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Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns

by TChris

Racial and religious hatred breeds in an intolerant climate, and tolerance has been a limited commodity in the United States in recent years. As shocking as they should be, these sad incidents in San Jose come as no surprise:

Eight of the lawns had swastikas burned into them, including those of at least two homes with Jewish residents. A racial epithet had been burned into the lawn of a home whose residents are black, [Deputy] Helm said.

Hatred of racial and religious groups is an ongoing problem that receives too little public attention.

"Unfortunately, it is rearing its ugly head," [NAACP of San Jose president] Callender said. "Just because you don’t hear about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening."

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    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:38 PM EST
    This "blast from the past," with the news of Emmitt Till's continuing pinata dance, should delight the hearts of "traditionalists" and "conservatives" the nation over...

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:39 PM EST
    Some more of Limbaugh's friends. During the illegal 2003 recall 'election,' Monterey county (which is just down the road from San Jose county) Latino voters were confronted by men in black suits who identified themselves as from the Monterey Republican party, and who told them to go home if they knew what was best for their families. Investigation of these events was referred to Central California's new 'George Bush Jim Crow Federal Building,' where they were posted on the big board for the guffaws of what used to be the Justice Dept.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    what intolerant climate? such a blanket statement with no attribution really means nothing. what religious hatred? the contempt for christians often displayed by posters here? the hatred and contempt for jews shown by Islamic organizations in this country?

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    ...should delight the hearts of "traditionalists" and "conservatives" the nation over - Blaghdaddy Like Condi Rice and Alan Keyes, for example? As opposed to, say, Senator Byrd? You really need to pay less attention to CBC's portrayal of conservatives and spend a little time conversing with a few. Might open your mind. Some reading wouldn't hurt either: I recommend the Lincoln/Douglas debates and the Federalist papers. You've got this fixation with the idea that being conservative makes one racist. It's not only uninformed, it's also a severe injustice to conservatives who are either of other races or who died to defeat racist causes.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    what religious hatred? the contempt for christians often displayed by posters here? the hatred and contempt for jews shown by Islamic organizations in this country?
    The kind of "Christians" this Jew has contempt for are those who seek to impose their rules on the rest of us. Whether it's pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control pills, schools being forced to teach "Intelligent Design", or the proselytizing going on at the U.S. Air Force Academy, it's getting pretty ugly out there. And then there's James Dobson, who seems to be all buddy-buddy with Bill Frist and others in our government. While anti-semitism from any group concerns me a great deal, you tar all Islamic groups with the same brush. Many of them are just as appalled with recent events as the rest of us. (And even if they were all as bad as you imply... they aren't in the Senate or the White House.)

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    Most laws do seek to impose the views of a portion of society, not always the majority, on the "rest of us". Forcing a pharmacist to fill a prescription is imposing the views of a segment of society on the pharmacist. you espouse tolerance but, when push comes to shove, basically argue for christians to shut their mouths. find that right wing christian intolerance of jews(as opposed to what one finds on the left these days).

