21 April 2010

We Are Meant To Be Better Than This

Someone I know - someone who is related by blood - posted this on Facebook yesterday:
DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN.

Several other people promptly "Liked" or commented favorably. Thankfully not related by blood but still too close for comfort.

Har de har har, as we used to say in third grade.

Since when did wishing death on someone become socially acceptable? It made my stomach hurt and kept me awake last night. Is that really what they want? Our president dead, his wife a widow, his two little girls fatherless? REALLY?

I try to think back on the Bush era and think whether I ever wished or prayed for him to die. I complained a lot, I know. I hope I didn't have the lack of class to ever say I wanted him to die.

Reading that made me vow to work on removing the violence from my speech. Talking about killing and wishing people dead...It's really ugly and hurtful and unnecessary, and I believe I am meant to be better than this.

Turns out Katie has some pretty strong feelings about this too.
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
Kurt Vonnegut


Click on this and be amazed at the absolute accuracy:

Image Source

ps It's Patrick Swayze, not Swayzie

22 comments:

Schmutzie said...

This is a good reminder to me. Language truly is a powerful force, and it can be all too easy for terrible ideas to become palatable.

Also, yikes! What a thing to declare publicly.

Rachel said...

thank you.

(and yeah, I didn't like whatshisface, but I never wished death upon him. there is a bigger issue here - just has to be.)

Mandajuice said...

I know you didn't wish harm upon our last president, but it was a commonly expressed sentiment. I used to hear it a lot when I lived in the Bay Area and people would say it casually as if EVERYONE would agree. So callous!

It doesn't matter who we're talking about, hate speech like that is always wrong.

I think something happened during the Bush administration - it became okay to disrespect the office just because we didn't like the guy in it. I'd like to think we're better than that.

Maggie said...

What I find frustrating is the propensity to hate the man in office only because of what party he represents - and I'm talking Republican or Democrat. Sure I didn't like the last guy, at all, but there are other Republicans that I totally respect.

It feels like something somewhere snapped and now we stand on one side of a line or the other and damn to anyone not on our side. Ugh.

I have to admit though that my vehemence at the last President made me question if I had ever been casually callous, I certainly hope not because you're right, it's sick.

mayberry said...

And it's Farrah, not Farah.

Sigh.

Lynette said...

I know what you mean. I have no idea why this is okay. I mean I had zero love for W, but I didn't wish him dead. Not only that, had I been publicly wishing the president dead, the verbal lashing I would have received from people saying "OMG YOU CAN'T SAY THAT ABOUT THE PRESIDENT" would be never-ending.

...sigh... we HAVE to do better. Because you are right. We are SO meant to do better.

Ocean Girl said...

Hi.

I could not understand the "hateful" dislike that I sensed for this American President.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Crap. I would never have posted that I wanted Bush to die. But I may have said something like, "how, in a fair universe, can my mother die, and Bush live?" Damn. You're right though. We all need to back off of this speech, because it's poison.

Kalyn said...

I saw this too, and promptly un-friended the two people in my news feed who had passed it on. Truly disgusting.

Diana said...

I decided long ago to wish unpleasant, but completely curable ailments on people who irritate or anger me. You know, just a really bad yeast infection here or maybe a hemorrhoid there. It's like a vodoo doll except in my head. It really was a wonder George W. could ever sit down.

mar said...

that makes my stomach turns.
and it makes me extremely glad that i have been mostly without internet (specifically fb) for almost 2 weeks!

Stephanie said...

I saw the same and finally unfriended the person who had this in my circle of friends. I don't usually keep track of her so I went to see her other updates and it was all hate speech disguised as political jokery.

dede said...

I love President Obama!

Also, your blog banner is great.

Aunt Snow said...

I'm not active enough on FB to have received this, fortunately.

And one of the things that has been on my mind since Barack Obama's election has been to think about the ugliness and hatred of those who oppose him, and wonder if I had been guilty of the same ugliness toward Bush.

I opposed Bush's policies with all my being, as did many people I know. But I don't think anyone I know has wished death on him. I've certainly shared some dark humor about Dick Cheney's heart attacks, as in - how can he have a heart attack without possessing a heart? - but I don't think I wished him to die.

This little ditty is the same as the "pray for Obama" bible verse that went around a few months ago, but far more depressingly banal.

Mary P (Barnmaven) said...

Thanks for this post. I'm in the process of composing a post of my own on the same subject, as I have had a couple of pepole on my Facebook post this same status update as well, and I'm just confounded as to the best way to respond to it. My post will be going up tonight, I've linked to yours, hope you don't mind.

Jason, as himself said...

I totally agree.

I so enjoyed getting to know you a little better last night. And now I have you officially book marked so I can continue to do so!

smalltownmom said...

In my town, I am a lone ?? in a sea of XXXX's. Why can't we all get along?

It was great to meet you last night!

Fanboy Wife said...

Wow. That status is completely tasteless. As much as I grumbled about the last president, I never wished for him to die either. (Perhaps that was because I was terrified of Dick Cheney?)

Cori said...

Delurking to say I saw that on FB as well. It really turned my stomach to see that come from people I liked and respected. I responded by posting this:

"For every negative comment about our president or GOP/Tea Party talking point comment we're donating a dollar to Obama for America."

Made me feel better anyway. Now whenever I read something that makes my blood boil it's just another buck for Barack!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

I like Suebob.
This plus your 4:20 post?
Sold.

Loralee Choate said...

That turns my stomach. I've gotten more disgusting things in my inbox than I care to remember. It's so, so not funny.

Isabella Golightly said...

That's incredibly sad. How did Americans fall so low that they think it's okay to say things like that about their Head of State? Is fear of change really driving their behaviour, or is it something much deeper, like the colour of his skin? Scary, very scary.

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