Haters do all they can to keep others down

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

A couple of weeks ago in commemoration of the passage of women’s right to vote, I attended a viewing of "Iron Jawed Angels." The film detailed some of the struggles the suffragists endured in their determination to achieve full citizenship. The movie was just another reminder of what people who are different than what some people consider "the only genuine Americans" are often put through to gain equal rights. Over the years of our history, we have gone through agonizing periods, where it has been drilled through people’s heads over and over again that the only real Americans are white, male and heterosexual. Just as in today’s world, anytime anyone other than a white, heterosexual male breaks down a barrier, we’ll go through it all over again.

In my family we have been listening to this tale for seven generations in Missouri. It is no truer now than it was when the first generation heard it. Frankly, in my lifetime alone, I’ve heard the conversation enough times to be bored with it many, many years ago. Even though they were here first, it wasn’t until 1924 that Native Americans were allowed to be citizens, so the rest of us were lucky to get included at all. I suppose that after this current lurid display of political discourse, thousands of people will be driven from the voting booths simply because they don’t want to encounter unpleasantness. I am truly embarrassed as an American, not only because of the inability of some to behave in an orderly manner, but because they are being encouraged to behave that way by other politicians and we appear to lack the means to enforce order.

These folks fail to realize an important fact. Chaos and disorder do not remain where they are planted. They branch out in both seen and unseen quarters. For those of us who felt the unrelenting pain of Sept. 11, the last thing we ought to want is to create circumstances by which unexpected disruptions can occur without warning. No one should be interested in writing the kind of script that encourages deception and acts of destruction. Do you not remember that fateful day?

Tens of thousands of people learn about and are willing to embrace other cultures every year. So, these unrepentant haters and abusers realize that the time is getting shorter until they are outnumbered and become powerless. They spared the white Alice Pauls of this society no more than they spared the black civil rights activists. We know the kind of treatment anyone who is different is likely to receive so long as these haters are in control. And unfortunately, in their arrogance they delight in showing their true colors to foreigners so the whole world understands their behavior. Anyone who believes this anger is about health care is simply wrong.

Most reasonable people don’t believe that any race or sex has a monopoly on leadership skills. In a democracy everyone should have the right to develop his or her skills to reach their potential. People who don’t accept this should move to a desert island where they can be in charge and control whatever individuals that will allow them to do so.

I doubt the haters and abusers will ward off progress. Probably that is because there are too many who see themselves as leaders and too few of themwho will accept the role of followers. They have such a hard time trying to make the rest of us hate them as much as they hate themselves, that it's impossible for them to win.

The majority continues to move forward, find areas of agreement, get on with solutions to problems and treat even those with whom they disagree with dignity and respect. How in the world do you win a hate campaign with that kind of opposition?

That’s how women won the right to vote and that’s how minorities won the civil rights struggle. They rose above the haters. So hopefully, young men and women can profit from the examples of these two movements and soldier on to create a better world for their children and grandchildren. Being on the wrong sides of issues and continuously losing the big battles as a result of that stance doesn’t seem to make the haters any smarter. They persist in using hate language, trying to degrade their competitors and pounding their fists in the false belief that this strategy will somehow win them victories in their war against education and reason.

Robbing your lives of years of quality living is too great a price to pay for hating your neighbor. That’s why smart people learn to love theirs quickly. Life only gets better after that.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Allan Sharrock September 23, 2009 | 12:10 p.m.

"I am truly embarrassed as an American, not only because of the inability of some to behave in an orderly manner, but because they are being encouraged to behave that way by other politicians and we appear to lack the means to enforce order."

We appear to lack the means to enforce order? So you are recommending that we limit the right to protest? The freedom of speech? Humm.... It seems to me that a person who advocates for rights of humans and has lived a long life in America would scoff at those ideas. In fact I would think you should be outraged. You probably would have been if anyone else had written the same thing many years ago. As far as enforcing order I am sure that there were a lot of racist people who would have loved during the civil rights movement for people to "behave" and not protested at all. Had people done so the movement might not have ever occurred. I know you have written or write for the Sedalia Democrat. It appears that you are not an objective columnist. Furthermore you make the accusation that a political party is urging public discourse. Do you have any proof? I am willing to bet that you do not attend any of the local Republican meetings. I have attended a few and the leadership in fact urged people to BE civil with our disagreements. So why don’t you just admit that you are really a Democrat, under the guise of a journalist, who writes articles scolding those who disagree with your political beliefs.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 23, 2009 | 1:53 p.m.

