Monday, March 24, 2008
THE AUDACITY OF HATE
Surely there are rarely ever periods which tend to generate hope, although some may be more conducive to the emergence of that feeling than others. This has not been a time which stimulates hope. Neither has this been an era which nourishes hope that is spontaneously generated amongst us.
That the spirit of hope should arise, find form, and spring free from a religious hearth of hostility is most certainly an anomaly.
The nation has been exposed over and over to the anger in those video sermons from Chicago. Those simply do not play well among most citizens, not even among those who have made an effort to understand and to empathize with the harsh history of the Black experience in this land. Perhaps they are particularly disappointing to some of the latter.
At this crucial juncture in the political history of America, the audacity of hate has trumped the audacity of hope.
At least momentarily, this is so. Will that be a transient triumph?
In seeking to express the pent up anger of his race, the Reverend presents an incongruous picture. A marine veteran himself, he screams venom at the country for which he cared enough to serve. His personal actions and history do not portray a subversive.
One finds much hyperbole in these speeches, unfortunately a pattern of exaggeration in rhetoric which characterizes too many writings and verbalizations in the political arena. It appears that a certain flair for drama and oratory is also demonstratively present.
It is said that the Reverend spoke from the heart of an historically oppressed people. He is credited with speaking from the angst of generations of victims. However, this is no longer viewed as the reality of today by most.
Instead the Reverend’s angry shouts are viewed as just that. Their content is offensive. These are seen as perpetuating hostilities and differences, rather than as being useful toward social change.
Unfortunately, these utterances will no doubt be employed to generate similar emotions on the opposite pole during the political season ahead.
Hate speech is hate speech, no matter who is delivering it, in what environment, or from what motives or history. If we are intolerant of hate speech from any social sector, then we must be intolerant of hate speech from all social sectors.
Out of the ashes of such fires, will the phoenix of hope rise again -- audaciously?
Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate