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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Evil lies

I'm sitting here crying and shaking.

I've mentioned the "ladies" before - a bunch of women I meet with on Shabbat afternoons. We take it in turns to teach the Torah portion of the week.

They all (but one) voted for Bush twice. I try to avoid politics with them, although I make no secret I'm a moderate-to-liberal Democrat.

Today, one of them sent around this email of lies:



A pilot's perspective on Obama
                  ,,,,,,,,,,DO I HAVE THIS STRAIGHT?
HIS FATHER WAS A BLACK AFRICAN MUSLIM FROM KENYA
WE HAVE SEEN PICTURES OF HIS AFRICAN FAMILY.
HIS MOTHER WAS A WHITE AMERICAN ATHEIST FROM KANSAS
WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OF HIS AMERICAN FAMILY?
HIS FATHER DESERTED HIS MOTHER WHEN HE WAS ONLY TWO YEARS OLD AND WENT BACK TO AFRICA BY WAY OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY.      HOW?  WAS HIS FATHER WEALTHY?
HIS MOTHER MARRIED AN INDONESIAN MUSLIM AND THEN MOVED TO JAKARTA WHERE HE WAS ENROLLED IN A MUSLIM SCHOOL .
WHEN HE REACHED HIGH SCHOOL AGE HIS MOTHER SENT HIM TO HAWAII TO BE WITH HIS WHITE GRANDPARENTS AND HE WAS PUT INTO AN EXPENSIVE PRIVATE SCHOOL.  HE LATER WENT TO HARVARD UNIVERSITY      HOW?  WERE HIS GRANDPARENTS RICH?
HE LIVES IN A $1.4 MILLION HOUSE OBTAINED THROUGH A DEAL WITH A WEALTHY FUNDRAISER.    HOW?
HE 'WORKED' AS A CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN CHICAGO .  HE HAS NEVER HELD A PRODUCTIVE JOB OR RECEIVED A PAYCHECK THAT WAS NOT GOVERNMENT-FUNDED AND/OR TAYPAYER SUPPORTED.
THE PRESIDENCY IS NOT A CIVIL RIGHTS POSITION, NOR IS IT SUBJECT TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION SET ASIDES;  ON-THE-JOB TRAINING WON'T CUT IT.
HE ENTERED POLITICS AT THE STATE LEVEL AND THEN THE NATIONAL LEVEL WHERE HE HAS MINIMAL EXPERIENCE.
HE IS PROUD OF HIS 'AFRICAN HERITAGE'  (A FATHER WHO GOT A WHITE GIRL PREGNANT AND DESERTED HER).
WHERE IS THE PRIDE IN HIS 'WHITE HERITAGE'? (A MOTHER WHO FLAUNTED CONVENTION AND DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD).
SOME MIGHT THINK THERE WAS NOT  MUCH TO BE PROUD OF EITHER WAY
HE BELONGS, AND HAS BELONGED FOR OVER 20 YEARS, TO AN 'AFRO-CENTRIC' CHURCH IN CHICAGO THAT HATES WHITES, HATES JEWS, AND BLAMES AMERICA FOR ALL THE WORLD'S PERCEIVED FAULTS.  (INCLUDING CREATING THE AIDs VIRUS IN ORDER TO INFLICT IT ON AFRICANS).
HE REPEATEDLY WHITEWASHES THE PASTOR, HIS CHURCH AND THE MEMBERS WHO CHEERED AFTER HEARING VITRIOLIC TIRADES AGAINST AMERICA ..
HE COULD NOT CONFRONT HIS PASTOR BUT HE WANTS US TO BELIEVE HE CAN CONFRONT NORTH KOREA AND IRAN ?
                               YEAH  RIGHT ! !
DURING HIS VERY BRIEF TIME IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE HE HAS MANAGED TO AMASS THE NUMBER ONE ULTRA LIBERAL VOTING RECORD OUT OF THE ONE HUNDRED MEMBERS.
HE HAS VOTED CONSISTENTLY FOR BIGGER GOVERNMENT AND HIGHER TAXES.  HE HAS VOTED FOR BIG ENTITLEMENTS AND LEGISLATION THAT WOULD SEVERELY CURTAIL AMERICA 'S ABILITY TO FIGHT TERRORISM AND TO PROTECT OUR BORDERS AND OUR NATIONAL INTERESTS AROUND THE WORLD.
BUT,  HE IS A GOOD ORATOR.  ISN'T THAT A COMFORT?
YEAH,  I THINK I SEE HOW WELL HE COULD UNITE THE COUNTRY.
I THINK THE TRUTH IS THAT HE HOPES NO ONE WILL PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,   LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO OUR NEW CHIEF PILOT. HE HAS NEVER FLOWN AN AIRPLANE,  IN FACT HE HAS NEVER EVEN SAT IN THE COCKPIT, BUT HE SAYS HE HAS RIDDEN ON PLANES BEFORE. WE ARE SURE HE WILL GUIDE US SAFELY THROUGH THE STORMS WE MAY ENCOUNTER ON THIS FLIGHT.
 PEOPLE WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD THE STORY ABOUT THE WOLF HIDING IN SHEEP'S  CLOTHING  SO HE CAN DESTROY THEM FROM WITH-IN ? THE HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL, DO YOU NOT HAVE EYES TO SEE IT ?
THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE YOU VOTE FOR THIS GUY!  CONSIDER YOUR KIDS & GRANDKIDS
THEIR FUTURE IS IN OUR VOTING HANDS.




I wrote and rewrote and even tried to refute it point by point, and finally came up with this email:


This is an incredibly hard email for me to write.  I've rewritten it a half dozen times already.