When those who have achieved legal civil rights still play the "victim" role or live in the past, yet attain an education, power, influence or in this case "journalistic exposure" why do they choose to express disdain for America and not show gratitude?
Expressing hatred, resenting or blaming white heterosexual males for the ills of the world is asinine.
("Anyone who believes this anger is about health care is simply wrong.")
It's not even about health care.
It's about the error of focusing primarily on insurance and not the health care industry, the health care providers, private sector nonprofit health and human care service agencies and supporting entities.
It's about bad policies, poorly written bills and missed opportunities.
It's about "governmentalism" vs. capitalism and the free market.
It's about how we improve America and not how to destroy it.
Haters do not keep other people down.
Haters destroy.
You are a hater, Ms. Rose M. Nolen and America is your target.

(Report Comment)
Paul Welch October 8, 2009 | 9:06 p.m.

I think what really PO'ed Ray and Allen is that Rose is embarrassed.

I'm not sure where Allen is going with his accusation that Rose is a Democrat who writes articles critical of right-wing nut-cases. I mean, that's a given....isn't it? That's what column writers do. They write about and support what they believe in. So, Allan, I don't think Rose needs to admit she is a Democrat anymore than she needs to admit she is a woman. It is as plain as day. You don't need to admit that you are Republican, or lack basic critical thinking skills. That's as plain as day, too.

As far as your somewhat more legitimate concerns. Supporting freedom is a little different than supporting anarchy, don't you think? I know you are upset because you feel it's your turn to get out there and protest and liberals are telling you to sit down and behave. I know there is a tendency for you to think all things are pretty much equal. But if someone has to explain to you that protesting during the civil rights is not the same as protesting against mythical death panels, then you are a lost cause.

Rose wasn't talking about your town hall meeting; she was talking about the very well known meetings seen on all the news channels. She was talking about people wearing guns near political rallies, and people carrying signs implying violence and even politicians implying such in their own words and moreover their lack of words condemning such foolish and potentially dangerous rants.

Ray, I don't know how to approach your first sentence. You are clearly an ignorant bigot. What do you want Rose to do, open each column with "Before I go on, I'd like to thank you all for my freedom"?

Rose writes about improving America. Forget America! I think self-improvement is the key. Allen and Ray, the first step to some sorely need self-improvement would probably be embarrassment. That is a good sign that one understands something is wrong, like when my zipper is down in public, I am embarrassed, so I pull it up. If I didn't recognize that going around with my zipper down then it might be a sign that I have mental problems.

Like when over 58% of Republicans question whether or not Obama is an American or not. Well, that's like going around with your zipper down, and it ought to be embarrassing. Sadly, it's not to the Birthers, but it is to me as an American. And it is starting to embarrass republicans like Lindsey Graham. If you were embarrassed, Ray and Allan, then you might be motivated to take a course in critical thinking skills. Or, I don't know... maybe hygiene, or color co-ordination. And then you might start to feel better about yourselves and not be threatened by people who read books or dish out legitimate criticism about this country.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 8, 2009 | 9:52 p.m.

How many arrests were made during the G20 protest compared to the September 12th march on Washington and what was the attendance for each?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 8, 2009 | 10:04 p.m.

Know thy enemy:

("WAYNE HEIMBACH, a former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organizer and a witness to the events in Chicago, and Bill Roberts, a member of the editorial board of the ISR, recall the issues and lessons from that important historical event.

Wayne Heimbach
CAN YOU tell us a little bit about yourself? What were doing in 1968? What was the feel of the city?
I CAME to Chicago in the fall of 1967. I had been working with a community organization initiated by the SDS in Minneapolis, Minneapolis Community Union Project (MCUP), but the pull of Chicago was too great. Everyone was talking about the Democratic Convention coming to Chicago. I originally came to national SDS at the print shop in the national office and my first introduction to the organization was to join some of the staff in a trip to Washington D.C., for a march on the Pentagon (October 1967). By February 1968 I changed jobs and became one of two SDS regional organizers (called regional travelers) working out of the national office. It was a good job—twelve-hour days, $5 a week, and a place to stay.
It was an interesting time to be at SDS. It was growing and trying to find its way through a range of competing ideologies—from what should the attitude be toward socialism, should we support abortion, was the Democratic Party relevant. We also had to deal with the reality of organizing in a very uptight city. We had very obvious police agents looking for work in the national office (we put them to work bundling SDS’s newsletter New Left Notes) and we had the fear of what the reaction of government forces would be. As we got closer to the Democratic Convention, you would see army troops at the top of ramps on the Kennedy Expressway near downtown Chicago.")

