Friday, September 18, 2009

Face of Fear - Fear of Diversity

The Iron Lady of the House Nancy Pelosi got a little misty eyed yesterday recalling how hate rhetoric in the late seventies brought violence to her home town of San Francisco.

The violence was the murder in cold blood of Mayor George Moscone and Member Supervisor Harvey Milk who was America’s first openly gay politician.

The guy who murdered them did so in a fit of rage – was a fellow member of the Board of Supervisors – and did so with a gun in one hand and a bible in the other so to speak.

Opinions can harden into hate. In a diverse society we must recognize and respect the strengths and weaknesses of all members of the community. The community in America is supposed to be open to all.

The High Priest of American Hate Rush Limbaugh will be tried for incitement if his current cesspool rhetoric results directly into violence. The same goes for Harlequin Beck.

Joe Wilson could not stand the fact that Strom Thurmond recognized a black daughter born out of wedlock. Joe Wilson’s greatest fear is that somebody will look very closely at his family tree and discover that great grandmom or the like was really half black not unlike Thomas Jefferson’s second wife, his dead first wife’s half sister.

Relations in the South can get quite confusing and tangled. Having done some genealogy studies of my own family I gave up because everyone and their brothers and cousins –dozens of them - were named Pat, Mike and or Frank in McAdoo Pennsylvania about a hundred years ago and they were all born in the same place. It was not impossible thing to do. I just did not have the time to waste.

So too, South Carolina with the worst infant survival rates and worst health care to the poor in the nation is what Joe Wilson should be concerned with as a politician. Don’t worry about anybody sniffing around your family tree. There is black blood in your veins whether you want it or not. That is one thing I did find in my own genealogy research – it is no big deal – it is the human race.

One of the blessings I think that God has bestowed on this nation at this time with our first African American President is that his black blood did not come directly from the disgrace of American Slavery. His children are the first generation of many generations to come that will recognize their history and move on without a great deal of pain and anger about their American past.

Obama is cool with who he is. He doe not have to carry “ole South” guilt baggage around with him. Joe Wilson should be cool too. Get rid of the baggage, and get on with a real, productive and giving life.

Joe Wilson! Do not fear diversity. It is what we all are as Americans. We are all real – and all members of the same human family.