Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lets Play A Game

There is a lot of hate out there and there are a lot of stupid people too. Put them together and the results are devastating. The people of Oak Creek try to grapple with the idea that some racist fucktard living among them walked into a Sikh temple on Sunday and killed six people and wounded many others.

That is bad enough.

That he chose that location because of their ethnicity or religious affiliation is worse. Did Wade Page choose that temple because he mistook them for Muslims or was it enough they just weren't Caucasian?

Wade Page's hatred was extreme and socially unacceptable. How convenient for those who dabble around the fringes of soft racism and hatred. Their requests for prayers for the poor people of Oak Creek were splashed across their Facebook pages with no acknowledgement that they themselves have practiced the kind racism people like Wade Page read and believed.

If you have read this blog for a while, you know that we follow along several list-serves and online communities of local tea party groups. The Siren hasn't written about them lately because groups who haven't followed the pied piper of Americans for Prosperity have found themselves to be increasingly irrelevant - mostly just mumbling to themselves.

The Patriot Voices of SE Wisconsin has been one of our favorites. They got their start in 2009 as the "912 Patriots of SE Wisconsin" - when we first joined. Along the way they fractured and went their own ways.

The 912 Patriots (originally a Glenn Beck operation) was organized by Raydene Edenhofer. Raydene now operates her own website which hasn't been updated since last summer's recall of Bob Wirch. The best thing about Raydene's website is the splash page which triggers rock anthem "Wake Up America (Before It's Too Late)."

The words go like this:

Wake up
Wake up America
before it’s too late
They are trying to make you fade away
they are trying to kill your faith

Everyday you are invaded
your soil is desecrated
politicians turn their back
you’re under attack
you’re under attack

They are trying to erase your borders
the UN wants to give you orders
they are trying to sell your pride
it’s time to wake up
now it’s time to fight

Wake up
Wake up America
before it’s too late
They are trying to make you fade away
they are trying to kill your faith

The truth has died
the media bias lies
they want to divide
the enemy is inside
the enemy is inside

Brainwashed from too much tv
you are getting weak you are getting bleak
they are trying to sell your jobs
please wake up now
till there’s some hope

Wake up
Wake up America
before it’s too late
They are trying to make you fade away
they are trying to kill your faith

God is being banned
from our schools from our land
we gotta fight we gotta stand
for the past for our future
or it’ll be the end

They’re trying to change your constitution
in the name of evolution
they have the right to kill a child
they call it the right to choose...
I just call it crime

Wake up
Wake up America
before it’s too late
They are trying to make you fade away
they are trying to kill your faith

In the name of greed they are selling your future
but there’s still hope for you America
now it’s the time to wake up and fight...
now it’s the time... or you will die

Yea, wow. Can't you just see the Wade Pages of the world rocking out to that ditty?

Now Raydene went her own way with BFF, Wisconsin Senate candidate Pam Stevens who is running against Bob Wirch in November. The 912 Patriots online community became the "Patriot Voices of SE Wisconsin." Sondra Davis is the administrator of the Patriot Voices. Our membership just transferred over pretty much uninterrupted.

Over the last couple of years the members of both groups have had their moments of shrill fanaticism. The Voices/912ers love their guns, they think Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and they are certain martial law is imminent - you know just like the rest of us.

In their more famous moments they posted emails from active members that said stuff like: 

“The Muslims gather like roaches in small communities…”

“No Muslim should be allowed to hold office anywhere in the United States or in any non-Muslim country period… Allowing them in is no different than allowing a communist into office, or a Nazi…”

“The Islamic mosques and Islamic schools should be closed as they are dens of evil full of followers…”

and this:

“Revolution sounds good to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“This is the LAST straw. This muslim in the White House has tipped his hand… I have had it with trying to fight them using the law… THIS OVERTHROW OF OUR COUNTRY IS DIBERATE. IT IS TIME THAT WE STOP PUSSY FOOTING AROUND WITH THESE TRADERS… This is not going to stop without revolution. The elections are fixed, the laws are changing to imprison us…”

The 912/Patriot Voices don't consider themselves to be a hate group, just a group of concerned citizens interested in educating each other on the issues.

 I believe them, don't you?

So, we performed an experiment with our list of emails we don't even bother to read anymore. We searched them for keywords to see how many came up on a particular subject or word:

Sikh - 4 emails
Sharia - 67 emails
Arab - 74 emails
Islam - 183 emails
Muslim - Well over 200 emails

Just educating each other on the issues. A recent one which caught our eye was from just a few weeks ago on July 2nd - a sensational story that got a lot of attention from the "patriot" crowd.

The story read "Muslim Mob ASSAULTS Christians in Michigan."

Wow. That's crazy.

The email circulated was from Act for America. Their mission states in part:
"ACT! for America is a non-partisan, non-sectarian organization whose mission is to give Americans concerned about national security, terrorism, and the threat of radical Islam, a powerful, organized, informed and mobilized voice.   
Whether the specific threat is violent jihad, stealth jihad, the advance of sharia law, the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, or the scourge of political correctness which is enabling the rise of radical Islam, ACT! for America stands ready to take action as the largest national security grassroots organization in America."
The story is about how "peaceful Christians" were "stoned" at a Dearborn Arab festival. They don't mention that the "peaceful Christians" showed up with anti-Muslim posters and a dead pig's head on a stake, shouted at festival goers and then wanted the police to protect them when their race-baiting caused a controversy.

In fact, the "peaceful Christians" weren't stoned at all - they were mocked by children who threw garbage at them as they retreated from the festival.

Only Fred Phelps felt their pain.

When we looked online for more about the fake "stoning" story, we noticed that the very same video and story circulated by the Patriot Voices of SE Wisconsin was also circulated by Stormfront - the ultra extreme white supremacist hate group that Wade Page belonged to.

The exact same video.

No members of either group set the story straight to their members about what really happened that day. Just comment after comment about how Muslims were infiltrating our society.

Wade Page did not belong to either the 912 Patriots or the Patriot Voices of SE Wisconsin that we are aware of. In fact we don't know if he was ever aware of them at all. We are certain that each member of both groups feel remorse and disgust by his actions on Sunday.

What is true that whether groups like the 912/Patriot Voices know it or not they are circulating the same kind of mis-information, hate and racism that compel people like Wade Page to action.

Are we exaggerating the effect groups like this have in a community where fear is legitimized and racism is embraced? Are we unfairly assigning responsibility to groups like this for the actions of others?

Why don't we ask the people of Oak Creek?