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    This once again underscores the need for hate crime legislation. Treating these acts as ordinary run-of-the-mill crimes fails to reflect the damage they do to the targeted segments of the community.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    Most laws do seek to impose the views of a portion of society, not always the majority, on the "rest of us". Forcing a pharmacist to fill a prescription is imposing the views of a segment of society on the pharmacist. you espouse tolerance but, when push comes to shove, basically argue for christians to shut their mouths. find that right wing christian intolerance of jews(as opposed to what one finds on the left these days).
    Oh, that old chestnut (followed by a statement that didn't even begin to make sense... I guess you were overcome by your feelings of oppression). The problems with it are manifold, but here's two: -- Freedom of religion gives each person the right to practice his or her religion as they see fit. It doesn't give them the right to make decisions that take away somebody else's right to make decisions about their own medical care. I'm sorry, but my physical health trumps your right to feel self-righteous and holy. -- Pharmacists aren't doctors, and they aren't patients. They aren't there to convince people that they shouldn't take the drugs they've been prescribed. If they can't do their jobs, then they shouldn't be pharmacists... or they should accept that the consequences of their actions mean they may lose their jobs. (The same is true of war protesters in the military. If you want to follow your conscience, you have to understand that the world isn't going to make it easy for you!) Anyway, by a swell coincidence, your fellow conservative Andrew Sullivan addressed your point today. Emphasis mine:
    Many claim that there is no such thing as neutrality, that law is always and everywhere the imposition of one set of values over another, and that the question is merely "whose values?" Although this has a kind of late night college dorm plausibility, it essentially abandons the entire Western attempt to conceive of law as something that aims, in so far as it is possible, to provide neutral limits on human activity in order to protect the freedom of individuals to live as they see fit. Even if this will have cultural consequences, even if this may make some feel discriminated against, it is an essential goal of the liberal state to at least aspire to fairness, equal treatment of all citizens and tolerance of value-pluralism. In that sense, liberalism's "value" is fairness, consensus and equality. And it is the only value that can appeal to Christianists, Christians, atheists, Jews, gays, straights, Muslims and Mormons alike. It is a value that may as often be celebrated when it fails as when it succeeds. And in an increasingly multicultural society, where all religions seem to be gravitating toward fundamentalism, it is more valuable today than ever. Abandoning it, as the theocons and the leftist intolerants want, is to abandon Western freedom. I believe in fighting for such freedom both abroad and at home. In equal measure.
    What he said.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    By the way, Ed could maybe learn a little bit more about a different kind of Christianity from the folks over at Christianity Today, who want something to be done about Darfur, or the writers of Sojourners, who are deeply concerned with social justice issues. If our public representatives of Christianity spent more time on trying to make the world a better place and less time on their retrograde nonsense, maybe that would make us all sit up and take notice... and our exchanges could be a little more positive and productive.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#10)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    Now THOSE are some sick individuals. Definitely liberals. Yup.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    actually, I believe right wing christians have been involved in protesting Sudanese atrocities including the slave trade. could I call the standard position here on abortion retrograde nonsense just to avoid argument on it. again, you use the word "tolerance" when what you mean is "don't voice any disagreements with me". "trying to make the world a better place"-is that also code for "don't voice any disagreements with me"? The AS view is interesting but the law as a neutral entity view is the naive one.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    actually, I believe right wing christians have been involved in protesting Sudanese atrocities including the slave trade.
    And all credit to them for doing so. I wish more people would follow their example. Just imagine if we could come together on the issue of Sudan and save some lives...
    could I call the standard position here on abortion retrograde nonsense just to avoid argument on it. again, you use the word "tolerance" when what you mean is "don't voice any disagreements with me". "trying to make the world a better place"-is that also code for "don't voice any disagreements with me"?
    No, it's code for "don't go changing the laws so that you can keep other people from exercising their freedom of choice." You can say anything you like! You notice how you haven't been banned from this site and you're given a forum for your views here? However, since it IS a discussion board, I'm discussing, and I'm disagreeing with you. Yeah, I called it "retrograde nonsense"... and then I explained WHY I thought that. You are perfectly welcome to explain why you think pharmacists SHOULD be allowed to not do their jobs properly. So go for it! If you want to discuss your views on abortion, well, that's kind of changing the ever-changing subject again, but hey, go for it. Just be prepared to be argued with! (O.K., it's also possibly code for "get your head out of your A(nti)-S(ecularism) S(tance)..." but I was trying to be ladylike!)

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:42 PM EST
    What he said, up until: "Abandoning it, as the theocons and the leftist intolerants want, is to abandon Western freedom." Leftist intolerants? Want to abandon liberal fairness and Western freedom? OK, if he says so. Sounds serious. Who are these 'leftist intolerants'? Ward Churchill? " I believe in fighting for such freedom both abroad and at home. In equal measure." IN EQUAL MEASURE. Really. Might be better to get the burr out from under OUR saddle (or rather, the Burr out of our White House) FIRST.

    Re: Swastikas Burned Into San Jose Lawns (none / 0) (#14)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:42 PM EST
    ďThis once again underscores the need for hate crime legislation.Ē I donít see why these folks canít be charged under existing laws that certainly Ďfití the crime. Vandalism, harassment, assault, etc. Iím sure there are several laws regarding organized crime and intimidation that can be creatively applied. I dislike the idea of creating a whole new class of crimes based on motive rather than intent. If a criminal intentionally harmed someone close to me I would be very resentful if they received a lighter punishment than another criminal committing the same intentional crime, but motivated by bigoted ideas. Do we or do we not need to be tougher on crime; if we do lets be consistent. Tougher on bigoted criminals only? Lame.