Juju, first of all, I know what inspired the start of this thread. About a half-hour after your emotional response to my "Martin Luther King Jr. & The 21st Century" thread, this started.
Let me say firstly I believe you either misinterpreted or overreacted to the thread. In the MLK & 21 thread, I was merely contrasting the two visions of establishing peace and cordial relations in the world. Dr. Martin Luther King's is, of course, one that promises no violence in achieving it, and that of George W. Bush doesn't promise no violence and believes military strikes may be necessary in resolving conflicts in the world.
So my question to you is, "Where's the hate you speak of in that thread?". I rather believe that is the most tamest thread in The Alley I've started yet.
Since the war in Iraq has began, yes, on and on I have expressed my deep protests to his policies and deep resentment in my heart, and I have also called him a warmonger, but it doesn't automatically make it so I hate the man. There are many who actually desire Bush to be assassinated. I don't wish that at all, in fact, I pity those who wish that and consider them hypocritical. Besides that, I highly respect the First Lady Laura Bush, and giggled seeing his puppies on his televised TV interview with Barbara Walters.
When the 2000 Election came around and passed, I believed then Bush stole that election, and still do. But back then, I felt though that was true, at the time I acted like, "Who cares, politics is just blood-sucking ticks, what difference is it who's in office?". I disliked Gore too, and would have voted Nader then if I was old enough. I didn't realize exactly how much was at stake until after war was declared on Iraq.
Then came September 11th. I cried for a week after the tragedy at random times each day. At the time I was dedicating most of my poetry time to a site called Mutington's Meadow, and I remember several resident poets there scream, "WHO DID THIS? I WANT TO GET MY HANDS AROUND THEIR NECKS AND CHOKE THEM TO DEATH!!!" (sad sigh) It was saddening and disturbing to see all these intense emotions reeling. I wanted to stay away from all the heated discussion, and then on the 16th of September, five days after the World Trade Center bombings, I found the courage to express my opinion. I said I shared their grief and sorrow during this hard time, but I also believe the best thing to do is set aside our differences and treat this moment not with revenge, but with embracing one another non-violently. And then what happened? I got accused by these resident poets I spent much time with. I was called "unAmerican". A "terrorist sympathizer". Another said I'd never know what it felt like to be on the 86th floor of the tower that day. Two resident poets came to my defense, but I felt uncomfortable and from there I spent less and less time coming back.
From September 11th onto the time when I first learned Bush wanted to retaliate, I was among the 90% of Americans who supported Bush. I felt Bush recognized the ultimate lesson of 9/11 in that the best way to resolve our differences and close the gaps between hearts is to come together. You see, I wasn't always biased against Bush from the beginning. Often in school and such I heard kids always teasing Bush because he was stupid and the worst president ever in speech and with words, ad though sometimes I was amused, I also believed there were far more important things to critique someone for, like lying or bullying someone.
Then came the war in Iraq. That's when I realized believing we all shared those lessons from 9/11 of community and peace-building were wishful thinking, and Bush was calling for revenge and retaliation. In the weeks ahead, I more and more learned of his intention, and no longer supported him because in my heart, I've always never believed in war and felt, "What if I was in the shoes of some 19-year old boy in Iraq down there? Wouldn't it be like what 9/11 was here?". I knew in my heart what I had to do. I wanted to hope to see to it history didn't repeat itself, the anguish doesn't mirror or ricochet. So, ever since March 2003, I've been protesting this war and won't stop until it ends.
Slowly and slowly I learned more about the politics of the Bush Administration, and indeed I happen to find myself on the other side of the fence on a majority of issues. I learned of the way the media slanted almost entirely pro-war in preparation for Iraq and that anti-war media was barely anywhere to be seen. It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle that has come together for me, and I believe I've seen enough of the big picture to feel what's happening.
Then, finally, there was the 2004 election. There are many who believe Bush stole the 2004 election just like he did the 2000 election thanks to Diebold machines and Kenneth Blackwell. But unlike the first time, I believe Bush was democratically elected last year, and he won fair and square, I truly believe that. I still have my opinion on the 2000 election, but, oh well.
So, that's basically where I've come from, how I ever got politically-involved in the first place. I realized whether you like it or not, those types of decisions affect everyone and war just doesn't agree with my heart, for I see it as a mirrored form of hatred and retaliation.
I believe in the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. because no one gets hurt. It may sound utopian to some, but that's just what I believe in, and knowing humanity has been through so many wars already, I find the other vision more utopian in my opinion. In the end, I believe if only we all give non-violence a chance, the flames can be extinguished.
Non-violence and peace are two words that have always gone hand in hand, and I defend my belief that trying to put peace and war hand in hand are positive and negative magnets that'll never come together.
That's all my thread implied. The realization that these two visions are challenging one another in this post-911 climate, and that they are indeed opposite visions to one another. No white heat on Bush or those who support him, just recognizing the contrasts and asking politely, "What role does MLK play in this post-911 climate?"
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20