Ignorance of hate has no borders

September 3, 2017

Last Sunday morning started with that sickening filling one gets when watching unimaginable human suffering unfolding on live television and knowing that there isn’t one damn thing you can do about it. You know that no matter how much you give in money, food or goods, nothing will ever take away the pain of those poor souls who are enduring what but for the grace of God you are not.

Knowing that from that day forward, their lives will never be the same. Forever marked not by the joy of the birth of a child, the love of a marriage, the satisfaction of a graduation or commission, but of watching your life wash away one rising inch of water at a time.

Those who have been through such events, be it tornado, hurricane, flood or fire know that yes, you can survive, yes you can recover, rebuild, but no, you will never be whole again. There will always be the anxiety of a siren in springtime, where landfall will occur, will the levies hold and will the smoke jumpers get ahead of it.

Yes, life goes on, but it never forgets.

It was in that vein, with those feelings, when I first saw University of Tampa visiting professor Ken Storey’s tweet on hurricane Harvey and the devastation it was bringing: “I don’t believe in instant Karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesn’t care about them,”.

Just when you think humanity can’t sink any lower than it already has, social media proves you oh so wrong.

As the jerk’s tweet went viral and the backlash mounted he spent the next 24 hours backtracking and trying to apologize. But by Tuesday, the University of Tampa was having none of it and Mr. Storey was history.

Personally, I’d have kept the little snot and made him plaster his tweet all over campus. I’d force him to live with the shame and disgrace of what he’d done.

Then I realized just how old school I was. That on today’s campuses he was more likely to become a folk hero of the “resistance” than a pariah to be scorned.

But the hate didn’t stop at the U.S. border.

On Tuesday the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo published with a cover showing Nazi flags and white hands in Seig Heil salute jutting up out of flood waters with words blaring “Dieu Existe!”…”IL A NOYE TOUS LES NEO NAZIS DU TEXAS !” Translation: God Exists! He has drowned all the neo Nazis in Texas.

Yes your memory serves you correct. That quote equating all Texas with Nazis, is from the same Charlie Hebdo magazine that in 2015 saw Islamic radicals break into its offices and kill 12 of its own and wound11 others in revenge for a cartoon disrespecting the prophet Muhammad.

Adding insult to injury, the artist who drew the Texas Nazis cover is Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau. One of the staffers wounded in the 2015 attack.

Must be nice to feel so smug that you can survive a terrorist attack only to mock hurricane victims two years later as Nazis getting what they deserve.

But the irony of ironies for Storey, Sourisseau and the thousands of others using human tragedy to push political agenda is that in their zeal to emote their identity politics they forgot to check their facts.

So eager to attack, they never even bothered to notice that Harris County, home to Houston, is not only the most populace county in Texas, but one of the most diverse.  And as of the 2016 election the bluest of the blue.  Harris County voters not only gave Democrats a sweep of major county offices, they gave Hillary Clinton 160,000 more votes than Donald Trump.

Had the haters only bothered a ten second Google search they’d have known that Texas is anything BUT full of Nazis and deserving of Harvey’s wrath.

Or as county music legend Charlie Daniels put it Thursday:  “If you doubt the goodness of America go and check the license plates on the boat trailers that came to Texas to help in the rescue efforts.”

So while the haters hate over what shoes the First Lady wears or whether the President hugged anyone, how about the rest of us, the good of us, focus on the hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans in dire need of our help.  I know I am.

God Bless Texas.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the September 3rd, 2017 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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