This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Parsing Bigotry

One obstacle that Mitt Romney may face as he asks for the support of Republican primary voters is bigotry against the Mormon faith.

State Rep. Judy Manning (R-GA)
State Rep. Judy Manning (R-GA)

A Marietta Daily Journal story published yesterday demonstrates the bigotry that Romney may have to overcome. The Journal quotes Republican state Rep. Judy Manning saying that she’s scared of Romney’s Mormon faith. But at least he’s “better than a Muslim”:

“I think Mitt Romney is a nice man, but I’m afraid of his Mormon faith,” Manning said. “It’s better than a Muslim. Of course, every time you look at the TV these days you find an ad on there telling us how normal they are. So why do they have to put ads on the TV just to convince us that they’re normal if they are normal? … If the Mormon faith adhered to a past philosophy of pluralism, multi-wives, that doesn’t follow the Christian faith of one man and one woman, and that concerns me.”

Manning’s criticism of Romney’s faith and her attack on Islam as an even more inferior religion — in addition to other comments she has made against LGBT rights — demonstrates an important point. Progressives and others who oppose bigotry and preach tolerance must denounce discrimination of every kind, not just because all discrimination is wrong, but because validating discrimination against one group can lead to increased discrimination against other groups in the future. (HT: @GregFrayser)

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Zaid Jilani

Zaid Jilani

Zaid Jilani is a Senior Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org and current editor of the 99 Percent Movement Special Topics page at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Zaid grew up in Kennesaw, GA, and holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Arabic from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining ThinkProgress, Zaid interned for Just Foreign Policy and was a weekly columnist at The Red & Black, the University of Georgia’s official student newspaper. He is a co-editor at the Georgia-based blog Georgia Liberal and a regular on RT America's The Alyona Show and The Thom Hartmann Show and has been a guest host on Al Jazeera English's The Stream. He is also an occassional contributor to the op-ed pages of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.