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southlandshari's Journal - Archives
I completely understand - I have many friends and family members who voted for Bush on Tuesday, and I respect them as much today as I did Monday.

I'm not friends with raving right-wing idiots, and have already disowned anyone in my extended family who fits that category. So I know we are kidding ourselves if we try to label every one of the majority of voters in this country who voted to keep Bush in office as idiots, rednecks, blind Bible-thumpers or any other creative, derogatory name in the book.

My father voted for Bush. My father, who is more responsible for my dedication to social justice, peace and equality for all than any other human on this earth. My father is not stupid and he is not a bigot. He had his reasons. Maybe they were misguided, maybe they were as valid as mine were for supporting Kerry. I don't know. What I do know is that he is a man who doesn't do anything blindly, and he thought long and hard about his choice here.

If the far right wing is now pulling the strings in the Republican party (and I think they are), is the best response we've got to drive our party to the other extreme? Fill ourselves with hate for "them", adopt strategies based on dirty tricks because we think that is the only way to "win"? Insist on fighting these traitors on their own terms by refusing to budge an inch on issues (call them what you want - moral, cultural, social...) on which it has become obvious we do not hold the majority view (like abortion and gay marriage) in this country?

I still have hope we can pull together to get America back on track. I am sick to death of the drama and the hate. Count me in on whatever team emerges from all this with the goal of restoring the vital power and influence of truly progressive leaders who have the best interest of ALL Americans at heard (including both right-wing nutcases AND flaming liberal freaks!).
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Posted by southlandshari in General Discussion (Through 2005)
Tue Nov 02nd 2004, 01:08 AM
My anger at this EXACT point has kept me up nights for a long time (about four years, I'd guess).

Stealing the election is an atrocity worth everyone's outrage.

But the complete and total lack of corresponding outrage at the underlying issue of marginalizing minority voters as a political strategy is inexcusable.

This was allowed to pass in 2000, and looking back (quite vividly, thanks to the now-famous video footage of the CBC's attempts to raise this issue in congress), it is heartbreaking. Because it led to Bush in the White House? Yes. But even more so because, even those who give the most lip service to fighting for equality and justice, did little or nothing to challenge the dismissive treatment of so many good citizens of this country.

I white and I am from the Deep South. But I swear that I will be good and @#%damned if I stay silent about this issue in this election year. Not because I want Bush to lose or Kerry to win - but because what is happening to fellow Americans is reprehensible and the antithesis of the principles upon which our country was founded. And if it can happen to "them," believe me, fellow caucasions, it can - and will - happen to you and me one day if we don't speak up now.

And all the majority talk about "The Black Vote" and how "they" should "wake up" and vote for the party "with their best interest in mind" needs to stop. If folks like me and many of you here aren't willing to do whatever it takes to insure that all men and women are TRULY equal in America, we ought to all go back and live in our glass houses very, very carefully and stay away from the ever-tempting stones!

Didn't mean to go off on anyone in particular, or on DU friends in general. Thanks for allowing me to vent for a moment tonight!
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Posted by southlandshari in General Discussion (Through 2005)
Sat Sep 11th 2004, 12:24 PM
Because if we are honest, we must admit that Joanne's points are dead on with how angry we ourselves feel when we see self-righteous fundamentalist right-wingers in our towns use 9/11 as a rallying cry for Bush's war.

In my small Alabama town there are many more intelligent and thinking people than the stereotypes suggest. That said, I'm not going to waste time trying to convince anyone that they outnumber blind Bush supporters - because they don't.

I cringed while reading part of Joanne's post. It is uncomfortable to hear angry words aimed in your general direction. I was tempted to post a defense of the good people of Dirtsville. But that would just be a diversion from the truth - that there are still far too many among us in Dirtsville who are following Bush's example of exploiting a terrible tragedy for personal gain.

There is such a strong human defense mechanism that tells us it is ok to criticize "our own" but that we should fight to the death should some "outsider" attack us. We in the South (or the Democratic Party, or the U.S., or any other group) need to be brave and truthful enough to admit our shortcomings as well as our strengths.

I know I am not alone among others in rural areas and small towns (in the South or elsewhere) who bitch to one another all the time about the ignorance we see every day here. Let's be big enough to admit that when someone from the "outside" points it out as well. I think it can be done without turning into self-hating wimps.
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Posted by southlandshari in General Discussion (Through 2005)
Thu Sep 09th 2004, 10:38 PM
right here, in everyone's favorite scapegoat of a state!

I'll admit that after high school I struck out to see the world, and that is exactly what I did. I've lived in urban and rural settings in the states, as well as abroad in Africa and the Middle East.

All those experiences have shaped who I am today. But I would never have had those experiences had some flame inside me not been nurtured throughout my formative years - which were ALL spent in Alabama. And not in some left-leaning, exception-to-the-rule liberal family. Heck, I still haven't convinced my father that voting for Bush is against everything good in his soul. But I haven't given up yet - and I'm not going to disrespect him or denounce him as evil no matter what he does come November.

I am as comfortable speaking to the local Rotary Club as I am listening to Tom Joyner. And I am nothing unique. If some ordinary white chick from nowhere, Alabama, can open her mind, I think we all can.
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Posted by southlandshari in Latest Breaking News
Thu Jun 24th 2004, 12:33 PM
from an unlikely source:

"In Defense of Al-Jazeera"
from MSNBC's Mike Moran, Oct. 18, 2001

http://www.msnbc.com/news/643471.asp?cp1=1

I speak fluent Arabic, and I watched Al-Jazeera daily for the first six years it broadcast on satellite. This channel was a total breath of fresh air for my family - it was so fascinating to see an independent channel in the Middle East, willing to question everything and everyone. I just wish we had one of those here in the U.S.!
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