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 9, 2009 | 3:52 a.m.

ray shapiro do ya have to quote the entire article? Can't ya say some stuff in your own words?

Come on man ya posting is really lacking real heart these days like it once did.

Not only here but on the Tribune too.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock October 9, 2009 | 8:58 a.m.

Paul did I attack you, No. In fact I don't think I belittled Rose just pointed out the obvious. If you cannot follow my statements then maybe you should stick to the funny pages. Rose has the right to defend her articles online like other writers have and I welcome her comments.

(Report Comment)
Paul Welch October 9, 2009 | 5:37 p.m.

Allan, I agree. We both pointed out the obvious. Did you just imply that only Rose has a right to defend her article? Otherwise, you again just pointed out the obvious. I didn't think that was how it worked. Rose's article is at the top of the page. We hash it out down here. Am I missing something?

1. Rose is worried about the ugly political discourse. You think she should celebrate it, and you equate today's discourse with the civil rights movement. I disagree with you and say so here. What is it that you think I don't get?

2. You said that Rose is making accusations regarding the current political discourse. I disagreed, saying Rose is commenting on the obvious ugly discourse and that it is plainly on TV, so she doesn't have to prove anything.

3. You asked Rose to admit something as if she were hiding something. I disagreed stating that her party affiliation is both irrelevant and obvious.

Am I following your statements?

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock October 10, 2009 | 11:27 a.m.

You are now.

You know you really don't have to be a angry blogger. Leave that to the others. Maybe you are friends with Rose and want to protect her and that is fine. But remember we didn't write the controversial article.

I never said she should celebrate the discourse. Not sure why you are suggesting otherwise.

We can agree to disagree on whether people should have the right and when and how public protests occur. We can disagree on what constitutes a valid reason to protest. I think it is a inherent right to protest anything you disagree with. While I always do wish it can be done safely I know that it will not always be the case. Thus far I would venture to guess that the conservatives are being far more civil than the G20 and anti war protesters.

You claim that she doesn't have to prove anything but maybe that should be left up to her? I find it funny how you equate the 58% "birthrater" statistic and how it embarrasses you as a American when there are the same group of 911 "truthers" who are equally off base. (At least one worked for the White House, Van Jones.) Do they embarrass you also? Of course mentioning them wouldn't have helped your sleight against republicans would it? It really doesn't do any good to mention a republican who says something dumb because lord knows we can both blog all day with dumb comments from both sides. It seems you are taking this all too personal, relax.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock October 10, 2009 | 2:28 p.m.

"Birther" sorry for the typo. I am sure there are others.

(Report Comment)
Paul Welch October 10, 2009 | 6:27 p.m.

Typos are the great equalizer. We all do them and we should look beyond them. Reasonable people can "get" each other without resorting to verbal swordplay. Take my use of the word "celebrate". Of course I didn't mean to have a party and shoot off fireworks. I meant to embrace something as in to celebrate freedom. If you are saying Rose should scoff at and be outraged at thoughts of repressing freedom of expression, then I was simply paraphrasing that when I claimed that you said Rose should celebrate free and open political discourse.

I'm afraid I don't see what's funny, and I like to have a good laugh. If I give an example of something embarrassing (in this case Birther Republicans), are you saying that I am required to give an example of some democratic embarrassment? Some kind of rule? I think that's your job. But why would I mention Truthers? They are small potatoes and non-partisan whack jobs. Just your typical conspiracists. How is it funny that I don't mention them? What? Did milk spill out your nose when you read that I was embarrassed by Birthers? Did you snort, "What a flake! He conveniently doesn't mention Truthers!" What are you talking about, Allan?!?

But yeah, Truthers are embarrassing. How many Truthers are there? Where are they? Van Jones is gone and he unequivocally recanted is brief relationship with that group. In fact, Van Jones is a perfect example of someone who was capable of being embarrassed, and zipped up his fly. But that was not enough. He was run out of the game by a pasty-faced, hysterical cry baby. That was embarrassing for the democrats, too. Caving in like that.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.