The JFK Assassination and the Legacy of Obama Hate

ProudProgressive 2011/11/23 12:27:58
The JFK Assassination and the Legacy of Obama Hate
November 22, 2011
By Sarah Jones

Today is the anniversary of John F Kennedy's death, which means that over this Thanksgiving week President Barack Obama will have outlived the man he is often compared to. But with shots just fired at the White House and rampant hate being aimed at him from the far right, it's a milestone that is hardly comforting.

I've been holding my breath during each major event of Obama's presidency. Watching his speeches with my stomach in a vague, deliberately ignored knot. This man, elected as the "first African American President", has faced more vitriolic, disrespectful enmity than I could have imagined on that hopeful day he took office. Just days ago, his brilliant and graceful wife faced booing by NASCAR fans as she served as the Grand Marshall in order to support military families.

And no leader from the right speaks out to denounce such outrage.

This is one reason why Republicans are simply not morally fit for office, among their other failures (jobs, taxing the middle class, forcing our credit rating down and more). At least ten states allowed their legislature to attempt to disqualify President Obama from being on the 2012 ballot because they want to see his birth certificate in some newly paranoid way.

In light of such blatant racism, the silence from the seemingly misanthropic Republicans is deafening.

The moment we heard Joe Wilson yell, "You lie!" at the President, we should have made an undeniable request for an apology and censuring. The hatred aimed at this President is no different than that aimed at Kennedy, for racism is just another "ism" designed to serve the patriarchs in their attempt to divide the people, and as such, any "ism" will do.

These days, being a liberal or a Democrat is enough to be an "ism" — hated for being a "socialist". Is there no sanity left?

Here is Walter Cronkite announcing the death of U.S. president John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

Frank Rich wrote a column this morning for the New York Times in which he beautifully articulated my worst fears regarding the ways Barack Obama's presidency mirrors John F Kennedy's, particularly in regard to the hate they both received.

What defines the Kennedy legacy today is less the fallen president's short, often admirable life than the particular strain of virulent hatred that helped bring him down. After JFK was killed, that hate went into only temporary hiding. It has been a growth industry ever since and has been flourishing in the Obama years. There are plenty of comparisons to be made between the two men, but the most telling is the vitriol that engulfed both their presidencies…..

America the Great; we have been shamed by the actions of a minority. The violence and vitriol inherent in our politics and indeed, goaded on by our political leaders (Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and other Dominionists are particularly egregious when it comes to inciting the ugliest of human nature but Rush Limbaugh and his Fox "friends" are the megaphone for such disgrace) is morally untenable.

While we are outraged, the question needs to be asked today of all days. Have we done enough, have we spoken out enough, have we demanded a stop to the ugliness?

Gabby Giffords and the victims of the Arizona massacre should serve as the reminder of what's at stake, as should JFK. This country can't afford another attempted assassination let alone a successful one. And just because this sort of ugliness has become the norm doesn't mean it's acceptable. Are we outraged enough?

Are we a moral nation? Do we have what it takes to overcome the violent strains of our society and shame them into submission, or are we the overly tolerant parent, too tired and too worn down to object, biding our time until our failures become someone else's problem.

It appears we are the latter, aided and abetted by a manipulated media and a war-weary, economically troubled populace. For almost three years now, I've swallowed down my fear for this president and his family, as I know have many of you. I've prayed for the Secret Service to be good at their jobs and stay safe themselves, and I'm not a praying person. Most painful for me have been the times when the left joined in with the right, unknowingly (I hope) buying into the "ism" directed at this president, under the guise of holding him accountable.

But of course, hatred is not holding someone accountable. Hatred is personal. Hatred invites the devil in, and the devil in this case was just waiting for an invitation.

There is quite simply no excuse for the destructive, sulfurous animosity and disdain directed at this man and his family that we have tolerated and allowed as a nation. I felt ashamed of this country when George W Bush announced he would not be working with the UN and would invade a sovereign nation, and now, again, I feel the same sense of being responsible for something so malevolent and forever-changing that I can't even comprehend it fully. During the first few years of the invasion, I felt as if my tax dollars being spent on the war (little did I know that the war had been left off of the budget) meant I was culpable. And so, too, now, I feel culpable for the actions of the minority.

Because a country is a community, and in this community, the lunatics are being allowed to run the asylum. We are all responsible for their actions, for our tolerance permits it to grow and fester.

