last night i turned on the national evening news in hopes of catching an update on the chaos in libya. i was in the kitchen, half listening to brian williams drone on and on about…something, and then the story on the hearing on muslim radicalization came on.
my initial response was disgust. and it’s still taking up a large part of my brain right now. representative peter king (new york) is an idiot and an asshole, and we might as well rename him mccarthy. only he’s got a number of other witch hunters along for the ride. oh, and apparently he’s vowed not to bow to “political correctness.” ahem. i repeat. asshole.
(note to self: send an email to dan savage and have him entreat his readers to come up with another meaning for rep. king, like he did with rick santorum. brilliant!)
i’m standing in the middle of my living room now, staring in disbelief at my TV screen, when representative keith ellison (D-MN) makes a statement. but it wasn’t so much his words as his emotions that got my attention. the gentleman from minnesota was actually crying. a strong, savvy politician was crying in his attempts to make people understand that not all muslims are bad people.
i wanted to reach through the screen and offer him a hug. maybe a teddy bear. hell, he even made me want to cry. what ellison was talking about was the muslim paramedic who died trying to help the victims on 9/11. this man who was already leery of how people viewed him, sacrificed his own life. and it had NOTHING to do with his religion.
what will it take for the average american to understand that the actions of a few does not make the whole a bad person? that cacophony of voices you hear are the thousand of practicing muslims around the world screaming that what you see on TV is not who they are. and i’ll bet if it was a group of fundamentalist christians who were committing acts of terror, NO ONE in the US would be laying the blame on their religion.
*headline quote is rabbi marc schneier. image and quote courtesy npr.org