By now almost all of America knows Roland Martin, the CNN analyst, on Super Bowl Sunday sent out a tweet criticizing a TV commercial featuring soccer star David Beckham in his underwear. Martin said, "Ain't no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear!... If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!"
That wasn't all.
Martin called for a New England player who arrived wearing a pink jumpsuit -- to get a visit from "teamwhipdatass."
I have argued for some time that the right wing use of hate speech to stir up its base into a frothy tizzy has led to an increase in intolerance and hate crimes in America. Almost the entire Bush Administration saw a constant rise in hate crimes, most particularly anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-immigrant hate crimes. There have been attacks at a Holocaust museum and at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. In Indiana, a prominent Republican told a group of Jews that their opinion on the recitation of Christian prayers at legislative sessions didn't matter because they only made up 2% of the population. There have even occastionally been what can only be described as pogroms here and there. There have even been hate crimes right in our subways, even as violent crime has overall been declining in NYC. I believe the blame for this increase in hate crimes is not just the continuing effects of Bush's Republican economic collapse. It is also thanks to the violent, intolerant rhetoric of people like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. [UPDATE AT BOTTOM]