Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Setting the record straight

For starters, this is not a political blog. I have never, ever drifted into a political discussion here, not because I don't have political opinions but because I'm a little self-centered I guess and my immediate rants and needs usually don't fall outside of the work/church/husband/child area. That being said....today I have something to say.

I was reading this article on the Yahoo Front Page. Yes, I am aware that Yahoo really isn't the best place to be getting my political news, but I was logging into my email and I saw the word Alabama. What can I say...I'm nosy. Low and behold, Alabama is making national headlines with it's primary election. Unfortunately, like it always is when they put southerners on TV, it's not positive. I can't even call this a news article because there was a distinct lack of story in my opinion. All the article entails really is a collection of video clips with commentary typed out between them. Such is American journalism these days, but that's not my point. That being said, I watched all of them. They were short clips, no big deal. Than I see the comments section. What the hell?? Over 1100+ comments (almost each comment had double-digit replies as well) on Alabama's Primary! Now, I have no problem with people having differing opinions. I welcome it in fact. I think that is one of the greatest things about our country... that brave men and women have fought and died for our right to argue with each other and I love a good debate. Today, I didn't even get 40 comments in and I was disgusted. At this point, there are literally thousands of comments from people about their opinion on the men running for office in my state and almost NONE of them were positive. These people aren't attacking the politics these men advocate nearly as much as they are Alabama-bashing. Citing Alabama and ALL of it's citizens as back-woods, uneducated, redneck, bible-thumping bigots who don't even speak English themselves and therefore unqualified to know if an immigrant were speaking it correctly. Don't even get me started on the amount of grammatical and spelling errors there were on these "better educated" Yankees comments!

As an Alabamian (not a native, but having spent half my childhood and most of my adult life here), I am appalled.


A man says something with an accent and he's an illiterate moron and they are calling us bigoted?? Just because a man speaks with an accent doesn't mean he thinks with one. I have seen the Tim James ad that is listed in the article. While I did marvel at the fact that he said it out loud, it was not because I disagree with what he says. Let me be crystal clear here: I do not believe that anyone who does not speak or read English should be allowed to be licensed to drive in this or any other state. Is that a racist opinion? No. I wholeheartedly believe it to be a safety issue. While giving the test here in 12 different languages might get us brownie points for political correctness and tolerance, it completely undermines public safety as our road signs are all printed in ONE language...English. As a nurse I can tell you that native English speakers have plenty of trouble driving as it is without throwing people that couldn't read the sign even if they had seen it into the mix! Having said that, the reason I was shocked that he said it in his ad is that normally, nowadays, saying what you really think is something that is not conducive with a political career. Even if I disagreed with him, kudos to him for being transparent. We normally learn of our politicians true feelings on issues like these after they are elected and it normally involves either a slip of the tongue or a secret recording.

Before today, I honestly hadn't seen the other ads, so apparently they weren't as well funded as the first one. I can't say anything for the African-American candidate who said Obama "fell in with leftist-radicals, played with terrorists and let his America-hating pastor baptize his children". I mean... what do you say to that? As for the Winchester-totin' cowboy running for Ag Commission, he definitely has a unique approach, doesn't he?

My only complaint here is the insane amount of hatred and filth that came pouring out of "Joe the Plumber" today on those comment boards...and we are supposed to be the ones that are full of hatred, judgement and ignorance. I can say one thing for sure- Hubby is a Yankee (shh, he doesn't like me to tell people) and his family hails from the great state of New Jersey by way of Philadelphia. You know, the "City of Brotherly Love"? Well, I have heard more ignorant and bigoted things uttered from their side of the Mason-Dixon than I hear on any given day in the "Old South". From where I stand, no matter which accent you're using, ignorance is ignorance. Trust me, other dialects get pigeon-holed as uneducated too. Do you think that any one would have listened to Albert Einstein if he had sounded like Vinny Barbarino? Doubtful. There is a reason Hubby fought so hard to lose the Philly drawl when we were teenagers...any one remember Rocky?? I hope that one day even a fraction of these people meet an upwardly mobile, educated Southerner with a sharp enough tongue to end their ignorance. I kinda secretly hope it'll be me.


K. Erickson said...

Mel, first, as you well know, I've never shied away from commenting on politics. I embrace it as a spectator sport. Quite frankly, it's more interesting than most athletic sports in my opinion. Besides, there is no rule stating you have to confine yourself to one set of topics.

Second, by all means stand up for who you are and where you come from. I ain't shy about being proud of my heritage, and I don't think others should be either. Except Yankees and politicians. That's a hold nother other can of worms though.

Third, I'm with you on the whole kudos for transparency/upfront honesty thing. I'd be much more likely to vote for a guy I disagree with who will tell me his true opinions than some liar who is just telling me what I hear to get my vote. The trouble is distinguishing which is which these days.

Melanie said...

K.- I was so riled up when I wrote this that I copied and pasted to my Facebook too. Man, I was hot. Nothing pisses me off more than when stupid people open their mouths. Thanks for the bolstering lol, I appreciate it.

I think that if more people were engaged in honest, intelligent discussion and didn't stoop to poop slinging maybe some of our problems wouldn't be so doggone big. But, then again who has time for education when you spend your day commenting on Yahoo News pages?? LOL

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