So I received an e-mail from my cousin which was all sorts of angry over an e-mail she received which contained political opinion from my mother and one of my aunts. Talk about getting oneself in an uproar.
The e-mail which started it all is as follows:
” Everyone of voting age should read these two books. Don’t buy them, get them from the library before they are removed from the shelves.
From Dreams of My Father:
‘I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.’
From Dreams of My Father :
‘I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.’
From Dreams of My Father:
‘There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.’
From Dreams of My Father:
‘It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.’
From Dreams of My Father:
‘I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa , that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself , the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.’
And FINALLY the Most Damning one of ALL of them!!!
From Audacity of Hope:
‘I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.’ ·
If you have never forwarded an e-mail, now is the time to do so!!!
We CANNOT have someone with this type of mentality running our GREAT nation!! I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. We CANNOT turn ourselves over to this type of character in a President. PLEASE help spread the word Send to all you can!”
This is what I would classify as the type of e-mail to motivate someone to either formulate their own opinions or to substantiate opinions they may have already developed. Either way, it is an e-mail which I wouldn’t have anticipated to set off a snowball effect of anger.
I received the very same e-mail. I read it. I didn’t get offended by it. I took it as I take most political content…with my mind open and with the intent to seek out knowledge to either refute or support it. I deleted it after I finished reading it.
My cousin on the other hand…she was apparently offended by the e-mail. She was apparently offended enough to start her own mudslinging, as I received the following e-mail. As the e-mail is so long, I have interjected my own thoughts for reference:
“Aunt Mary and to all who get this email or read this now blog of mine,
I ask that you read this whole email I have sent, out of respect to me. It is long, I know. For those who know me, know I can talk and talk. But I think it worth the read. I have posted it as a blog as a matter of fact.
Recently, I received several emails from my republican leading family and friends. It is okay. I have no problem in you expressing your views, regardless if I agree or not. I love and admire all you and am glad to have all you in my life. I can respect your opinion and your value as a fellow American and human being. That being said, there are a few things I would like to clear up and state here and now. Do with it as you will…..
(I have attached the email I received that prompted this email/blog as well)[Note to rebelliousflaw’s readers, the referenced e-mail is the one that I have quoted above.]
I have bought and read Dreams from MY FATHER, AND Audacity of Hope. As well as, Change We Can Believe IN.. My suggestion to you is to read these books for yourself from cover to cover before making accusations about what Barak Obama’s intent is. Or from making such leaps about what he meant. These quotes are taken out of context, something people would realize if they ACTUALLY read the books.
It is easier for people to judge others then look at themselves. And people who spread hate speech and vile distractions such as these do disservice to this country. But no one likes to talk about that.
If I question your reasoning for not voting for Obama, then I must think you are a racist. If I don’t like Sarah Palin’s policies or think she is the most unqualified person to EVER run as VP, ththen I must be Sexist. Are you freaking serious? IS this where we as a nation have come? Are we this divided? Are we this indifferent to the plight of each other that we have arrived here? [Why must these be the assumptions drawn? If I am not voting for Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin I would hope that my decision is based upon their respective political campaigns. This generation of voters includes plenty of young voters who don’t see race, gender or religion as a motivator. I realize that things aren’t always so cut and dry, but I know that many people have thought about what the next President will do for the struggling economy and lack of jobs. Those questions should prevail over any sort of issue with regard to the specific individual. And Jessica, by bringing the race and gender cards into play, I believe you are underestimating many of the voters, and the candidates themselves.]
I am tired of the political tactics of anything goes, anything can be said, and that what Fox News says is God’s word. So here are some facts:
1. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. A state in America. It makes him an American. A real American. As if there is any other kind. This country isn’t pro- or anti American based on political beliefs. [Again, if you are bringing this up, you feel that it is an issue. Just to add a flip-side thought, and devil’s advocate approach to this argument of yours, although Barack Obama was born in America, he spent his impressionable youth overseas. Any child developmental expert will tell you that the basis for your identity is developed through youth and is defined as you get older. Most children want to eminate the adults in their lives. Whether Barack Obama’s influence was his mother, other family members or random strangers he saw on the sreet, they involved a range of thoughts which included thoughts from other non-American cultures.]
