I honestly can't tell which emotion, disgust or anger, was the stronger as I came across a post late last night.
It is a simple image post, offered without commentary. It didn't really need any.
As I revisit it this morning, disgust is edging out anger. I'm sick at my stomach in a way I haven't been in years. A distinctive cramping, nauseating, tightening in my gut that I learned as a youth was the result of strong emotion not flu. I went to bed last night with that feeling. And today still can't shake it.
I like to think that, overall, we are a progressive nation. We outgrew slavery, embraced suffrage, saw to the financial needs of our elders, defined civil liberties, declared war on poverty. While we've made plenty of mistakes, on the whole, the momentum of our young nation has been onward and upward.
I was born in the early 1960s. I missed the civil right movement by being too young to know what was going on. By the time I was aware of such things, the bigots in our family's circle, as well as those on TV, were the exception. They were (rightfully) scorned and looked down on. As I came to understand the movement, I also came to understand that we were moving past our bigoted past, that racist attitudes weren't tolerated in modern society.
Oh, racism still existed. But it was generally accepted as wrong, hateful, and ignorant.
But then the Republican party revived their gospel of fear. Fear of terrorists was drummed up to promote the "Only Republicans Can Save Us" meme. Fear of terrorists was drummed up to fear of radical Islam. Fear of radical Islam was fanned into fear of all Islam. Which was morphed into fear of all Muslims. Which was expanded to fear of the world outside our borders. All in the name of promoting a political agenda and certain branch of a single political party.
This New Xenophobia from the right made it okay to hate openly again. The New Racism wasn't only accepted, it was downright Patriotic. Brown people from the middle east are all terrorists, bent on the destruction of America. Brown people from the south are all socialist moochers, coming to take our jobs while simultaneously living large off our welfare system.
And, worst of all, there is a Black man in the White House! The WHITE House! (Of, course, the only possible way such thing could happen would have been voter fraud on a massive scale. But that's another diary.)
Which leads us back to last night's stomach wrenching Facebook post by a young relative.
This is the second diary examining posts made and shared on Facebook by my family and friends (or friends of friends).
I've found that responding on Facebook quickly turns nasty and leads to lingering hurt feelings. But not responding is driving me nuts. So I thought I'd turn to Daily Kos to vent and get your ideas on different ways to handle the right wing nuttery.
Thanks for providing a safe place to counter-rant.
The first diary, on marriage equality can be found here.