A project of the Center for Community Change

Hate in the Mainstream

I was sitting down to watch my favorite tv show, when I accidentally turned on Lou Dobbs…. and listened to him for about 5 minutes (I couldn’t change the channel, I was mesmerized by the sharp stare in his eyes) ranting and raving, and spreading complete lies about the drivers license bill passed by Spitzer in New York earlier last month.

I asked myself one question: How could one man’s mistruths, veiled (or not so veiled) racism, and scapegoating be considered mainstream broadcasting fodder?

Then another one followed: He isn’t alone, is he?

No he certainly isn’t. Hate groups around the country are hiding their funding sources, changing their names, and carting out their bags of mistruths to the American public in mainstream media more than ever before.

This has happened in the past. America has gone through waves of Jim Crow, McCarthy, and countless other movements to attack and demonize the “other” among us- usually to prevent the American public from focusing on the real issues at the heart of our country : wars, education, healthcare, the economy.

Lou Dobbs and his band of merry scapegoaters are just singing the same song with different words- and the Anti-Defamation League has released a new report to chronicle this latest trend. It’s only by exposing hate in the mainstream that we can root it out in our own communities, and begin to move forward, move on. Because at the bottom of the immigration debate is a choice.

It’s a choice for each and every American: Do I follow Dobbs, or do I take the high-road. As I said above, we’ve been faced with this choice before, and back then some people chose to stop black kids from going to high school, to spit in their faces, and some chose to hold the door open for them.

It’s time for us to ask Americans to decide which side of history they will be on. Dobbs, or the side of dignity and respect.

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