“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
- Albert Einstein
I’m not a political scientist, I received a “C+” in my Political Ethics class for quoting too many comedians, and you certainly won’t see me play the role as the savvy political commentator on Real Time with Bill Maher any time soon. When I’m asked about my political opinions, I second guess myself so much to the point where I can barely tell you where I stand on one issue or another.
What history has shown us is that it likes to repeat itself in good and bad ways. Over the years we’ve seen social and political leaders of positive change come and go under various circumstances and in more instances than we would have preferred, they were taken away from us.
Abraham Lincoln was a man of such humanistic policy; he was prepared to declare war on half of his own country for the greater good of human rights. He was the first of his kind to declare, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” Most that know that statement in one way or another know is so elementary to common knowledge that a child could intellectually explain to you. Unity did not appeal to some of the more simple and profitable interests of that time. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April fifteenth, 1865.
Mohandas Gandhi was a man of simple means. His only request of mankind was to live with others in peace no mater what race, religion, or ethnic background they were. His tactics were non-violent and non-threatening to the point where he simply fasted. To live in peace with equal rights for all was evidently too hard of a task for some to perform in the 1940’s, even to those of Hindu faith. Gandhi was assassinated on January thirtieth, 1948.
Malcolm X, although widely misunderstood in the records of history, also spoke of positive change in American society and government. His message of social equality and peace for all human beings was so simple, but somehow even the religious organization from which he derived from had a problem with it. Malcolm X was assassinated on February twenty-first, 1965.
Martin Luther King was a man ahead of his time and he wasn’t afraid to face the special interests of America in the sixty’s, a time where diversity was to hard of a concept to grasp even to today’s standards. His message was true and just, but obviously was too complicated and scary for some to understand. His message was evidently so hard to understand, that one man took it upon himself to assassinate him on April fourth, 1968.
Benazir Bhutto faced several charges of corruption in her position as prime minister of Pakistan over the course of several years simply for being a woman of authority in the Muslim world. Her simple message of human rights earned her international recognition and a United Nations prize in the field of human rights. Even though she was commended for her work towards a more perfect and balanced union, she was assassinated on December twenty-seventh, 2007.
History has certainly shown us that political and social extremists will go to any extent to assure that their selfish interests will prevail and the greater good will not. We as a people have seen this happen far too many times for it to happen again. History has also shown us that in troubled times it usually takes a leader of great vision to change the track of which we head down. I try to imagine what the world would be like if some of those fallen leaders were given a chance to accomplish what their true potential had intended, but I can’t seem to get myself past five minutes into that inner monologue without getting upset.
Barack Obama is not one to ignore the points that I have just expressed. A portion of everyday Americans such as some of the McCain rally supporters have already proved themselves as simple minded extremists by falling for the political tactics that implied that Obama is a Muslim terrorist. Some went as far as yelling “Terrorist!” or “He’s a Muslim!” and even “Kill Him!” during his presidential campaign. In August 2008, four individuals were arrested on drug and gun possession in their attempt to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. And these are just your everyday, blue collar, Joe the plumber citizens. His security is no doubt nearly triple that of any other modern president. His inaugural limousine reportedly had armor eight inch thick steel siding, tear-gas cannons, and Kevlar-reinforced tires that can resist attack. He and his family have reportedly received numerous death threats and there is no reason for myself to believe they have stopped since his first day in office.
2008 was a festival for hate extremists. In Pennsylvania alone there was a skyrocket in hate crimes in reference to the 2008 presidential election. Most included acts of threatening vandalism in reference to Barack Obama. SPLCenter.org had reported 41 hate crimes in Pennsylvania alone, almost triple that of the amount reported in ’03, 4, 5, 6, and 7. In California, the state with the highest population of documented hate groups in the country, the amount of reported hate crimes raised from 35 in 2005, 40 in 2006, 79 in 2007, and 90 in 2008. 2009 looks promising for hate extremists with 16 reported hate crimes in the first 3 months.
What I ask of the world is simple. But as I have explained what history has shown us, simplicity is obviously too hard for some to comprehend, but I digress.
I am pleading with any violent opposition in this world to refrain from assassinating Barack Obama. If it is one thing that we have learned from the robbing of our true political and social leaders is that it will not make our world a better place in any way. I understand that by asking something of this stature is in itself a form of extremism itself, but it is something I feel must be said in order to negate extremism as a whole.
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