Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wasting My Time

Okay, I should have gone over to the Democratic HQ today and made phone calls. Instead I slept ('cause I needed it), took the dogs to the dog park, made that steak, got sucked into watching about five hours of stockpiled tv (House, Life on Mars, Heroes and episodes of Reaper) and MSNBC, and caught up with my Twitter feed. I'll have to make the rounds on the Round Robin and such tomorrow.

And I did one other thing. I tried unsuccessfully to educate one Barack Obama hater.

You may recall that on Wednesday I wrote a long "reply all" email in response to yet another anti-Obama smear, this one a thinly-veiled racist attack written by one Jack Wheeler. Early Saturday morning I responded to a follow-up from the person who sends this stuff to my former co-worker, who then forwards it to a large list of friends. The friend-of-a-friend, D., addressed me directly for the first time, but also cc'ed the whole reply all list. She said that after 9-11 it was important to be careful who to vote for. To try to show that Barack Obama was a scary anti-American foreigner, she offered
  • a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem (widely but erroneously said to be a photo of his refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance),
  • a photo of him wearing a turban (rather haphazardly) while standing at a lectern badly PhotoShopped to say "Muslim College",
  • a photo of a birth certificate that conspiracy theorists offer at an alternative to the thoroughly verified real one from Hawaii, showing someone named Barry being born in Kenya and listed as Muslim.

So late Friday night (early Saturday morning), I wrote back to her. Although it was clear that D. had not even looked at the sources I had linked to in the previous email (which already debunked some of what she was saying), I again provided multiple links verifying the Hawaii birth certificate, links about the no-hand-over-heart photo and its insignificance, and an article about internet rumors marring the election. I also pointed out that the word "MUSLIM" was apparently not on the original lectern, since it was the wrong font and angle. And I pointed out what should be obvious to anyone with a brain, that being a Muslim does not equal being a terrorist.

By the time I got up Saturday afternoon, I had a new email in which D. expressed annoyance that I thought she couldn't tell when she was "being lie to." She didn't respond to any of the anti-smear evidence, but again claimed that Obama won't say the Pledge or put his hand over his heart, and claimed (in obviously pasted text) that Obama lied about McCain raising taxes, etc., etc.

I have to admit, dear reader, that by this point I was pretty weary of my attempt to educate this person and her email list. D. said much the same. So rather than research the additional smears, I wrote back, this time with a single recipient:


Listen, I'm tired of this, too, so let's agree to disagree. I could probably refute your latest email point by point, if I wanted to put the time into research, but I have other, more productive things to do. I just wanted to expose you and the forwarding list to the facts behind the claims you keep sending on. If you choose to ignore all contrary evidence, there's little more I can say. Take care, and God bless you.


And she replied,

what ever bye

Did I make a difference? Probably not for this particular person. I'm hoping that I made some of the "reply all" folks think a little bit. I've only heard from two of them. One asked me not to cc her any more because "I don't want to hear anymore about this issue." Fair enough. And that former co-worker of mine forwarded an anti-Obama joke that depends on the assumption that he lies constantly.



1 comment:

Kiva said...

I've been hiding... but am finally back online. I like the new look of your website. I'm still trying to get educated about both the candidates. The election is only 2 days away and I still have concerns about both tickets. I'm afraid that I may just have to toss a coin in the voting booth. But I'd like to thank you for presenting the Obama side and giving sources to read.