I was shocked last evening when a clip of a health-care demonstration was aired that showed a man with Parkinson’s Disease was mocked and scorned by anti-health-care demonstrators. Pay especially close attention to the man with the white shirt, sun glasses and tan pants just to the left of the sign, behind the man with the baby. He is especially egregious. Why was he so angry? What was the cause of his display of inhumanity? What does he have to ‘lose’ in this health-care legislation that caused him to lower himself to a school yard bully? I’d like to know.
The things that were being yelled at the man including ‘communist’ brings me back to the winter of 2002-2003 when I, too, stood up for what I believed and was similarly derided, mocked and literally spat upon.
It was during the run-up to the Bush War on Iraq when all of America was yelling war and blood at the top of their voices- completely bamboozled by the Rovian propaganda and the right-wing media. Each Sunday afternoon a group of ‘NO WAR’ demonstrators would gather at a busy intersection in Toledo and we would be the targets of ‘righteous’ abuse by those passing by.
We were called every 4-letter word known as well as ‘communists’ and ‘pinkos’ and, of course, ‘traitors.’ For them, a traitors apparently is a person does not do what the propagandists tell them to. We were told to ‘go back where we came from!’ and to ‘go to Baghdad and be with our friend, Saddam!’
Naturally, we were derided as unpatriotic and surely we ‘didn’t support the troops!’
My homemade sign read, “Support the Troops- Send them Home.”
It is amazing what comes out of people- as in the video above- when they are confronted with the truth. The truth hurts. The truth disables. And the person then lowers himself to base, sub-human instincts and behavior.
I often wonder about those people who passed by us on those cold street corners that awful winter. Do they still ‘see us’ in their memories? Do they wish that the scene would go away? Have they grown through the experience? Did they learn something? I hope so.