Monday, June 02, 2008

Another email that needs to be squashed.

Sometime ago I wrote about an email that I received from several friends. I have received another that needs to be corrected and some information exposed as false. This one is an article written by Ken Blackwell of the New York Sun.

The problem is not the article (although I see lots of statements that are not fact). The problem with the email is that there is an additional comment on the end that appears to be part of the article. The statement below is not part of the article, but was added by someone else.

The anti-christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal....the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, will destroy everything. Is it OBAMA??

It is hard for me to believe that anyone would pass along an email that had this additional information even if he/she did not know whether it was part of Ken Blackwell's column. If I receive emails that I believe contain false information, I either do my own googling to research it or I check If I do not have time to research it, I often write a disclaimer or just don't forward it. If it is obviously a piece that is meant for humor and not fact, then I may ignore it and make my own decision which of my friends can appreciate it for its humor. I often preface these emails with a comment to let them know that it is all in fun. I grew up in KY, have a southern accent. A joke about a hillbilly or redneck does not bother me at all. I am blonde and all the dumb blonde jokes just go right over my head. (pun intended) But I do not intentionally forward emails that masquerade as fact that are prejudicial or racist.

I think this particular forwarded email has been one of the worst and most disgusting emails I have ever received due to possible adverse consequences. This one appeared in my in box six times. From the first reading, I felt that something was amiss, but I did not take the time at the moment to research it. I immediately wrote all of my friends who forwarded it to me and pointed out that I am agnostic bordering on atheist and this type of article does nothing for me. If anything, it makes me want to point out how absurd such statements are especially when they are not fact or written by the person they are attributed.

Even sadder is that some of my friends do not know me as well as they should and obviously, I must not know them. I immediately wrote all of them and gave them the link to and to the original article in order for them to see what is incorrect. I got emails back such as this...

No one is forcing you to believe anything. Do you know that happens to be one of greatest rights as an American ... to be able to say what we are thinking...good or bad, right or wrong but the freedom is there. This is something that we in America are getting closer and closer to losing each day. This election will be a deciding factor on how our Constitution is being used or abused and our RIGHTS are being taken away one by one.

Enjoy your right to think this is horrible and BE ABLE TO SAY IT... you may not have that right in a couple of years.

And another email like this...

Obama's mother was white and an atheist. His father was black and Muslim. What do you expect him to be?

And that was written by a "friend." Sure glad she is not my enemy. This last comment shows once again that we have not come as far in racial equality in this country as we think we have. Prejudice is still a real and serious problem.

I tried to explain that this had nothing to do with silencing anyone's right of free speech. It has to do with being responsible and writing what is as factual as possible and not slandering someone. I am wondering if people have reached the point of being so frustrated with our system and our politicians that they can no longer look and think rationally.

Even sadder---I have not received a reply from any of my friends to say, "Hey, sorry about forwarding that email. I should have checked it out myself." No one has written and apologized.

As soon as I read it, I knew that it would never be forwarded by me. I also knew that I must make a blog entry. Now I can sleep.

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At 10/06/2008 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to know I never sent that email!

At 10/06/2008 5:59 PM, Blogger Jeanne Rhea said...

No, you did not send it! I know that if you had and I mentioned that just maybe you did not read through it carefully, then you would immediately say, "Oh, Sorry!"


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