CLASS REUNIONS,By Louise Annarino,August 8,2012

9 Aug

CLASS REUNIONS,By Louise Annarino, August 8, 2012

 

I am not attending my 45th. high school class reunion. It is more than I am able to tolerate. I had been considering not attending for some time as several classmates indicated they would set me straight  about politics and show me the real Obama (no use of the title “president” ever appears before his name when they speak of the man they love to hate). When I first sent out feelers to my email list about my blog, these same persons notified me to never send them ANY political emails. I have not. However, they continue to send them to me, repeatedly. For more than four years I have replied with Fact Check,Politifact and Snopes as truth checks to show the distortions in the ads,videos and emails they send me. I cite original sources and provide full cuts of doctored and manipulated speeches and documents so they may learn something of the truth and see how they are being manipulated by hate-mongers. I ask them to please notify all to whom they mailed the original statements a correction and update.

 

Despite the hours of work it takes to carefully dissect and correct the propaganda, within weeks these classmates send me a different version of the identical distortions as if they never read a word I wrote. They probably did not. They are not interested in truth, only in attacking President Obama. At the 40th reunion I was blindsided by such hateful attacks. However, I presented the correct information and attempted to enjoy the company of other classmates. As a last resort, several of us had to leave the main event and go to a small room to avoid the political discussions and nonsense declarations. It is  fine line to walk to answer people politely when one has little respect for their lack of informed opinion and their willingness to find any way possible to excuse and justify their racism,sexism,homophobia; and bigotry toward African-Americans, Muslims,Latinos and immigrants. It is intolerable. It calls for response,not silence.

 

As I was considering the lost chance to see classmates from out-of-state I have been longing to see one of the reunion organizers called and mentioned everyone hoped no one would talk politics this time. The message was clear. Those disinterested in politics did not want the reunion ruined by those of us who do care.I will never remain silent when bigotry rears its head. I am genetically unable to remain silent when a bigoted opinion is accepted as factual analysis. Politics has become all about bigotry since an African-American was elected president. Hate groups monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center have increased 1000% since he was elected. I can refrain from discussing most politics, but not this racial bigotry masquerading as politics.Clearly, I would be the thorn in everyone’s side again this time since others seem to prefer my silence in order to have a fun time. I made a decision right then not to  attend.

 

The rightfulness of my decision was confirmed a few hours ago. For the fourth time in as many weeks a classmate who assures me repeatedly how much she hates politics and is uninterested in it and to whom I never send anything political at her request, sent me a bigoted and factually incorrect email. This one was a doctored video of many speeches by president Obama in which various sentences were cobbled together to indicate he admits he is a Muslim. This video is not evidence of anything but the creator’s pathetic attempt to badly edit other tapes. Intelligent and well-informed voters know President Obama is not a muslim, although members of his extended family are. He and Michelle are Christian. But the more important point is that it would not matter one iota if he were Muslim,Mormon,Christian or Jew. Since when is a candidate’s religion a consideration? Roman Catholic President Kennedy’s election settled that matter long ago. It is ironic that this woman who declares we need to take back our country from those who would destroy our constitutional freedoms would deny a presidential candidate his constitutional freedom.

 

It is particularly disturbing to me that she sent out this hate-mongering against muslims video not a week after a white supremacist gathered his guns for a mass killing  of Sikhs, stupidly mistaking them for Muslims. Sikhs and Muslims have been the victims of soft attacks across the country since 9/11. To see the video attacks spread by my classmate turned my stomach. Instead of educating her about the misinformation and bigotry as I have done so many times before, this time I simply told her to never contact me again. I have had all I can stand of her bigotry; and of anyone else’s bigotry. This ethnic,religious and racial bigotry is eating away the soul of America and Americans.

 

If I thought I could reach her, or any of the others who send me such materials, by providing a reasoned and well-researched response I would continue to try. However, she appears to be immune to rational thought and is blinded by her hate and fear. I have tried to lovingly assuage the fears of those who send me this crazy stuff.  Some people actually thank me for pointing out what they had missed. But this woman and others like her are more comfortable with being bigoted than with being truthful and fair to others they hate. Not in my presence. Let my silent classmates deal with the bigots this time around. I won’t be there.

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4 Responses to “CLASS REUNIONS,By Louise Annarino,August 8,2012”

  1. Anne Weideman August 9, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Bravo, Louise! A well-thought out decision.Why invite the grief? There are so many other wonderful positive things you can do on your reunion weekend, eh?

    • Jack Holdford August 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      Louise, wise decision and I hope that I am not faced with a similar decision when I attend my 40th reunion next week. If I am, I will move to the other side of the room in an attempt to get away and if that’s unsuccessful, I’ll make my excuses and leave. As you’ve noted, this is not a logical discussion.

      • lannarino2012 August 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

        Good luck,Jack. Enjoy those of like-mind and have a great experience. Having a plan of action is always good! I appreciate hearing from you. Let me know how the reunion unfolded, won’t you?

    • lannarino2012 August 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      Thanks,Anne.

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