If anything should happen to this president, I fear our country would not recover. So, if we love this country, if we have a shred of patriotism left, we will not allow the ugly festering wound of hatred to continue unanswered. If the media continues to lack the courage and integrity to report the truth, to give words to the unspeakable horror hiding in plain sight, we must double down on our efforts.

Violent rhetoric, corrosive personal hatred of the man, and unabated rudeness all give permission and invite the unstable to heinous acts. As Gabby Gifford's husband said so well, Sarah Palin may not have been responsible for the Arizona massacre, but she was irresponsible. She was also, as are too many on the right, petulant and petty in response to the national outcry of "Enough!" Post Arizona shootings, the right chose to focus on false equivalencies and "shared blame", all the while careful to never take responsibility for their own part in the ugly rhetoric — as children, not adults, would do. When the Republican Party became more interested in not being blamed for atrocities than they were in remedying them, they lost all claim to a moral high ground.

We can't afford to base our level of acceptable morality on the juvenile responses to our demands for civility. We must each search our own hearts and minds for what we know to be the truth, what we as citizens of this great country want her to stand for, and we must demand that our leaders rise up to those demands, rather than feed from the bottomless pit of the lowest common denominator. For true leaders are not found in the trough, sucking up to the dredges of society as their foot soldiers, but rather inspiring us to be our individual and collective best, recognizing that while we may not agree with the policies, we need not hate the person.

On this solemn anniversary, we must not forget that it can happen again and it will happen again unless we all take a stand together. The nation must face the moral depravity of the Republican Party and reject it without further consideration, for our leaders cannot be a force of hostility toward other Americans nor deliberately widen the chasm of our nation for cynical political purposes. The Republican Party has been catering to division and bigotry as a get out the vote tactic for so long, they never noticed when they willingly gave up the mantle of the party of personal responsibility and morality.

But we did notice, and we must say no more for the good of our country, as a whole. Let the anniversary of JFK's assassination serve as a reminder of where institutionalized hatred can lead.

Read More: http://www.politicususa.com/en/jfk-assassination-o...

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Top Opinion

  • Steve 2011/11/23 13:13:48
    Hatred and intolerance has had a toxic effect on America. It's made the GOP try to disenfranchise, demonize and impoverish whole segments of the US population: immigrants, non-Christians, minorities, gays, the poor.

    I think a lot of this is actually resentment by my fellow white anglo-saxon "traditional" Americans of the rising influence of diverse population that often looks, sounds, and believes somewhat differently. It's sadly misguided paranoia; America's strength and vigor has always derived from its diversity.

    America needs to re-commit to embracing diversity. E pluribus unum, "from many, one." The only alternative is an ethno-demographic kind of civil war that cripples this great nation.

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  • johnnie.prewett 2011/11/24 05:31:08
    To keep war in Vietnam from being tied to RC POTUS, Vatican had more motive to have JFK made into a martyr than any other group. And only the Vatican was in position to coordinate not only the shooting, but also the subsequent MSM misinformation campaign.
  • misterz 2011/11/23 19:09:47
  • Doc. J 2011/11/23 17:50:24
    Doc. J
    Conservatives claiming JFK was actually a conservative in 3..2..1....
  • JHup BN-0 Doc. J 2011/11/24 00:04:43
    JHup BN-0
    I have already read that on a different poll. "Kennedy would be considered a conservative these days."

  • cindy 2011/11/23 14:29:51 (edited)
    The only person catering to hate and division is Mr obama , and his Radical Democrat , Disgusting cohorts ..... what are you talking about ?, the guy who shot at the white house was a progressive , not a Republican ! He a wallstreet occupier , stop lying , I am a democrat soon to be a independant , I can't stand Obama's politics or his policies he has done serious damage to relations of all people in our country ! It has nothing to do with race ! , you are only using that because you have nothing else that you can use to show he has done anything good for the American people , so I will use the race card to stop the conversation, but you could say he has created a ton of jobs for people in other countries , he pardons crack heads , he passes laws that give corporations their money first, he wont take care of illegal imigration , Obama Bashes America everytime he opens his mouth , the list go on & on so when you are disparaging the republicans you are also being a hater and a racist you should look in the mirror
  • Steve cindy 2011/11/23 14:46:12
    The shooter was NOT part of the Occupy movement...that was a bald Fox lie. He videotaped himself pleading for Oprah to help fund his work as the reincarnation of Jesus. He's insane.

    Obama has done NOTHING to create division, he's tried hard to unify this country. And he's been tougher on illegal immigration than any previous administration.

