If It Weren’t So Scary. . .

Because I was curious about how folks in my rural Arkansas hometown were responding to the health care debate, I had my mom pass on some of the forwards she gets at work. Amid the ten or so with the disturbing sentiment that, somehow, white Christians are oppressed in this country, are the e-mails urging people to contact their Congressperson or Senator about how much they hate “ObamaCare.”

Among the ridiculous claims:

The actress Natasha Richardson died after falling skiing in Canada . It took eight hours to drive her to a hospital. If Canada had our healthcare she might be alive today. In the United States , we have medical evacuation helicopters that would have gotten her to the hospital in 30 minutes.

Nevermind that what actually happened was the Richardson refused treatment at first, and another ambulance was not called until three hours later. It raised a lot of questions, mainly about what the resort first communicated to the public, but transport time once she was in the ambulance was not one of them. They have helicopters in Canada, too. And in the U.S., some are concerned they’re overused.

Also:

56 percent of Americans with employer-based coverage would lose their current insurance.  48 percent of privately insured Americans would transition out of private insurance.

Which is interesting, because Section 102 of HR 3200, the bill that came through the House Ways and Means Committee, is called “Protecting the choice to keep current coverage.”

And while the e-mail warns families will be forced into the public plan, it says Congress will not, even though here’s Charlie Rangel, chairman of the committee, saying the federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan Congress members can buy would be one of the plans available the exchange, which, incidentally, involves more than one plan.

In the e-mails, there’s so much latent anger, it’s scary. There are calls to thwart all Obama’s plans, angry screeds without any of the basic smarts of a site like fuckthesouth.com in 2004.

I have noted that many elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, called upon America to unite behind Obama.

Well, I want to make it clear to all who will listen that I AM NOT uniting behind Obama!

I will respect the Office which he holds, and I will acknowledge his abilities as an orator and wordsmith and pray for him, BUT that is it.

I have begun today to see what I can do to make sure that He is a one-term President!

Why am I doing this?

It is because I do not share Obama’s vision or Value system for America ;

I do not share his radical Marxist’s concept of re-distributing wealth;

I do not share his stated views on raising taxes on those who make $150,000+ (the ceiling has been changed three times since August);

I do not share his view that America is Arrogant;

I do not share his view that America is not a Judeo-Christian Nation;

I do not share his view that the military should be reduced by 25%;

I do not share his view of amnesty and giving more to illegal’s than American Citizens who need help;

When did tax increases begin at $150,000? Never. They haven’t even begun at $250,000 yet, the Bush tax cuts will just expire next year. Also, I can assure you, no one on this e-mail list makes anywhere close to half that. It’s the contradiction in the last part that really gets me, though. American Citizens who need help? Who are they? The working class? Because the working class needing help sounds like the kind of thing they would classify as socialist, which is what they were against in the first line.

I wouldn’t mind the stupid health care e-mails — surely it doesn’t take much agency to search for readily available information to counter them — but among those forwarded to my mom by her coworkers were older, more sinister ideas:

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not  afraid to announce it.  But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists. . . .
. . . I am proud… But you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists??
There is nothing improper about this e-mail..  Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on.  I sadly don’t think many will.  That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country.  We won’t stand up for ourselves!
BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!
It’s not a crime YET… but getting very close!

Which has always been the problem. It’s not so much what the government is currently trying to do to solve any number of crises, but who it is at the helm. Incidentally, I started to make that point before I saw Paul Krugman’s piece making the same argument.

Sometimes I wonder what obligation I have to take some people seriously. At some point, the conversation just has to end. At some point, there’s no reaching such a person. It wouldn’t matter, except that people like those in my hometown hold this kind of racist anger and can be stirred up over anything, even a health care bill just out of committee.

6 thoughts on “If It Weren’t So Scary. . .

  1. FilthyGrandeur August 10, 2009 at 11:16 am Reply

    the writer of that last bit seems to forget what happens when we shout our “white pride”–bad shit happens, so yeah, it is racist…

    i totally hear you on not being able to reach some people…

  2. ladyfresh August 10, 2009 at 11:39 am Reply

    Thanks for this. I’m feeling a bit isolated in NY. This is quite scary how they are whipping people into a frenzy.

  3. lsn August 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm Reply

    One of the weirdest moments I had in the States was when it was carefully explained to me that universal health care would lead to gun control, which is why it could never be allowed to happen. Even when they elucidated the reasoning (Obama is apparently proposing a database of all American’s medical records, which would then be used to deny people who’d ever used anti-depressants gun licenses) I still didn’t really follow. I mean, isn’t that three issues? Health care, privacy of medical records and gun licensing? (The same person was outraged at suggestions that Iraq veterans being treated for PTSD should be denied guns. I mean who better to have them than someone who’s trained?)

    And yes, Canada has helicopters too. Sheesh.

    • G.D. August 10, 2009 at 8:35 pm Reply

      sheesh. Where were you having this conversation?

      • lsn August 11, 2009 at 5:37 am Reply

        Arizona. Rural Arizona. Not sure that makes a difference!

  4. In the womb. « PostBourgie August 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm Reply

    […] So, some people aren’t looking for compromise. I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again: some people just don’t belong in the conversation. […]

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