Not Everyone in Small Town Ohio is a Bigot

At a recent GOP gathering called by right-wing Congressman Bob Latta, angry and threatening words were shouted, including a suggestion about ‘a shot in the head’ of  the President and other members of Congress.  Mr. Latta, it was reported in the Toledo Blade, made no objection to these statements  and later told reporters that he ‘hadn’t heard’ them.  Nice try. Mr. Latta.

Two people attending the rally were identified as sources of the shouts, both from small rural towns in Ohio.  It is to be noted that Representative Latta’s district essentially consists of farmland and small towns. It would be easy to conclude that the views of those who made the ugly remarks  are probably typical of folks living in rural Ohio.

Yet, one ought not use such a broad brush. A refreshing letter to the editor of the Toledo Blade appeared today from small-town Ohio which gives one hope that not all small townsfolk hold radical right-wing political positions.

Gibsonburg Ohio is a village of about 2000 people south of Toledo at the crossroads of two state roads. As with most rural Ohio towns, Gibsonburg is 95% white and incomes in the village hover in the low $30,000’s. The black residents of the village represent but 0.32% of the population.

My only contact with a village resident had been through a comment on my post, The Dangerous Sheeple. It is heartening to realize that in Gibsonburg Ohio there lives a strong and independent woman who will not be painted with that broad, bigoted, small-town brush.

Joyce Bower of Gibsonburg wrote a dynamic letter today which exposed the truth about that meeting that Rep. Latter had called. She attended the meeting and took notes. She said, in fact, that she was the person who, as the Blade reported, brought to the attention of Mr. Latta  these ugly remarks [including assassination of the President].  The remarks that Mr. Latta claimed that he did not hear.

Ms. Bower wrote:

“I wrote down the comments so that I would not forget them. I said, “We are a Christian nation and I heard a very un-Christian line tonight. I am disappointed that you did nothing. I think it is wrong not to comment about ” shot in the head…”

His response was, “I wanted more people to talk.”  I said, “Again, I am very disappointed that you did not take charge and respond.  He said, “Thank you for coming.  Are you a resident of the county?”  I responded, “Yes I am.” He said, “thank you for coming” and went on to another person.

He had the opportunity to say he did not hear, “or shot in the head” or say it was the wrong thing to say. It seems strange to me that until a day later he didn’t realize he ‘did not hear the words.'”

Thank you, Ms. Bower, for telling the truth about what really happened inside of that room.  She said at the end of her letter that she has been ‘uneasy’ since attending that meeting. She wrote that she was shocked that “so much hate was expressed in a few minutes.”

Yes, hate.  Hate fueled by right-wing propagandists selling their oil of virtreol to the eager, awaiting and ignorant masses 24/7.


11 thoughts on “Not Everyone in Small Town Ohio is a Bigot

  1. I’ve been down to Gibsonburg a number of times. There used to be a fine auction house there, and I attended their weekly auctions. Thereby, I met many of the locals. Not much politics in that venue, but the people were open, helpful, and gregarious. Probably what one would expect in a rural, predominately agricultural community.

    Many moons ago I commented on the previous blog about a method to remove Latta from Congress. I suggested that if the Democrats wanted to remove Latta what they needed to do was to move people from Marcy’s district into Latta’s. Immigration across the Maumee River, my friend! Might not even need to physically move people. I think that you just have to present proof or residency, so the Democratic Party could rent about 900 apartments in Latta’s district with two residents in each apartment. That would be 1800 votes for the Democratic candidate, and at that time that was enought to defeat Latta. Moreover, in a national election I’m not sure that there is even a residency requirement of six months or whatever period Ohio requires in local elections. Therefore, if this is the case, you could rent an apartment in BG in October, vote in November, and give the apartment up after voting in November. It’s just across the River, M_R…….

  2. Hello Muddy,
    I have solved the political problems in this country with this one suggestion.

    Limit all U.S. Ultra Conservative Republican Politicians to just TWO TERMS:


  3. “Why do you hate people who don’t have your philosophy on life? Isn’t difference what makes the world go round? ”
    You know, I tried this line on my wife today and she slugged me.

