We had an interesting conversation on the American Complaint Department radio program Tuesday. During the conversation, the question was asked if we thought that the country would band together if we underwent another attack like the 9/11 attacks. At the time my thoughts were that, in today’s political climate, I don’t think we would see the same level of cooperation that we saw following the attacks in 2001. What we’ve seen in the last two days have confirmed my belief.
Late on September 11, the Romney campaign released a statement criticizing the Obama administration on their response to the violent protests at our Cairo and Libya consulates that led to the death of four Americans. While I have a list of reasons that Romney’s statement is absurd, irresponsible, and unpresidential, I’m more concerned right now with the aftermath of the statement.
I’ve seen so many people posting social network updates about President Obama “apologizing” for America. This comes directly from the statements made by Romney in response to the tragic incidents in Cairo and Libya. Ignoring the fact that none of this is true, all this has done is divide the people at a time when we should be coming together to mourn the loss of more lives on September 11.
Not only is this division showing how poor our political discourse is, but it is also showing the growing trend of Islamophobia. I keep seeing it in the comments online. Here are some examples in discussions about President Obama:
“I expect nothing less from a Muslim sympathizer…”
“…go suck the Muslims.! You [are] sympathetic to these rats who want us dead and against Christians obviously..Muslims belong in their Arab nations…”
” A Muslim is a filthy Muslim..There is no such thing as good Muslims”
What a horrible way to look at the world. Is it any wonder that some Muslims hold a negative opinion of the United States. Furthermore, who cares if Obama is a Muslim? There is no religious test of office for the President. The only criticisms these people have are that (1) President Obama is Muslim, which is insignificant, (2) Islam is a religion of violence, which is about as true as saying all Christians believe in the protests and anger of the Westboro Baptist Church, and (3) building peaceful relations with Islamic nations is somehow poor foreign policy. I don’t even know how to explain the last one. I guess peace is poor policy.
I made a statement on the radio program that much of this Islamophobia comes from simple ignorance. I have thought about this statement and I would have to retract what I said. There is no excuse of ignorance in today’s world. These people are on the internet. They have access to the information and have been given the information necessary to stop being bigots, but they refuse. These people are driven by pure hatred and stupidity. They fear what is different and hate anyone who dares to question them. This is the attitude that permeates the Republican party today. It irresponsible and dangerous for a country to be run by a group, or a person, with this mentality. This is why I will be casting my vote for President Obama in November. I will not accept a country run by bigotry and hate.