    There are good and decent people in the GOP. But the individuals named here have been truly toxic to this great nation.
  • luvguins cindy 2011/11/24 20:14:48
    LIAR! The FBI and Capitol police determined that this lunatic shooter was not part of the OWS protest. He was NOT a progressive either. He said he was the second coming of the Messiah and that Obama was the anti Christ. Only a bigoted conservative like yourself would say that. You are no Democrat. All the things you say Obama won't do are the job of Congress. What a moron!
  • Lana cindy 2011/11/25 04:02:25
    You must be 14 or just be very dumb. Tell me ole wise one when and where the President bash America.? You are not worth my tie ! Get a brain !
  • Cliff 2011/11/23 14:22:19
  • Path60 2011/11/23 13:51:50
    Proud Progressive

  • ProudPr... Path60 2011/11/23 14:03:41
    Can't you at least get a few new graphics? It's no fun when you only use the same one over and over.

    You might also want to actually read the article. It makes a lot of good and accurate points.
  • Path60 ProudPr... 2011/11/23 14:07:49
    when you start speaking for yourself instead of cutting and pasting from left leaning articles we will see
  • Lana Path60 2011/11/25 04:05:34
    WTF are you talking about ? Go back to yout teacher, Faus Noise !
  • Path60 Lana 2011/11/28 12:38:54
    The inability to see the failings and ineptitude of someone even when the evidence is there is blind loyalty without thinking for yourself so therefore it would appear to me that you indeed are the one in need of "going back to your teacher"
  • Steve 2011/11/23 13:13:48
    Hatred and intolerance has had a toxic effect on America. It's made the GOP try to disenfranchise, demonize and impoverish whole segments of the US population: immigrants, non-Christians, minorities, gays, the poor.

    I think a lot of this is actually resentment by my fellow white anglo-saxon "traditional" Americans of the rising influence of diverse population that often looks, sounds, and believes somewhat differently. It's sadly misguided paranoia; America's strength and vigor has always derived from its diversity.

    America needs to re-commit to embracing diversity. E pluribus unum, "from many, one." The only alternative is an ethno-demographic kind of civil war that cripples this great nation.
  • cindy Steve 2011/11/23 14:36:59
    what do u mean by Disenfranchise ? Getting an ID to vote ? everyone has ID in this country and if you dont you are either a criminal and are not allowed to vote anyway or you are an illegal and not allowed to vote either everyone else has an ID .......
  • Steve cindy 2011/11/23 14:40:30
    No, not everyone has a photo ID. Plenty of poor or elderly folks do not. Republicans have been shutting down same-day registration, early voting, extended voting hours, or reducing the number of polling places to make it harder to vote.

    There are nearly zero cases of non-citizens trying to vote. These are all attempts to discourage likely democratic voters. We should be encouraging every qualified citizen to vote, not making it harder.
  • Lana Steve 2011/11/25 04:11:20
    Good facts but why waste you time on such a uneducated person
  • Steve Lana 2011/11/25 05:54:22
    How better to educate those who need it?
  • Tom Degan 2011/11/23 12:38:21
  • ProudPr... Tom Degan 2011/11/23 14:09:59
    Thanks for a very interesting comment. I disagree that Oswald was a "lone wolf" and I have serious doubts that he fired the deadly bullets at all, but as you say we will never know for sure, and we can discuss the various conspiracy theories another time. But all that aside, i am becoming concerned about the President's safety. As it becomes more and more obvious that the Republicans have no viable candidate to run against him, I fear that some in the Right Wing are simply not going to be willing to tolerate four more years of a black President. Many of them figured "OK we'll give him four years, do everything we can to sabotage anything he tries to do, and then call him a failure so we never have to worry about another black candidate." But now the prospect of four more years looms, and I am afraid that one (or more) of them might just snap. Remember, Oswald didn't have Fox "News" and Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin all out there encouraging the violence. With today's media there could be a hundred Oswalds out there planning.
  • Lana ProudPr... 2011/11/25 04:27:47
    Sadly you are right and many out there are capable of doing such a thing.

    Dr. Cyril Wecht of PA was the decenting vote on the Warren commission and when I worked inn his campaign for US Senate he really opened my eyes to much that was brushed off. It was NOT Oswald ! We were told way back then that the truth would not be told till we were all dead. I was 14 then and 65 now, so it won't be another 35 years.
    We were told that if all Americans knew there would be mass riots every where,
  • Lana Tom Degan 2011/11/25 04:13:20
    Nice story but you are wrong

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