Local vocal: Don’t hate, communicate… and don’t watch FOX either


by Patrick Tutwiler

At the Truth and Reconciliation hearings on Saturday [8/27], Leah Wise, a long-time community organizer, talked about how she and her fellow activists were ‘“red-baited’” ‘— publicly branded as communist sympathizers ‘— in the aftermath of the Greensboro Massacre in order to rally public opinion against them. And Michael Curtis, a professor at Wake Forest, lamented how fear and anger had been manipulated by authorities to deflect attention from ‘“more serious, underlying issues.’” And there was a collective murmur of agreement from the audience when Curtis noted how prevalent that tactic has become today.

How fortuitous then, that such sage observation should coincide with the arrival in YES! Weekly of professional pot-stirrer Ann Coulter, whose very calling in life is to stoke up fear and anger in the service of mass distraction. You might be revolted by Ann Coulter for many reasons: her brash employ of half-truths and sophistry, her undignified lust for liberal blood, how pretty and straight her hair is. But I have learned to expect little by way of integrity from political pundits. The real reason I’m writing about Ann and Co. is because I think it’s necessary to point out how they, like the red-baiters before them, are so callously manipulating people’s emotions.

Perhaps the pundits’ greatest accomplishment has been the propagation of the ‘“divided America’” myth. They have successfully convinced most Americans that there is an untenable fissure between the left and the right in this country ‘— between the red states and blue states.

Don’t believe it.

Why? Because pundits will, without a second thought, lie to you.

In her last column, Ann said of bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan:

‘“She calls the US government ‘a morally repugnant system,’ and says, ‘This country’s not worth dying for.”” Ann conveniently left out that Sheehan was talking about our political system ‘— not the government. And ‘“this country’” she was referring to was Iraq. As in, ‘“Iraq is not worth dying for.’”

If you wanted to believe it, Ann’s article would have given you all the proof you needed that ‘liberals’ like Sheehan hate America. And even now you may want to grab some pretty blonde-haired neo-con and just shake her till she admits what a horrible person she is and that she secretly feels like her soul is dying inside and that she wouldn’t say such awful things except that she just can’t live without being on TV; but that’s just what Ann wants you to do. So don’t do it.

I know that America is capable of getting along with itself. And America knows it too. And really, so does Ann. She just won’t admit it. I also know that if we just pay attention to the facts and don’t be afraid to talk to each other, we’ll end up doing the right thing. So I implore you, dear reader, next time you hear Ann or one her friends blah-blah-blahing, don’t listen. Because they just want to make you mad, and right now we have more important things to do.

Patrick Tutwiler is the president of the College Democrats of UNCG and the author of one very mean letter to the editor about Ann Coulter that is not in keeping with the spirit of comity expressed in the article you’ve just read. Please don’t think ill of him for it.