23 Jan

LETTERS FROM HOME: Political E-Mails

Louise Annarino,

January 23, 2012

Political e-mails, I call them “letters from home”, from friends and family tend to fall into one of several categories:

  1. Ad hominem attacks on President Obama using “facts” proven untrue: e.g. refuses to show his birth certificate, apologist for America as evildoer, spending country into ruin, raised taxes etc.
  2. References to an un-cited article published by well-known news source as basis for  “facts” proven untrue.
  3. Religious pieces with art depicting Christ on the cross, candles with moving flames across the flag and cross; citing scripture etc. before attacking Obama for stopping Americans from praying, reading scripture or forcing them to pay for abortions.
  4. Letters from unknown  or anonymous (they would be destroyed if they disclosed their identity)persons, veterans, military personnel, or secret agents describing some horrendous anti-American act/ statement by President Obama which Politifact and other neutral fact checkers indicate are lies.
  5. Racist rants.

The one thing each of these has in common is that they intertwine reality with lies, their source cannot be found, there is no factual basis for the allegations contained within, they claim liberal-elitist media is keeping the story under wraps…AND…we are warned that if we do not forward this information something terrible will happen.

I used to go line-by-line refuting each allegation with facts which were properly cited to original source material, and hit “reply all” asking each person to forward my response to others whom they had sent the e-mail. I received 3 types of response:

  1. a personal attack on my character, intelligence and morality ( I am being prayed for all over America!);
  2. personal threats to maim or kill me;
  3. warnings to never send such Obama garbage to them again (of course they persist in continuing to send me attack Obama e-mails);
  4. no response at all.

Now, I just hit “delete”. Because such emails are not a true effort to communicate. The people who send them are not inherently stupid, nor deranged. They are not un-educated, nor unread. They are not mean, nor uncaring. They simply hate having an African-American president more they than hate sounding stupid. Yes, they also hate having a Democratic president. But what frightens them most is that the era of  heterosexual,white male dominance is over. They sense the game can’t be rigged in their favor much longer. African-Americans, Latinos, East Asians, West Africans and other new immigrant groups are gaining demographic majority far faster than anticipated. Women and the LGBT community are gaining professional and economic clout at an increasing pace. President and Michelle Obama are a daily “in-your-face” reminder that the power of privileged white men is on shaky ground. They need to dominate our political bodies: legislative, executive and judicial to maintain their presumed superiority. President Obama’s success are an affront to their control. They do not fear he is failing the country; they fear his success. What else can they do but lie … to themselves, to one another, and to us – their family and friends? And, when we do not buy the lie, they attack us personally.  I cannot lie to myself or to them, merely to hold the sense of family and friendship. I welcome the wonders a diverse leadership of this country can bring. As a woman, I resent their insistence I must accept their white, male dominance as a sacred reality. I am saddened by this loss of communion. I had enjoyed communicating with them. I no longer do. Is this how the Civil War became possible?

Even right-wing, Tea Party, Christian fundamentalist Michele Bachman is an unacceptable threat to the male dominance espoused by  today’s political conservatives: “Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. He wrote it in June, but it surfaced on the campaign trail in the fall.

“The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’ ” Johnson’s email said.”

– DesMoines Register ,January 12, 2012 , Jennifer Jacobs;

Candidate Santorum offered no response; and Johnson, in an NBC interview stated his position is rooted in “classical Christian doctrine.”

That explains why so many people are praying for me! Please comment explaining how you handle such e-mails.


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