2. His mother took him to Indonesia when he was a small child. He moved back to the States when he was 7. While there his mother, a teacher, taught him American History and English. She also sent him back home to live with her WHITE parents when he was 7 because he was being teased for being black. Even though he had a Muslim name in a Muslim country. Well at’s strange…..NOT REALLY. Brief fact: African Muslims and Arab Muslims DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER. They have a history of hating each other, just like Sunni and Sheih. [Please see my notations from above. Additionally, you indicate through this excerpt that Barack Obama had to define himself as either black or white. There was no middle ground for him. Again, playing devil’s advocate, if Barack Obama was initially raised with the turmoil of the African Muslim and Arab Muslim hatred of each other, don’t you think that his reaction to this turmoil would then shape his thoughts and reactions to it? Perhaps his mother sent him live with her parents because she feared for his life. Fortunately for the Obama family, the editors for the book probably held a lot of this information back, if it even made it into the books to begin with. Either way, it still plays a role in how Barack Obama developed emotionally.]
3. In the 1960’s when Barack attended a Muslim school in Indonesia (the only school his mother could afford to send him to), Osama bid Liden didn’t exist, neither did Al Queda. So saying that he was trained to be a sleeper cell terrorist sent to destroy America as president isn’t logical at all. Also, I really doubt that even if Al Queda had existed they would have had the forethought to think that a half-black, half-white kid from Hawaii would one day be President of the United States, since at the time, America was racial divided….LITERALLY. Separate bathrooms, and buses and schools. I am just asking for logic. [Jess, you were doing well with this argument, until you got to the end of it, then it was just overkill. I think the point that was trying to be made originally is that Barack Obama has Muslim ties (which you admitted with regard to his attendance at a Muslim school in Indonesia). Either way, Barack Obama has Muslim ties, which may be a concern to some American voters. And, although it may not be something I spent a lot of time thinking about, it did come to thought while I was researching the candidates. With all of the turmoil overseas (the mess in Iraq included), it’s difficult not to think about where Barack Obama’s loyalties would lie. To put it into perspective, Joan of Arc set out on her quest because of her strong belief in God. I would be lying if I didn’t wonder if things came down to it, where would Barack Obama’s loyalties be? I would like to think that being the intelligent man that he is, that he would realize his position as President of the United States would warrant that he step outside any role other than as President in making a decision whether to become involved in any sort of overseas political agenda. And, I’m certain that many other voters have asked themselves the same question. If they haven’t, I would be concerned, as an American.]
4. Barack chose to stay with his grandparents instead of going off to another foreign country with his mother. He went to Hawaiian schools. He won scholarships to college. He went to work as a community organizer where he helped those who could not help themselves. He then went back to law school. Where he became the first African American to be president of the Harvard Law Review. The very first one in the school’s history.
5. I know many are afraid of his name. Barack Hussisen Obama. Barack, after his Kenyan father, Hussisen after his Kenyan grandfather, Obama, his Kenyan family’s tribal name. Now get over it. “ A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I would like to add garbage by any other name would still stink. Are you seriously afraid of a person’s name? By the way general Coin Powell said that Barack is not a Muslim, but that it makes no difference if he was. We have Muslims Americans born and raised here every day. I would add that equating all Muslims to the terrorists who attacked us is like saying all Christians are like Timothy McVeigh…again logic. [I again have an argument with your logic. I understand where you’re trying to go, but each person needs to be taken on their own merits, and your comparison that Barack Obama is seen as a terrorist because he is a Muslim should equal all Christians being compared to Timothy McVeigh is flawed. Muslims have a history of unrest and violence, and one Muslim can be compared to a group under that generalization, but does not define that group. Timothy McVeigh may be a Christian, but he does not define Christianity. On the contrary, Timothy McVeigh can be considered an anomaly to the Christian standard. Using that argument, Barack Obama is then considered an anomaly with regard to the standards associated with the Muslim religion. Either way, I’ve spent too long trying to address it. My point is that a group of people can define one of its members, but one person does not generally define a group.]
