"You have minds like a snake pit!
How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when
you are so foul-minded?
It's your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words.
A good person produces good deeds and words season after season.
An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something:
Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you.
There will be a time of Reckoning.
Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation.
Words can also be your damnation."
-- Matthew 12:34-37
Long ago I learned that there is a bible passage that fits every occasion. I think that this one fits the Democratic presidential primary campaign perfectly. Over the course of this campaign comments have been made that have offended me both as a woman and as an African American. However, after the recent comments by Geraldine Ferraro and Germaine Greer I needed to take a day off from politics.
While I have always tried to live with the message of Martin Luther King's dream in the forefront of my mind, I have never lived under the illusion that for most people, of ALL races, a degree of prejudice lies right below their surface. It is the personal demon that everyone struggles with from the day that a parent, relative or friend points out to them that they are different from the next person. To deny the existence of one's own personal prejudices is to refuse to even try to strive for a higher level of thinking.
I've also never lived under the illusion that there is a degree of misogyny in our society and that some of the worst offenders are women themselves. Ann Coulters' comments about the 9/11 widows being a prime example.
So, you see, I have learned how to handle the overt haters in our society -- the David Dukes, the Rush Limbaughs, the Ann Coulters, the gangster rappers et al. I just tune them out. But I have to admit that when people whom I truly respect utter sheer racist or sexist nonsense I'm taken aback. I also have to wonder about the long term consequences of the madness.
Last night MSNBC's Keith Olbermann concluded his broadcast with an appeal to Hillary Clinton to bring some sanity and integrity back to her campaign. I completely agree with his comments. However, I wish he had also expressed as much outrage when his colleagues Chris Matthews and Tim Russert jokingly referred to the "leash around Hillary Clinton's neck" after a debate.
The Democratic presidential primary campaign has taken on the tragic aura of a Shakespearean play. Hopefully all of the main characters won't be politically dead at the end.