Sunday, March 15, 2009
Conservative Media & Their Vision of an America Divided by Hate and Extremism
With the world's leading nations trying to weather the worst recession in memory, the Intelligence Report of the Southern Poverty Law Center released it's annual report on hate crime activity in the United States showing the number of extremist groups in the US rose 4% in 2008 to 926.
Elements of the mainstream media are partially responsible. Media pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have been promoting the myth of the "Obama Recession" on TV and radio for months in an attempt to lay the blame for the financial meltdown at the door of a president who has been in office less than 100 days.
The New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is still making headlines after the recent cartoon depicting two police officers gunning down a monkey serving as a crass caricature of President Barack Obama.
Hysterical fears over the rise in Latino immigration have led to a 40% rise in hate crimes against immigrants.
The conservative media promote bogus data and propaganda that misinterprets HUD information in an effort to falsely blame immigrant and minority home owners for the mortgage meltdown rather than the banks and Wall Street firms that spent years bundling up mortgages into complex packages and them selling them off before the real estate bubble burst.
It's not a new phenomenon, hate is almost like a part of a cycle
In the aftermath of the Civil War the first phase of the Ku Klux Klan arose in opposition to Federal Reconstruction efforts to direct the rebuilding of the devastated Southern infrastructure and secure rights for millions of recently-freed slaves.
During the global economic malaise that followed the first World War, Klan membership in the United States reached an all-time high of at least 4,000,000 members, numbers that included judges, members of law enforcement, members of the press, business leaders and even members of Congress.
The question is when do we begin stepping up to the plate and looking at the challenges we face in the eye as a nation rather than wasting time and effort trying to look for scapegoats to a collective responsibility.
The petty, divisive political agendas of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, the News Corporation, Michelle Malkin and others only seek to tap fear and anger and distract us from the broader responsibilities and opportunities that are before us.
It's the politics of unity, truth and responsibility that are needed now; not the politics of hate and ignorance.
Rush Limbaugh's Demented "Movement" Theory - people actually take this kind of opinionated racist fiction as fact: