Thursday, August 27, 2009

Violence and hatred at health care town hall meetings  

I heard about this via The Curvature and it made me sick. It's becoming apparent that these town hall meetings held on health care reform are getting out of hand. Left-wingers are calling for the reform of our deeply flawed system, while right-wingers are resisting changes and fearing steps made towards universal health care.

And now with Senator Kennedy, a huge advocate of health care reform, having passed on, it's no doubt that reform advocates will want to carry on his legacy.

I understand that health care is an issue that many of us take very seriously, but certain actions are inexcusable. For example, at a town hall led by Senator Claire McCaskill, several black women brought a sign in with them, keeping it rolled up until a photographer asked to see it. When one woman unrolled it, a white man jumped up, stormed over to them, and grabbed the poster to rip it up.

The poster was merely a picture of Rosa Parks. The man attempted to rip up a photo of a civil rights pioneer, one glorified by history books for her courageous activism. After this happened, the women were escorted out. Thankfully, the man was eventually arrested on assault charges. You can watch the incident:

Cara at The Curvature commented on this appropriately:

It's worth noting that the man who stole and vandalized the sign was arrested, and the woman who was the victim of this crime was let go. But we've still got police jumping to conclusions about who is to blame, and not instinctively choosing the white guy. And we've also got a mob mentality going on. Most of the audience members who cheered might not have even known what was on the sign. But if they did know what was on it, they cheered destruction of an image of a civil rights hero. And if they didn't, they cheered the destruction of the sign simply based on who the woman holding it was. On what she looked like. Either way, I'm pretty damn sure that's racism, and white entitlement.

These town halls are putting liberals and conservatives together in a confined space where tensions are high, and so people are using these spaces as soapboxes, where they can publicly display racist views or anti-choice sentiments:

Some pretty horrible stuff is going on at these town halls, and it's making me very nervous.

What next?

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