the fact that it is necessary for us to lose our young men in order to prevent terror from spreading in the world. If you think conservatives are as heartless as the above statement suggests, then we have nothing in common, and I will not be returning to this blog again.


You see, it was easy for me to quote that statement from Arkansas which, now that I see it through Towanda's eyes, demonizes a whole segment of the population--almost in the same way that we demonize our enemies in wartime so that it is easier to destroy them without looking into their eyes. Towanda's cry from the heart makes me realize that I was not making an accusation toward some nameless bunch of people, but possibly, or even probably, the folks who are my neighbors.

I am very sad. Sad that I could fall into the trap of making an assumption like this, of dehumanizing a whole group of people I don't even know, and sad that Towanda will not be returning to this blog.

I am also sad that Towanda has always been so hard for me to understand politically, as she is the only person I know who still sticks up for Bush and his policies, although there are obviously plenty more. Sad to think of the implications for our country post-election, with this huge gulf between two groups of people with such differing belief systems about each other.

Sad that conservatives can make the phrase community organizer sound like an epithet, a label of shame.

And I'm wondering how we can heal. Behind the labels, thrown back and forth, is a world of hurt and misunderstanding. Two worlds, actually.


Erikka said...

Ms Z...I don't think there are TWO worlds...there's only ONE. And until everyone can step back and realize no matter what we believe, we're still all sharing the same world and space...TOGETHER....FOREVER...nothing is going to change.

Sylvia K said...

I'm afraid I disagree with erikka, I feel there are two worlds, trying to share the same space, but both approaching it differently. And if the conservatives have their way we won't have to worry about any worlds for very much longer and most certainly not forever. Not at the rate they are helping to destroy both of them, now, today!

Margie's Musings said...

Jesus was a community organizer...Pontius Pilate was a governor.

Rain said...

One thing in her rebuttal to you explains the difference in how most of us see what Bush has done and hold accountable those who support him. She grieves but she sees it as a war that was needed. Most of us do not see it that way at all. These deaths are for nothing and their own families have to face that loss. Our tears only help if they make us face what is going on and do something about it!

Jean said...

It's election season. I find that this time of year, when I talk about "the republicans", I'm talking about "the republicans" as represented by the RNC, as represented by snapcases like Sarah Palin, as represented by The Shrub.

I'm not talking about individual voters. I'm not talking about friends who might vote republican. I'm talking about the republican platform as presented during this election season. I'm talking about a political party, the one that occupies the white house. The one that, after 9/11, took us to war with the wrong enemy. (Incidentally Al Quaeda is stronger today than it was before 9/11.) The ones who have squeezed the financial lifeblood out of me, the ones who.... yes... rail against abortion and then send our sons off to die in a fool's unwinnable war.

When someone (a stranger, an acquaintance, a friend) talks to me about "the democrats" and all of their evil deeds and beliefs, I just smile and nod. I used to argue, I used to love to argue. But in my cynical middling old age, I've come to the conclusion that religion and politics are a blackhole topic of discussion or arguement.

We do live in two worlds in this country. Moreso than ever before in my own life and I've resigned myself to that. And it makes me very sad too, Clair.

But I don't take personal offense to remarks about "the democrats". I know that usually (living in the republican bible belt), people have no idea that I'm not just like them. I don't consider it a personal insult. Because I'm an individual first, and a member of a political party second. I know who my friends are, and unless I'm feeling guilty about something they've said during their rant against my political party and it's platform, I find no reason to get defensive.

In other words, I've given up on religious and political discussions. I've sold out. But I've never NEVER, in my own rants, considered my republican friends monsters. They're people just like me and mine. If they get defensive about what's in their hearts, that's their choice, but when I say "the republican party", I'm not talking about them.

Rain said...

I look at my blog as someone being invited into my kitchen. I can freely express what I think as we drink some coffee. It is their choice if they don't want to come. When people who see it differently than me come to my house, or my blog, most especially family or distant friends, I am polite but if politics or religion come up, I will express my opinion.

I think there is something to be said for letting the right know that there are real people on the left (and I am also more in the middle than far anything). They see the left as being strange and foreign; but if they see an Obama sign on our farm or a picture from the campaign in our home, they know where we stand. It's up to them if they want to debate it.

I will respond when I hear anybody say something that is untrue within my hearing; but I try to be polite in my disagreement.

In my blog, I am trying to stay to issues (well from now on, cross my heart... maybe... trying... I did say trying). It is hard but choice in abortion and this war in Iraq, they are issues and real ones on which we have a right to express our opinion-- at least for now