In the Tribune’s May 7 “Other Views” I read with interest H. Roy Kaplan’s commentary (“Recognizing and exposing prejudice and racism essential for our future”), and I am shocked to total disbelief that this well-titled author writes the following: “Even more alarming has been the growth of anti-government patriot groups since Obama’s election — an increase of 813 percent since he took office in 2008.”
As a veteran, a man who calls himself a patriot, a man who is becoming “anti-government” when looking at the way our government is being orchestrated, and as a man who believes that those patriots who have created websites to express the same concerns I do when it comes to our current Democrat-led government, I ask: Why are we being categorized as a hate group just because Barack Obama is president? This is an obscene distortion of the objectives and goals of those website creators.
Yes, without a doubt, there are some hate mongers who, under the umbrella of “patriots,” are deserving of a hate label. But to categorize those of us who perceive gigantic flaws in our over-governance, our out-of-control spending, our degrading of our military’s operational ability, and expanding social welfare programs to an ever-increasing group of non-contributors, among other concerns, to be “hate” activists is extremely concerning.
I know liberals and progressives, who are so often led through their political life with a ring in their nose, vehemently disagree with a patriot or a tea-party advocate. But are their websites also worthy of being called “hate” because so many of us who disagree with them are white?
For many years there have been American citizens upset with the direction of our government. With Obama becoming president, there grew a group of vocal people who really began expressing their views and soon earned the distinction of “tea party” as their political label. They gladly called themselves patriots. Therefore, Kaplan’s assumption that patriots are hate groups because Obama is African-American removes any validity the writer and his commentary might have. His reach is too much of a stretch, and it is hateful.