6. Fact -Barack Obama’s father left when he was 2, he saw him again when he 10, not again, not even when the sr Barack died when Barack was 22. He never knew his grandfather, only recently met his African relatives. And only after he struggled to be a half-black, half-white child in this country raised by his single mother and her elderly parents. He briefly lived on food stamps, won scholarships to good schools by studying hard and working hard. He helped a community, won a state senate seat, won a US Senate seat, and is now the democratic nominee for President beating out Hillary Clinton and the Clinton machine (no easy feat). It is historic. This shows what a great country we are, what a great country we can be. I would even go so far as to say, he is the American Dream and shame on all you who try to cloud that with hate, race, ethnic slurs and sheer ignorance and hypocrisy. [I agree with you that this is definitely a historic moment in American politics, although it is difficult for me to agree with your definition of Barack Obama as the “American Dream.” Senator Obama has been successful in his chosen career. How is he any different than any other successful businessman? What separates him from Steve Jobs, Babe Ruth or Dolly Parton?]
7. His African family is only second generation Muslim and they do not practice the actual religion. Before that they were atheist. His mother was a Christian. And in this country we are free to worship as we please to who we please. It’s called the first amendment. Also in the Constitution-The separation of church and state. The mere fact we are having this discussion is scary as hell for this country’s democracy. [Please explain why when we have separation of Church and State, that each session of Congress begins with a prayer. Please explain why our money has “In God We Trust” written on it. I don’t care that he is Muslim, unless his religion interferes with our rights as Americans. If Obama’s religion prevents him from acting out the duties required in holding office of the President of the United States, then I think that would be a valid reason for people to question his religious agenda. Until such time that I see any indication that his agenda is directly related to his religious affiliation, and that such affiliation creates a conflict of interest, so to say, then I have a huge problem which can be addressed at that time.]
8. Research his ACTUAL PLAN for this country. GO to www.Barackobama.com And read it for yourselves. Then decide if this is right for you. Or not right for you. Based on actual FACTS and REALITY.
By the Way, I want to say that in the “quotes” in the email I received, it failed to quote the important things, like how we are all Americans, We are a hopeful Nation. Here let me help you along with that.
“there is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common…who are tired of the division and distraction that have clouded Washington, who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable, who understand that if we mobilize out voices to challenge the money and influence that’s stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there’s no problem we can’t solve-no destiny we cannot fulfill…We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we’ve been told that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums of the spirit of a people. YES WE CAN.
It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. YES WE CAN.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights. YES WE CAN
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. YES WE CAN
It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a President who chose the moon as our new frontier, and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promise Land. Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. YES WE CAN…We will remember that something is happening in America, that we are not as divided as our politics suggests, that we are one people, one nation, and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea. YES WE CAN…
“Rather than fear the future, we must embrace it.”
“Every so often, there are times when Americans must rise to meet a moment….So it must be for us today. This is our moment. This is our time to unite in common purpose, to make this century the next [great} American century. Because when Americans come together, there is no destiny too difficult or too distant for us to reach…”
“…Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice, it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity. That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down. We know they have fallen before….So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy….”
“There are no red states or blue states, there is the UNITED STATES of America.”
“Our brave service men and women are republicans, democrats, and independents. They have fought together, bled together, and some have died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America, or a blue America, but the United States of America…”
“Republican, Democrats, Independents, we must always remember, we are Americans first…Always Americans first….”
Had Enough. Because I have. Obama is right in that, the times are too serious for us to be separated by our petty differences. A house divided cannot stand. Every great ideal this country has ever had is summed up in how we respond to challenging times and tough decisions. This election season we have seen the best and worst in America. History and the world will judge us by what we do and how we do it. That is the choice we have on Tuesday. And it is the most important of our time. I do not think I will persuade any to vote for Obama with this email or blog. But stop and think about what you are handing the next generation, my children’s generation. And how we wish to see ourselves and how we wish the world to see us. Because that is what makes us safe, secure and rich beyond any other country. That is what makes us America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stop the hate and division. Vote for who you will but reign in the ridiculousness and stupidity.
