Sunday, March 13, 2011

Civil war in Libya: Is America next?

American right-wing radio talk-show hosts have been spewing hate into our airwaves for over 20 years now. First came the attacks on "FemiNazis". And now it's all about attacking liberals, Social Security, trade unions, Democrats, Muslims, Mexican-Americans, homosexuals, women's reproductive rights, African-Americans, government services, anyone who thinks that banks, Wall Street and semi-automatic weapons should be regulated, poor people, old people, sick people, children, teachers, etc.

Good grief!

Is there anyone at all left in the American middle and working classes that haters on talk-radio haven't attacked recently? Probably not.

However, please be aware that generating so much hate can be like opening a very deadly Pandora's box -- and that we all need to watch out. Look what just happened in Libya when the Pandora's box of hate was opened up there. Libyans began slaughtering Libyans right and left. How much hate needs to be generated in order to turn countryman against countryman like that? A lot.

I'm not saying that Americans now hate other Americans as much as Libyans hate other Libyans. But we are currently driving in that direction far too fast. Perhaps it is time to put on the brakes before we too speed over that same cliff.

Right now, Libya is a bloody mess due to hate -- just like what happened in Yugoslavia and Iraq, and also what happened during the American Civil War of 1860-1865. Yet despite these in-your-face examples, Americans still don't seem to realize that flirting with hate is like playing with fire. Hate can be just as destructive as the recent devastating tsunami in Japan -- only it is a deadly emotional tsunami instead, turning neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother, friend against friend, just like it did at Bull Run, Manassas, Shiloh, New Orleans, Murfreesboro, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Knoxville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Atlanta, Savannah, Richmond, Washington and Appomattox.

A bloody and hateful civil war has happened in America before -- and it could happen here again if we keep allowing ourselves the gluttonous indulgence of hate. And if another civil war does happen here, will it be as bloody as the ones in Kosovo or Baghdad or Tripoli -- or Gettysburg?

Do we really want civil war to break out in America again like it did at Ft. Sumter? No! But if it does happen again here, what exactly would this second American civil war be called? How about "The great bloody Limbaugh Beck Palin Fox-News Arizona Wisconsin anti-working-class anti-homosexual anti-Muslim anti-Mexican anti-Black anti-union anti-liberal anti-female pro-corporatist pro-oligarch Civil War"? Nah. Too many words. How about simply "The Fools' and Bigots' Civil War sponsored by Rich People." Yeah that sounds better.

PS: Peace Pilgrim is still my idol -- remember her? She was an elderly lady who walked over 25,000 miles on foot all across America in the 1950s, advocating peace wherever she went. I've always wanted to do that too -- except that I have bad knees and can't walk more than a few blocks at a time without pain. But maybe I could still do it anyway, perhaps in a golf cart? Would that count?

PPS: I gotta confess that even I have been doing a lot of hatin' lately -- hatin' on America's greedy and selfish big-box banks Why anyone in their right mind would invest their money (and their trust) in greedy mega-banks that are "too big to fail" (yet that feel no remorse when they cause US to fail) is way beyond me -- when there are so many healthy and honest local credit unions out there to bank with instead.

So. Let's all take our money out of CitiBank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase and all those other player banks who inflicted us with the great American housing disaster, and deposit our money in Berkeley's wonderful Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union instead