Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Exploiting racial and ethnic divisions

From Indecision Forever:
If there's one thing that Rick Santorum's homemade history textbook has taught us, it's that people who are trying to keep other people from exercising their civil rights never use pandering scare tactics

Last week, a federal judge in Maine unsealed memos from the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most prominent groups fighting against same-sex marriage.

The documents brag about its "crucial" role in passage of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage that was overturned by a federal appeals court. They describe the group’s use of "robo-calls" to scare residents in different states away from supporting marriage equality. They talk of a plan to "expose Obama as a social radical," but the most appalling portions deal with the group’s racially and ethnically divisive strategies.

"The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies," says one memo.

Another stated aim is to manipulate Hispanic voters by making the exclusion of gay people from marriage "a key badge of Latino identity."

This may sound bad, but consider: Using racial stereotypes to pit different demographics against each other is exactly why George Washington Jesus founded this country 3,000 years ago. It says so right here on this textbook's napkin footnote (disregard the gravy stain). How else can you explain how, on the day after these memos were leaked, Speaker Boehner appointed National Organization for Marriage's co-founder Robert George to a U.S. commission on religious intolerance and extremism around the globe.

After all, we have a duty to spread our nation's values of intolerance and extremism all over the world.

I guess I understand now why the right-wing wanted to get rid of E Pluribus Unum as the motto of the United States. When you exploit racial and ethnic divisions for fun and profit - and political power - reminding us of our common American heritage is counter-productive, I guess.

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