There's a lot of those anti-Obama emails around.  They have a bunch of things in common - they are all shouted, they all say ugly things (or things they believe are ugly) and they are, in the main, highly inaccurate.

I can think of any number of reasons why a person wouldn't want to vote for Obama -  you think his tax plan is bad, you don't like his views on foreign policy, you honestly believe that a Democrat will make the current financial situation worse.  You believe he'd be bad for Israel. You don't like his choice of vice-president.  You think he should wear something besides the same suit and shirt.  You're a dedicated Republican and couldn't EVER vote for a Democrat.  Most importantly, you  believe John McCain will be a better president than Obama.

This email, which is full of shouted inaccuracies (all caps = shouting), should not be a reason.  This is not a tactic anyone should endorse.

Please.  Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama .  Check out the long list of documentation.  Remember that during his two-year run for the president, he has been researched and attacked and gone over more deeply than any other candidate before.

I don't expect this, or the many, many, many other articles about the man to change anyone's mind about who to vote for.  I just don't like nasty lies speaking to the worst of human nature.



And I did send it, but I dithered about sending it and now I don't know if I did the right thing. But I had to say something.

Comments
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That's really a bunch of vitriolic BS. Good for you that you stood up against it.

I'm also a bit baffled about this:

HE HAS NEVER HELD A PRODUCTIVE JOB OR RECEIVED A PAYCHECK THAT WAS NOT GOVERNMENT-FUNDED AND/OR TAYPAYER SUPPORTED.

I work as a school librarian and a companion to the disabled. All my paychecks are taxpayer supported. I find it odd that anyone could think this equals a non-productive job.

That one got me big time.

1. Up until he ran for office, he was mostly employed by private organizations and institutions (University of Chicago Law School).

2. While productive is a matter of opinion, he *taught* and helped people help themselves, so in my opinion - productive.

3. As you said, there is nothing wrong with having a taxpayer supported job, and often a lot *right*.

4. What non-government paycheck has John McCain ever received?

You were clear, you were polite, and you were firm. I think that is what you needed to be, even if doesn't change anyone's mind. It will at least make them pause and *think*.

I hope so. I think you can guess why this is tearing me up, though.

I remember another post on a Sunday morning.

I think you did absolutely the right thing, by both global justice and your own conscience, and I also agree with every word you wrote, and I hug you as much as I possibly can across the Internet.

*hugs*

*HUGS*

Thank you.

*hugs*

First of all, part of the damning thing about that mail is that much of it *is* accurate... from a certain point of view. And then using the worst sort of inflammatory language. *sigh*

I think that your response email was a very reasoned and reasonable response to a temper tantrum. :)

Tell them to go sit in a corner next time... *hugagain*

Yeah - a lot of it is accurate but phrased damningly. It's an old technique. But some of it is pure lie.

Yishar kochech to you for sending your response, which is thoughtful, measured, and polite. What they are sending out is lashon hara, plain and simple, and I applaud your answering it the way you did.

You might find Jews for Obama useful; and should any of these ladies ask for more info (doubtful, but possible) you might point them to Rabbis for Obama.

Shavua tov!

That first link was wonderful - I loved the Barry Cohen article.

Or don't you get a chill whenever someone says, "The president of the US needs to be a white Christian"?

The Rabbis for Obama - no way would these ladies listen to a bunch of non-Orthodox rabbis. This is just truth, even if the issue is not a halachic one.

You did the right thing, and were much more calm and measured than I would have been.

You didn't see the first couple....

I wasn't joking about how often I rewrote it.

I like and, usually, respect these ladies. I don't want to lose them as friends, believe it or not.

your response is just perfect - a good counter to a nasty original, without losing your temper or sinking to that level.

Oh, I lost my temper. I just edited that out. Repeatedly.

I just refuse to be on the same level as that original email.

I think you did the right thing. Well done. ::hugs::

Thank you. Hugs.

Brava!

I know how hard it is to confront friends, acquaintances and co-workers about this sort of thing, especially if you usually keep silent to avoid arguments, but I agree with the folks above.

Your reply was a mitzvah, pure and simple. Keeping silent would be tacitly endorsing the ugly, ugly distortions in that e-mail.

So far, no response. I don't like political arguments (I stick to people with the same pov for those. :))

Thank you.

That's a fantastic response. Calm and measured but angry. Good job!

Thank you!

Excellent responce, MamaDeb! You replied with more care and concern than the original sender did.

It's a pity they won't listen. But that is something fear of different does to people.

These are wonderful women, you understand. They're involved in their synagogues, they're raising or have raised lovely families. Most are highly educated.

But there are issues on which they are blind. I'm sure there are issues on which I am blind, too. The difference is, if there is, I want to know so I can open my eyes.

oh, hon. *hug*

Your response was evenhanded and polite and moreover, necessary.

B

Thank you. Thank you.

I think a reply was necessary, if only to make it clear that she had not succeeded in bullying you. Your reply was courteous and to the point. And if she should decide she no longer wishes to be her friend, it will be her choice, and the consequence of her sending you an offensive (there is no other term for it) email.

You behaved with admirable restraint under provocation. Not my country, I know, but whoever becomes President the rest of the world will be affected, and what concerns me most about McCain is that so many of his supporters have behaved so despicably.

She's not a bully, you know. She's a kind and generous person who even asked if her brother-in-law could employ me.

But some things can't be let lie.

Thank you.

Good for you. You absolutely did the right thing, and I'm impressed with the grace with which you did it.

I don't know why, but the word "grace" means more to me than anything. Thank you. HUGS

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