  4. Following Original Letter to Toledo Blade, printed but rewritten.
    Letter to the Editor
    Q. When does a town-hall meeting become a mob? A. When leaders who by their silence allow unruly behavior.
    Shouts at the recent “Town Hall Meeting” sponsored by Congressman Latta, to “treat Democrats as enemies”, “kill them”, and “shoot him in the face” (referring to the President) are unruly mob behavior, not responsible constituent suggestions. Most Republican leaders I respect and worked with, including his father, would have rejected such suggestions as extremist, out-of-place, and inappropriate at any public forum.
    By his earlier silence Congressman Latta encouraged the more outrageous remarks and behavior. The “win-at-all costs” attitude expressed at the meeting is patently anti-American and threatens the stability of our country and economic recovery. Unfortunately the same attitude prevails among most minority congresspersons who have vowed to use every means possible to “bring down” a lawfully elected President .
    Under this strategy what happens to constituents with real problems, like the unemployed tool and die maker? They are overlooked because of political expedience and appeals for the votes of the ill-informed. Rehashing the obviously personal, partisan and self-serving rhetoric of Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh and deliberate lies presented as “news” on Fox do nothing to address real issues.
    What is needed are positive suggestions on how to reverse policies that have nearly destroyed the middle class in this country over the last 30 years. We need to recognize that “free trade” has benefitted only transnational corporations like BP and has devastated our manufacturing base, jobs and economy. Deregulation has transferred wealth into the hands of large political contributors creating socialism for the super-rich and capitalism for the rest.
    The role of leader is to educate, as well as to listen. It’s time to stop diverting attention from real issues and start governing instead of playing political games with our future.

  5. Mr. Opfer- thank you for that great letter which appeared in the Toledo Blade a few days ago. It has become abundantly clear to those of us paying attention that there remains a large group of Ohioans [and throughout America] who are easily led by slick politicians and professional propagandists. ‘Sheeple’ is an apt term for those who, through a combination of self-induced ignorance and fear of ‘the other,’ are easily led around like animals to bleat the propaganda lines that they have been fed like barn animals.

    The education of the masses- through letters like yours- may put a small drain in this pool of common ignorance, yet we are no match for the 24/7 brainwashing by those two paid professional propagandists mentioned in your letter.

    Nonetheless, we march on in our quest for truth. Thanks for visiting this blog and feel free to post comments here regularly.

  6. Opfer wrote: “What is needed are positive suggestions on how to reverse policies that have nearly destroyed the middle class in this country over the last 30 years. We need to recognize that “free trade” has benefitted only transnational corporations like BP and has devastated our manufacturing base, jobs and economy. Deregulation has transferred wealth into the hands of large political contributors creating socialism for the super-rich and capitalism for the rest.”

    We have been here with this idea previously. This has been especially true after Sept., 2008 as our economy collapsed. Unfortunately, Obama and Congress have not improved the employment base hardly at all. In my opinion Obama wasted much capital on his stimulus program. By and large that program did little to create long time employment; if put people to work briefly. It seems to me this is the wrong stimulus. We are not in a depression as FDR was with 33% unemployment and no safety nets. Today, there are many safety nets in place, namely, food stamps, medicaid, and social security payments. We don’t need to put people to work building short term highways and the like…We need a government that will tell industry this is the way it is going to be, as FDR did with WWII. Corporations should be forced to sell their plants in other countries using union busting cheap labor. Or, if we don’t want to go that far, then it whould be a law that no automobile produced by American car makers in a foreign country can be re-exported back to the United States. E.G., GM, who we taxpayers just bailed out, is solely manufacturing the “Cobalt” in Mexico, using cheap Mexican labor, and exporting them back in the U.S. for sale. The Cobalt should be produced in the U.S. and if not it can’t be sold here. (Wouldn’t the Republicans have a heyday with this, lol?) Paper clips will be made in the U.S. Our clothing will be made in the U.S. Just do the litney! We need domestic American nationalism…American Economic Nationalism…Where I work part time, the silverware all comes from China. The store has to replenish the silverware approximately every couple of months at a cost of around $3000, and all going to China. Sure, we would have to retool, and restart our manufacturing industries, but that is what government is for. The muckrakers, the Robber Barons, the Captains of Industry were all subsidized by the Government to begin with. This time, however, they would be regulated.And, yes, Oh My God, we will have to have protective tariffs again. If you think, we did away with them, think again. Look at Nafta. Check on sugar beets. Check the protection given to the U.S. corn growers and how the tariff decimated the Mexican agriculture, which in turn fueled mass immigration of poor, displaced Mexican farmers across the border into the U.S. Look at all the subsidies given to United States agriculture interests, which is maybe 10% of the population. Where are the subsidies to put the other 90% to work in manufacturing? Finally, if the Government doesn’t want to order American companies back home, then we should tax the wealth these corporations receive from manufacturing on foreign shores. The tax should be significant and then used to build our infrastructure, to build an
    energy program, to provide for social needs, and education. If the on-going crisis in the Gulf of Mexico does nothing to end our dependence on oil, there is no hope. If Obama would just order that all Federal trucks, cars, and buildings use natural gas, we would put millions to work. The gas is there, tapped. Conversion would be quick, within 5 years, and it’s cheap. Instead, Obama tells BP to go ahead and create an island in the Artic Ocean, so they can say they are on land, and therefore, can drill, baby, drill! Now, who is the “sheeple”, M-R, that permit this, hmmmm?

  7. Who are the sheeple? Those empty-headed people who are easily led by propagandists who are corporate shills and/or finance shills. The one’s who vote year after year against their own financial security and future. That’s who are sheeple!

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