Also, Aunt Brenda this goes to you and your email, the let’s try and suppress the vote but using slim ball tactics by posting that the Democrats vote on a different day [See below], or those who lost their houses have no addresses can’t vote, or college students can’t vote if they are not in their own home state, or that anyone with a traffic ticket or minor law infraction will be arrested, or that if your driver’s license says Jessica Lynn Davis, but your voter ID says Jessica L. Davis, you can’t vote or your defrauding the system or whatever the latest stop the vote tactic that the right is trying to do to steal yet another election, again do disservice to this country’s character. And yes, I went there. Do not get me started on the election of 2000 and 2004. For 8 years, I have bite my tongue and held back. And through it all have still acknowledge that George was my president. And I have wished no ill will to him. Would any of you do the same if President Obama is elected? Would he be your president? Would you still love this country? Would you still honor the presidency of United States? Or will you undermine it? Wish him dead? Or move out of the country? These are the sheer ridiculous comments I have heard with the election just days away, when it fact Obama could (and by all I hold dear, be) President of the United States. Don’t vote for him based on his issues, not because of personal beliefs or whether you feel comfort with him. I don’t want to have a beer with my president. I want the smartest, calmest, most effective person running this country. I don’t care if I personal like him. Just do a good job. That’s all I ask. Take this country and help the people, and the economy, and the environment and do the best job. PERIOD!
I am tired of being called a traitor, or a supporter to terrorism, or Un-American because I have read up on Barack Obama, both his own words, and that of others who have worked with him, known him and even those who don’t like him. I have studied the issues on both sides. And I am not afraid of a black man with a funny Muslim name. I feel inspired and hopeful, and proud of my country. In recent years, this is something this country has lost. Yes, lost. We are not seen as the great shining light on the hill, or the freedom of democracy.. My generation has lost faith in the system. Is that sad? Yes, I say it is. But it is none the less true. It is with the hope that we can be better as a people, as a nation, that I will proudly cast my vote for OBAMA_BIDEN.
Now I could have throughout this election cycle sent horrid attacks about republicans, comics and videos, and blogs and such. I could have attacked Bush and Cheney and you for voting for them, but I didn’t. For the most part I hold my tongue. Because although I disagree with you, I still respect you and your right as an American to cast your ballot as you choose. Can you do the same for me?I do agree with you Aunt Mary, it doesn’t matter if you are republican, democrat, or independent. Know the FACTS on the ISSUES and VOTE your CAUSE.
thanks for your time and patience. do I have your respect?
In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope!Republican, Democrat, Independent, WE ARE AMERICANS FIRST. There are no RED states or BLUE states there is the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. This is change I CAN BELIEVE IN!
With regard to the portion above where I asked you to see below, my cousin decided to call out my mother with regard to an e-mail that she sent. That e-mail is as follows:
Due to overwhelming voter response to the years Presidential Election, the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention have agreed to use different days for voters to go to the polls. Republicans will vote on November 4th and Democrats will vote on November 5th. Be sure to go to the polls on the right date.
I thought it was rather funny. I know Democrats who thought it was funny (in context). It shouldn’t have been seen as as big a deal as it apparently was. Jessica’s concern that voters would take it seriously was ridiculous. If there were any sort of change with regard to the election, it would be on every television set, printed in every possible printed material, mass-mailed to every registered voter, etc. There would certainly be corroborating media coverage with regard to the event, instead of simply being an e-mail from a family member or friend. Yet, it was a large enough deal to bring into focus?
My cousin can be rather longwinded. I know that she is trying to point out what she feels to be mistruths with regard to the original e-mail. But it’s opinion! And, people are entitled to have their own.
For each argument she has in support of Obama, I could come up with an argument against Obama. For each argument I could come up with in support of McCain, I could come up with an argument against McCain.
I talk politics. But I don’t shove my political opinions down peoples’ throats. In reading my cousin’s response, I feel that is what she is trying to do.
I don’t generally agree with my cousin. We have differing views on politics, religion and life in general. I don’t ostracize her when the family gets together for holiday events. I don’t look down my nose at her and think she isn’t worth my time or effort. I don’t try to change her views.
What I will do is direct folks here if they would like to read some of my thoughts about politics. If you’re looking more specifically for my thoughts on the current political campaign and election tomorrow, I think you might want to read this. If you read it, good. If you don’t read it, that’s fine too.
I just hope that you will go to the polls tomorrow and vote for the candidate that you feel best represents the future of America.