If the glibness of this post’s title makes you angry, then read on. There’s actually a very important point to my sarcastic and jingoist-baiting statement above.
On April 19, 1995 the
McVeigh committed what was the single most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. It claimed 168 lives, not counting an unmatched adult human leg that may belong to a possible, unidentified 169th victim who remains anonymous to this day.
The 168 death toll includes 19 children under the age of six.
Tim McVeigh claimed he initially wanted to destroy the Murrah building itself, but that he later came to the conclusion that his “message” would be heard only if there were many deaths. Most of the fatalities were directly caused by the violent collapse of the building’s structure, and not the bomb’s sudden instantaneous blast.
After April 19, nobody focused on any of the groups of which McVeigh was an identified member after his cowardly bombing with the ferocity, venom and prejudiced hate that Muslims have endured in
Yet this is the reasoning too many of us apply to Muslims in
You wouldn’t know that “guilt by association” is actually illegal in America from watching pundits on the Right, or by listening to the screams of protesters opposing the building of a Islamic learning center, (or mosque it doesn’t really matter which it is) in downtown Manhattan.
That’s all prejudice is at its core: the judgment of individuals based upon a belief applied to a group. The individual disappears, and all manner of injustice and violence is allowed. To paraphrase comedian Chris Rock, there’s always a lot of “accepted racism” when people start getting angry or scared or both.
We are angry and we are still scared in
Even Bill Maher, another comedian like Chris Rock whose powers of reason and ethical humanist clarity I respect greatly, -actually defended racial profiling to my shock a few short years ago. If you’re looking for someone who looks and sounds like Osama Bin Laden, it still allows everyone who doesn’t look that way free reign to harm. I don’t feel safe around anyone when I’m at the airport, because I know that persons looking a particular way, being of a particular race, creed or color doesn’t make them any particular thing for better of for worse, for good or ill. Maybe old people get a pass, but that might be it.
And this is my point, and the motivation behind the title of this post:
Fox “News” Channel’s Bill O’Reilly said that “Muslims killed us on 9/11” on the TV talk show, The View this week. While that statement in isolation remains a fact, its selectiveness as a statement lends authority to a lie because all Muslims did not attack the
I am an American and I am tired of pointing out what is still racism and what still amounts to bigotry and prejudice over the shouting of people like Bill O’Reilly. I am exhausted from pointing out just how hypocritically selective hate is in
Sadly, I am scared too.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon and the failed run at the White House by high jacked flight 93, the United States is one terrorist attack away from a federal lock down that would make the Patriot Act look like a Civil Rights initiative (no matter who is in office.) The cultural and social repression that would emanate at street level is too monstrous to contemplate if we are hit again in sizeable measure. I know we’d lose everything valuable about this Republic because we’re not the nation we used to be. We don’t listen to smart people anymore, we call people who try to think things through “pussies,” and we call people who defend the powerless even worse names.
Just try and remember this:
The casualties on 9/11 included nationals from over 70 countries. That’s one isolated fact that Fox “News” Channel and Osama Bin Laden are glad we have forgotten.