“Sowing Seeds of Hatred”

Representative John Lewis has compared Palin’s and McCain’s rhetoric to that of George Wallace, a notorious segregationist.

In a statement issued Saturday, Lewis said McCain and running mate Sarah Palin were ”sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.” He noted that Wallace also ran for president.

”George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Lewis, who is black.

McCain says that he is shocked and outraged by the comparison, and he has certainly tried to moderate the responses of some in the crowds.  But the line outside his appearance at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania shows how out of control his supporters’ opinions can be. 

In the defense of the people you are about to see, I think it should be stressed that they are themselves probably giving a show.  They are performing for the cameras and the protesters.  Still, what they want to put on is pretty bad:

It is, I think, very unfortunate that neither campaign took on the issue of hate speech when Clinton was the target.  We have had months and months when the country could have been talking about bias and hatred and the bad foundation it provides for one’s vote.

Gosh, what do you think he’s suggesting about Arabs?

People are remarking on the fact that McCain has recently defended Obama against some of his supporters’ accusations at rallies: there’s been so much hatred expressed, that surely it’s good to start speaking out against it. Surely…. Here’s the defense:

A woman at the town hall asks softly: “I’ve heard that Sen. Obama is an

McCain quickly cuts the woman off.

“No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen,” McCain says. “He’s
not. Thank you.”

Oh yeah, that’s a big improvement. No hating there. Nope.

“no one seems to be focused on the horror”: PS

From email from a friend:

Galveston is still such a sad place right now.  In my driving around, it is horrible seeing people just standing there next to a pile of all of their belongings with blank looks on their faces.  It breaks my heart.  I almost feel like I am in mourning – we’ve lost so many people and businesses in the past few weeks and we don’t know if the Island will ever be the same.  Our public schools have only half of their enrollment, there are only a limited number of church services on weekends, and whenever an old restaurant re-opens, we are happy for them …   UTMB [a major medical school] is shrinking their beds from 600 to 200 and will most likely lay off 4000 employees in the next few months – that news is almost as tragic to many Galvestonians as the storm.  
Galveston was such an interesting place to grow up … we were raised knowing that a time would come when we would have to depend on a neighbor to pull us up onto their raft during a storm and we wanted to make sure that the neighbor would make room for us!!  Nowadays, smart people leave during a storm, but when they return, it is still nice to know that there is still a basic kindness and helpfulness with our Islanders – that won’t change. 
In an editorial by Dolph Tillotson, editor of the Daily News, he wrote about that no one seems to be focused on the horror going on in Galveston and he, too, attributed it to the fact that we are not standing around looking for handouts – everyone seems to be busy working and helping others. 


PS:  If you work through the controversy expressed in the comments, it might be worth being aware of the history that is mentioned in #5.