Monday, March 17, 2008

Hate speech?

I wished that Americans in general would think about an issue before judging. I would agree that the following speech this Reverend made just after Sept 11 was done in very poor timing and set in a very poor tone (very much in line with the tone of a later speech, which I do consider something very close to a hate speech).

The point about Hiroshima is controversial. There is still debate over whether it had to be done. I myself am not sure about this. My opinion, however, is that Nagasaki was unnecessary.
As for the other poorly-made foreign policy decisions over the decades after world war two, in spite of the distaste of the way the Reverend presented it, I would have to agree with the spirit of his words. American foreign policy has been dubious and it is a long-held view of mine that many Americans (actually, people in general, myself included) feel little to nothing in response to deaths in other countries, sometimes even if it is a direct act of American foreign policy. I believe the primary reason is that we are so far removed from the suffering and the pain inflicted on others.

As a result, I agree ... people here have no right to feel indignant, sad and hurt yes, but not indignant about the attack on 9/11. It is a very indirect swing of cause and effect. It is horrific event, for sure. I was personally so downcast by the event (I am not a US citizen), just by the sheer tragedy of the event that I could not work or smile or laugh for a week. If people think very carefully about it, the perpetrators of the event did a terrible thing, evil by it's very nature. However, I also strongly believe that the source of the evil and the hatred seeded in these people were indirectly affected by a sense of injustice, perceived rightly or wrongly, about US foreign policy. So many of us forget, this is not a black and white world.

Anyway, unfortunately, I think Senator Obama had rather prematurely condemned his former pastor in this respect. I do not, however, disagree with Obama for condemning the following tirade from the same Reverend:

I think can understand where Reverend Jeremiah's frustrations come from and he even speaks some truth, but this is to me, definitely hate speech and a clear case of religion gone wrong in America. I mean, why can't priests and pastors give useful, level-headed sermons of right and wrong backed up with facts in an even tone that is meant to help people think? Why do all these "charismatic" churches always have to sensationalize issues in this fashion? Just look at the people reacting to him as he speaks ... it's outright freaky, imho.

Anyway, here's Obama's response to the issue. As I have said, I feel he has prematurely denounced the Reverend's statements about U.S. foreign policy, which had more grains of truth than people were comfortable with.

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