We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
America Is Better Than This
Will someone answer this question for me? What is wrong with being a Muslim? There are Muslim doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen and policewomen. There is a Muslim congressman from the great state of Minnesota named Keith Ellison. We encounter Muslim Americans in every facet of American life. They are part of the American tapestry. When did it become un-American to be a Muslim?
52% of conservative Americans believe Barack Obama wants to institute Sharia Law. I’m sure if you also asked those polled what Sharia law is, they couldn’t tell you. Since it’s associated with Islam and Muslims, it must be terrible– and this president must be in support of it. Everyday more of his American identity evaporates in the eyes of these people–if it were even there at all. Why? Even in the face of substantial proof–evidence that is insurmountable–these people insist on painting the president as some foreign enemy of the state.
Where is the media culpability in this? Fox News pushes a bitter narrative, asking questions about Obama’s American legitimacy and his faith. They allow this meme to be explored on a routine basis. They harbor vicious anti-Muslim views, and foster an unseemly climate of Islamophobia. Yet one of their major shareholders is a Saudi Prince named Al-Waleed bin Talal– a man who owns a 7 percent share of NewsCorp, parent company of Fox News. A man who contributes heavily to Islamic groups Fox conservatives believe are terrorist organizations. A man who in his homeland of Saudi Arabia, rules UNDER Sharia Law. Where is their outrage?
Shouldn’t Sean Hannity be condemning this bold expansion of the Sharia law in American media? If right-wingers fear Sharia tentacles tethering themselves to American institutions, why not start with rebelling against the power structure at Fox News?
These people are not defenders of American justice. They hide behind euphemistic attacks–which are not only cowardly– they’re craven and treasonous. They are dishonoring their patriotism, perverting it in order to gain political advantage.
When Byron York, staunch blue-blood right-wing pundit, indulges in fantastically simplistic reporting, by placing blame directly on the president–he noted that Obama has brought much of this on himself by choosing to play golf or basketball Sunday mornings, rather than attend church–you realize just how cynical and foolish the tone of this debate is. I did not realize that is what made one a Christian. You must attend church on Sundays. If Americans need this type of affirmation– seeing video clips of the president attending church to answer questions– perhaps they have the wrong questions. Amazing. Some of us are choosing to embrace religious radicalism to support our notions of nationalism. That’s not the America I know.
These people are cowering in fear. They are racing to a corner of self-doubt and pity, trying to resist change. There they are, waving flags of self- pity and anger because of their reticence to accept the wave of change on the precipice.
This isn’t what this country is about. It’s not how we were founded. If Islamist fundamentalists choose to burn bibles and American flags, should we meet their wretchedness and hatred with our own? No, and that is what makes us better than the enemy.
This is where we find ourselves. Struggling to discern who we are as a people and a nation. We used to have an identity. We used to stand for something righteous, mighty, and right. We used to stand proudly for tolerance–at least most forward thinking Americans did. We used to debate fairly, cogently, and intelligently. Now we’ve become an empty husk, filling with anger, mistrust, hatred and fear. Now we disavow our own laws callously in order to marginalize some of our citizens. We should be better than this.
America stands for something more because we don’t devalue our idealistic principles, and we don’t deviate from our values. We set the pace for virtuous action, and let others follow our example. Our discourse has been hijacked by pretend patriots, who’ve warped constitutional moralities into fluid, politically expedient landmines. America is better than this.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
You spend a lifetime in your body, so why not enjoy it? Now, some consider their body simply as a vehicle to transport their head from point A to point B. Others are quite focused on and interested in engaging and using their body. Obviously, some activities, like sex, are very body-centric. That said, a happy body means a better sex life – and vice versa. Beyond sex exists the practical matter of relying on our body to get around and help manage our life. After sleeping, sitting, and standing, walking represents the next level of activity for the body. We c Read on →
This morning, my friend Lusy stopped by my office with a nasty cold and a warm, sixteen ounce can of Surge; I gladly hugged him. As he sat the Christmas-colored can of heavenly proportions on my office desk, I thought to myself, “There it is. My childhood is sitting on my desk.” Waves of memories flooded my mind. I closed my eyes and remember frozen nights spent sipping Surge by the fireside even as the frost formed on our shivering backs. I recalled the punch drunk pleasure of all-night binge gaming sessions, playing Diablo II with now-lost friends and my seemi Read on →
The light ahead was red, and no one was close behind, so I slowed to let the man who just darted across two lanes of traffic finish his dangerous dash to the wide concrete median strip on my left. It was a blustery day, with northwest winds biting harshly under the dense, dark clouds of a late fall cold front pouring into Georgia. All of which made this man’s shorts, light windbreaker, ball cap, and open-heeled clogs seem woefully inadequate for the day upon us. Reaching the median, he nodded my way while lifting his left hand for a quick wave o Read on →
Abstract Expression emerged in the late 1940s, growing out of the influx of European artists fleeing fascism, and the theories they brought with them. It was the second wave of European modernism, the first not having caught on here 30 years earlier. The idea of painting “automatically”, without thinking, without plan, drawing from that part of the brain where we dream – that Surrealist notion was used by the Abstract Expressionists but they left out the dream images, they just “automatically” put paint on canvas and moved it around until it seemed like time to stop. Many of the painters had studied various e Read on →