Tonight I want to talk about the "swine flu". The name given to the potentially deadly flu strain which originated south of our border. A name that shouldn't be synonymous with the source of the virus but with the racist and xenophobic pigs using it to spread fear and prejudice. To wingnut talk show hosts and blogs this latest virus is like a gift from heaven. Nothing would please them more than to see a mass outbreak of this virus in these divided states with deadly consequences. Oh field, how can you say that? How can you suggest that some people in A-murder-ca would wish death on fellow A-murder-cans to score political points? Well....
"As the story of the H1N1 virus emerged, it was initially referred to as the 'swine flu,' but the Obama administration called for moving away from that language because it was contributing to baseless fears that the virus had to do with pork consumption. This did not sit well with CNN's Lou Dobbs, who referred to people using the H1N1 terminology as 'idiots' and claiming 'they are out of their cotton pickin' minds.' Such people include several of Dobbs' colleagues at CNN, including the network's chief medical correspondent.
In response to the administration's request for a name change, radio host Neil Boortz suggested calling the virus the "fajita flu." But that was one of Boortz's more tepid comments about the virus. Boortz stirred up fears that the virus was some sort of "bioterrorist" plot, asking, 'What better way to sneak a virus into this country than to give it to Mexicans?' Similarly, radio host Michael Savage claimed, 'There is certainly the possibility that our dear friends in the Middle East cooked this up in a laboratory somewhere in a cave and brought it to Mexico knowing that our incompetent government would not protect us from this epidemic because of our open-border policies.' After all, Savage claimed, the terrorists might have known that Mexicans 'are the perfect mules for bringing this virus into America.'
It's hard to determine which came first -- the intolerance or the paranoia.
Indeed, they make conservative leader Rush Limbaugh's suggestions of a conspiracy on the part of the Obama administration seem just slightly less delusional. Limbaugh claimed: 'All of this is by design. It's designed to get people to respond to government orders. ... It is designed to expand the role and power of government and schools, and the media just falls right in line with it.'"
That was from Media Matters, and believe me, there is lots more where that came from. These folks are "coo coo for Co Co Puffs", and they are getting worse every day.
The good news is that those of us who can actually think for ourselves are seeing the demagoguery of fear for what it is and we are writing about it. The bad news is that this climate of fear has affected businesses, stigmatized certain groups of people, and might have possible caused lady justice to take a peek from under her blindfold.
The shit is sad and it is Un-American. Hell it's Un-human. But this is what I have come to expect from these people who feel that their country is slipping away and their traditional way of life is going right along with it.
'"Often, a disease outbreak is an excuse to vent pre-existing prejudices. 'It’s fear of people we do not know or who look different,' said Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan and author of 'When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed.' 'You take the fear of the unknown that already exists and then combine that with a real or perceived threat that is contagious disease and it’s explosive.”'