Let me make one thing clear right off the bat. I agree with about 1% of what Mario, my brother, has to say. Heís a liberal wacko and he is wrong on every issue you can imagine. Heís even wrong on some you canít imagine yet because we havenít figured out what they are. But be assured, when we do, he will be on the wrong side of those issues, too.
My brother lives in a fantasyland where government has to protect us from evil business owners who would unfairly rape us in the marketplace. He believes it has been because of governmentís benevolence that we have taken great strides in eliminating poverty and hunger in America. Only through government will the American people have adequate healthcare coverage and efficient schools.
Heís just wrong on damn near everything. But on one issue a speck of doubt has crept into my thinking as of late.
In case you missed it, Mario was on Hannity & Colmes Friday night defending the estimable Jesse Jackson. A difficult task to be sure, but he did it in the time honored liberal way: Short on facts, heavy on rhetoric.
Then the e-mails came. Scads of Ďem. Now I've gotten my share of hate e-mail. It was particularly bad after an appearance on Politically Incorrect during last years election debacle in which I had the nerve to admit Al Gore was trying to steal the election. So I'm far from over-sensitive to negative comments from others.
Most of the e-mails Mario received were dismissive of his thinking, some were vulgar, others were downright offensive. There were even several writers that were way too fixated on enemas and excrement in general. But thatís a different story.
But, disturbingly, there were about 10% that, inexplicably, attacked his ethnicity.
If it were just one or two, you might be able to shrug them off as irrelevant crackpots. But this wasnít one or two. As much as I wanted to deny it, there was a definite pattern.
For example, a fellow named Jerry claims to be a former Marine Corps Captain. He says Mario has a "typical WOP attitude." Now, being of Italian descent myself, I may just have to disagree with the Captain as to there being a "typical WOP attitude" about anything, never mind the likes of Jesse Jackson. My father, a liberal if there ever was one, despised the good reverend. I have an Aunt, a true-blue Reagan Republican, who thinks Jackson has done some good things for African-Americans.
Besides, in the military I served in, the know-nothing Captain would have found himself in the brig for such a "typical WASP attitude." Apparently he wouldnít have wanted one of those WOPís in a foxhole next to him because they probably would have been too busy cooking pasta to protect his sorry, worthless ass.
As a little intellectual exercise in imagination, why donít we contemplate just what Captain Jerry thinks about Blacks. Is there really any question?
Then there were others who took the opposite approach saying Mario couldnít be a real Italian-American because "real" Italian-Americans just donít think the way he does.
This argument is as justifiable as Marioís argument that an African-American who doesnít toe the liberal line is being disloyal to his people.
Another "gentleman" decided physical characteristics were open for ridicule. It seems, according to this one particular reader, that Marioís intelligence is inversely related to the size of his nose. Big nose, small brain.
This isnít the first stereotype about the size of certain body parts with which Italian-Americans have had to contend. And if we follow the same logic the reader made I must be very dumb indeed. Of course, maybe thatís just a myth.
Then there was the incredible e-mail I received chastising me for posting the above mentioned e-mails. It would make conservatives look bad, the writer said. Well, I am very sorry, but it is not my job to assist such people in looking good.
Iím not, for a moment, accepting the criticism of liberals and their allies in the press. Liberals have used the civil rights movement for their own personal gain for years. Itís the liberals that are content to keep minorities in crumbling schools and rotting inner cities as long as they get their votes.
I guess I just always figured conservatives were different. It was, after all, the Democratic Party that defended slavery at the price of civil war. It was Democrats that kept Blacks from voting wherever they could. It was Democrats that put Japanese-Americans in internment camps. It was Republicans that pushed through the first civil rights legislation in this country with the Civil Rights Act of 1957. And it was a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats that supported the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.
Conservatives have gotten use to the race baiting of liberals and the media. Sometimes though, it just may be possible that they are a little closer to right than we would like to admit.
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