Monday, October 20, 2008
By Vanessa Brox
Hello my fellow Americans,
Democrats, Republicans, and Independents,
John McCain and Sarah Palin have stopped talking about the issues, and have instead launched a strategy relying on fear-mongering, racial divisions, and hate. The result is McCain/Palin supporters saying "kill him!" "terrorist!" "traitor," and more, at rallies, with the McCain campaign playing dumb in response.It's outrageous and it muststop.
Together, we can show that Americans of all races won't stand for this. I've signed onto ColorofChange's open-letter calling out McCain and Palin. ColorOfChange.org will publish it this week, and as they've shown in the past, when enough of us stand together, we can force the mainstream media to amplify our message. Will you join us?
McCain-Palin rallies have started to look more like mob scenes than political events. The candidates keep asking "who is the real Barack Obama?" (a question that also kicks off almost every McCain television ad). In response, supporters have yelled "terrorist!" and "traitor!" And the venom goes beyond Obama--one McCain/Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at a Black member of a news crew, saying "sit down, boy." McCain and Palin are going down a dangerous path. Watching some of their supporters being interviewed shows the kind of fear their campaign is stoking and exploiting. McCain and Palin are clearly in the driver's seat. They've personally made it a point to use "terrorist"and "Obama" in the same sentence; they have surrogates repeatedly refer to him by his middle-name; and they keep pushing the discredited guilt-by-association smears that have long been debunked.
All of it plays on the much more sinister rumors in anonymous smear emails which claim Obama is Muslim (a myth designed to tap into anti-Muslim bigotry), anti-American, and is somehow connected with terrorists. This strategy is powerful because Obama is Black, and it's designed to make Obama's race a disadvantage without appearing overtly racist.
As Americans of all stripes, we've seen how Barack Obama's historic candidacy has moved our friends and family to have a more honest conversation about race in this country. It's inspired a lot of people to step out of their comfort zone and confront racism in their own communities, with their friends, neighbors and families. In the final days of this campaign, we can't let a desperate John McCain and Sarah Palin drag us down. If enough of us act, we can create a powerful story in the media about Black people and our allies of all races standing together against race-baiting and fear-mongering coming from the McCain/Palin campaign. But it will take a lot of us speaking in unison.
Will you sign an open letter to McCain and Palin, telling them who you are and why you won't let them move our country backward?
ColorofChange.org will publish the letter and make sure John McCain is forced to respond.