[sixties-l] Tolerance and Compassion...in a pig's eye

From: Uriah768@aol.com
Date: Sat Sep 22 2001 - 00:18:51 EDT

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    Heaping insult onto injury

    <A HREF="mailto:dsaunders@sfchronicle.com">Debra J. Saunders</A>   Thursday, September 20, 2001

    THE SPECIAL city and its environs have a special response to the terrorist
    attacks that rocked America Sept. 11. There are flags waving in Oakland and
    Marin, which is something new, but there are also some special people who are
    using the brutal attacks to bash America as a bully country. At a memorial
    service for victims of the attacks, mind you. A man can't even mourn his
    lover in peace here. Paul Holm, 40, represented the family of his former
    partner, Mark Bingham, at the Day of Remembrance on Monday. Bingham -- bless
    him -- is believed to be one of the heroic passengers who fought back against
    the terrorists who hijacked United Airlines flight 93. Holm said of Bingham
    and fellow local hero Tom Burnett, who also fought back, "They were the one
    bright spot in a horrible day. I do believe (Mark and Tom) gave people
    something to hold onto." It's true. On a day when so many victims were
    helpless, there is comfort in the knowledge that some were able to thwart the
    destruction of a building full of people, perhaps the U.S. Capitol. Americans
    have reason to remember Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, and to
    thank them. Hence the Day of Remembrance. Nice idea, except that former San
    Francisco Supervisor Amos Brown actually used the event to attack America --
    stoking some residents' sense of superiority on foreign policy issues. Said
    Brown: "America, America, what did you do -- either intentionally or
    unintentionally -- in the world order, in Central America, in Africa where
    bombs are still blasting?" And: "America, what did you do in the global
    warming conference when you did not embrace the smaller nations? America,
    what did you do two weeks ago when I stood at the world conference on racism,
    when you wouldn't show up?" The crowd cheered. Holm walked out. "I thought
    this was a day of remembrance and not a political event," Holm explained
    yesterday. "These were innocent people, a number of whom gave their lives for
    the country and to save other innocent people." Of all the politicians on the
    stage, only Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, publicly chided Brown. She
    noted, "the act of terrorism on Sept. 11 put those people outside the order
    of civilized behavior, and we will not take responsibility for that." Thank
    you, Nancy Pelosi. Brown is hardly the only America basher. The victims'
    ashes were still warm when The Chronicle began receiving e-mails identifying
    the United States as a bully nation that asked for these attacks. The U.S.
    bashers versus Pelosi demonstrate a split in Bay Area liberalism: It's Blame
    America First -- even for violence committed by others against us -- versus
    Love America First. One side is so politically correct that it only sees
    global warming and the U.S.- boycotted U.N. conference on racism; then there
    are those whose criticisms of U.S. policies don't impede their love of
    country and their fellows. Maybe the America Bashers have been so vocal
    because they see a need to separate themselves from the carnage -- to pretend
    the Bay Area isn't really part of Target America. As Gar Smith of the Earth
    Island Journal wrote last week, the terrorists' "real targets" aren't
    Americans, but "world trade and U. S. militarism." They blame the victim.
    Perhaps they think if they blame America loudly enough, maybe the terrorists
    won't strike San Francisco, because San Francisco is so superior to the rest
    of America. Except it isn't. To live in the Bay Area, is to hear countless
    love songs extolling the Special City, the tolerant Bay Area, home of culture
    and education. We are, locals imply, superior people. You wish. The Day of
    Remembrance shows that the special region is more interested in leftist
    issues than real people. When it comes time to honor men and women who died
    horribly and wrongly, the special city can't even do a simple memorial
    service justice.

     E-mail Debra J. Saunders at <A HREF="mailto:dsaunders@sfchronicle.com">dsaunders@sfchronicle.com</A>.

    Brad L. Duren
    Instructor of History
    Oklahoma Panhandle State University
    213 Hamilton Hall
    Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
    work phone: 580-349-1498
    email: Uriah768@aol.com


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