COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I just could not let Patricia Harris’ commentary (“Marching toward taking the country back,” Oct. 3) go by without asking myself and her a few salient questions.

The first of which is: taking the country back from whom, exactly? Would it be the 53% of voters that actually elected Barack Obama? Patricia doesn’t ever clearly state who this might be (a black man in the White House?) or for what reason.

She waxes poetic about the people she meets on the metro in Washington, D.C., (the government-run metro I would assume) “singing, chanting and cheering.” She claims the rally was “loud and boisterous, but always polite and civil,” never mentioning some of the hate-filled signs and banners displayed that day or the hate-filled rhetoric from the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin leading up to the rally.

Polite and civil? Let’s review just a few examples of the signs and banners displayed Sept. 12, all taken exactly from video of the march: A sign saying “I’m more afraid of Obama than Osama,” or the ever-popular “Obama lies freedom dies.” Or how about “Stop ENSLAVING my kids.” Or maybe it’s about the health-care debate, as in an elderly woman holding a sign saying “No government-controlled health care.” I wonder if she may have been on Medicare or, more importantly, whether she was willing to give up her coverage? What about a few of the photos displayed: A Photoshopped picture of Obama tearing up the Constitution? (I wonder how Harris felt during the Bush administration’s assault on the Constitution?) Or Obama as Hitler, complete with Nazi uniform and mustache? Or Obama in white face makeup as the Joker?

Oh, I almost forgot those wacky birthers, as in “Obama we have waken up to your EVIL plans to destroy our country.” Then, “Take your racist un-American ACORN group and arrogant wife back to your own country and strip there rights away,” spelling and punctuation as it was displayed.

And last but not least: “Thank you Fox News & Talk Radio.” Calling Fox News actual news probably has Walter Cronkite spinning in his grave. Look, people have very real differences with the Obama administration on a host of issues. I have some reservations, as well, although they are mostly that he’s not progressive enough. But this rhetoric that comes from the far right is distorting even the most benign undertakings he attempts, the latest of which is his attempt to secure the 2016 Summer Olympics for Chicago. I guess creating jobs and showing off a beautiful American city is, well, un-American.

And all this talk about not being an American citizen, and death panels and taking away your gun rights — while none of it is true, even remotely — is emboldening some to justify possible violence.

I too am afraid for America, Patricia, afraid that when my kids are asked to make important decisions in the voting booth there won’t be enough civility to discuss the issues that divide us as Americans.


 JAMES M. MCCANN is a Glendale resident.

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