I’m wading in with my hands down and my chin out, like Rocky Marciano, like Jake LaMotta, telling you to take your best rhetorical swings.
But here’s the thing, tough guys. I’m going to come back firing, aiming to punch you right in your Vilsack.
I’m tired of people turning into yellowbellies because they’re afraid of the right-wing echo chamber, afraid to be called un-American or Marxist by bloggers, media hosts and others slime balls.
Me, I’m ready to rumble.
What are you going to do about it? Are you going to go online and post comments about my sexual preference, my patriotism, my intellect? That’s been happening for years, and I quit reading that trash months ago. So have at it.
It would be less cowardly to write a letter to the editor and sign it with your real name or send me a personal e-mail, but if your forum of choice is anonymous sniping, throw your low blows. I can take it. I have an industrial-strength mental protective cup.
What else are you going to do? Are you going to call my bosses at the university and the newspaper and demand that I be fired? That’s been tried many, many times.
Here’s the thing, my patriotic pals. I have a great friend, and her name is Miss First Amendment, and I love her so. She is my left hook, my gancho to the body, then to the head, rhetorically speaking.
What more are you going to do? Harass my family members? Destroy my property? Threaten to kill me? Check, check, check. That’s all been done.
I’ve taken some shots, surely, but I haven’t even taken a standing eight count, and now I’m shaking my right fist like Roberto Duran when he was feeling good in his fights.
So do what you feel is best. You want to run your cart into my cart and scream at me as you claim you’re a good American and I’m a bad American while your wife cringes, particularly when you say I soon may be battered by an angry mob? Do you think I’m fazed by something like that? I’m afraid of some things, I guess, but I’m not afraid of threats from a fat little guy wielding a Costco cart.
I’m not Barack Obama. I’m not David Axelrod. I’m not Harry Reid. You can bluster all you want, but I won’t back down, and that goes for everybody.
If you’re a New Black Panther and you follow through with your threat to kill cracker babies, and one of those cracker babies happens to be one of my cracker babies, my revenge-seeking cracker butt is going to take down two of you, which should wipe out about two-thirds of your pathetic racist, hateful organization.
If I’m Shirley Sherrod’s husband and you’re Andrew Breitbart and purposely spread a false impression to make my wife look like a racist and thereby cost her a job, I’m coming after you, rhetorically and, if need be, otherwise.
Here’s what I think of Not Particularly Breitbart: he’s a slimy, sissified punk who has found a way to be a bully, racist and hater via cyberspace. And he’s one of millions.
Here’s what else I think: if a little kid has worthless parents who don’t feed that child well, we as a society should first be obligated to feed that blameless child before getting enough of a tax cut to allow us to buy his and hers Beemers. Call me a socialist. I don’t care.
Here’s what else I think: this country has had centuries of practices including slavery, indentured servitude, segregation and discrimination that have resulted in terrible socioeconomic stratification. Forty-plus years of economic and social remedies have helped but have not evened out things for poor people of any color, although a disproportionate amount of our poor people in our country are of color. We still need remedies to help poor white, black and Hispanic children have better chances. Call me a progressive. I don’t care.
Here’s what else I think: the lowlifes on talk radio, the Internet and FOX News are trying to create the impression that our first black president and his cronies are discriminating against white people. What a load of sh … eep manure. That’s a cynical attempt to frighten into mobilization the nation’s largest voting block, meaning white folks. Call me whatever you want regarding this last part. I don’t care.
I’ve have been hardened over years of training, so I’m ready to go 12 or more hard, nasty rhetorical rounds with those who are simply wrong and un-American about almost everything on the nation’s political and social agenda.
So take your best shots.
But unlike many others, I’m not going down without a helluva fight.
>> Bret Kofford teaches writing at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus. He can be reached at Kofford@roadrunner.com