I don’t think there’s anyone I know who actively and clearly despises me. And I’m happy to say I can’t think of a single person for whom I feel animosity or hatred. “Hate” in reference to a person is a strong and heavy term, one that shouldn’t be used casually, bandied about like some new teenage slang.
Sadly, it’s all too easy to drop the H-bomb when we’re talking about people in general, especially when they differ from us.
And that’s how I discovered yesterday that apparently a full quarter of the earth’s population hates me. Not the best news, that. But it was Monday, so it kind of figures.
To clarify, I saw some appalling Facebook comments on a Right-Wing news article. And like the buffoon I am, I waded into discussion of politics and religion on social media.
But how could I not? These freedom-loving patriots were deeply concerned that I might be unaware of the danger I face daily. They felt a compelling need to set right my misguided notions about liberty and religion.
The background? An Army Reservist who is also a Muslim was kicked off a gun range in Oklahoma. The range owners have a “Muslim-Free Zone” sign posted, and the customer claimed that after he self-identified as a Muslim, their treatment of him went from calm and professional to rude and hostile. For their part, the owners claim he was ejected from the range because he acted “belligerently” and not because of his faith.
Good, since that would be illegal discrimination based on religion.
So the Right-Wing news site had a steady flow of comments ranging from “He’s lucky they didn’t ask him to hold the targets” to “You guys realize he’s an American servicemember, right?” And it was the former variety that I couldn’t resist replying to.
Profound statements like:
“Islam isn’t a race!!!! It’s a violent oppressive cult that they joined and/or remain in willingly. Facts > opinions.”
(Of course, Christianity isn’t a race either. It’s a religion people join or remain in willingly. And it, like Islam, is protected by the first amendment, so discrimination against someone based on that is frowned upon and also illegal. And that is a fact, not an opinion.)
“Muslim isn’t a religion. He wasn’t denied service because of his religion but his way of life, to kill anyone who’s not Muslim.”
(In this case, his “way of life” was to serve our country and put himself in harm’s way to defend our way of life… something I feel fairly certain the commenter is unwilling or unable to do. And “Islam” is a religion, and “muslim” is an adherent of that religion. So when a store posts a sign or tries to enforce a “muslim-free zone” policy, that should offend American sensibilities if we truly believe what the Founding Fathers said about all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. You know, all that super patriotic claptrap the Right pulls out when we defend Christians.)
“To all of you that are offended by everything that doesn’t comply with your own interests, or beliefs… stay the hell home, and board up your damn windows. This is used to be America “land of the free” until a bunch of whiney @$$es started crying about stupid $#!+”
(To be fair, maybe this guy feels the way I do, and all these people afraid of Islamic extremists they’re convinced are about to invade the nation are a bunch of whiners that should board up their windows and hide in their bomb shelters.
But I assumed he meant the whiners who see a sign saying, “You’re not welcome here” and question it. The whiners who question commenters that advocate wholesale murder of Muslims for the crime of existing while telling me it’s the Muslims I should be afraid of. The ones who say “They should go back to their own country” while forgetting that at some point, that could have been said to the vast majority of American ancestors.
To those people I say “Go board up your own damn windows.”)
I’m not worried about radical Muslims that hate America. I’m worried about radical so-called patriots that are willing to tear down the foundational principles of this nation while claiming to do us good.
By their words and their deeds, it’s clear. They hate us.
And no, I’m not talking about the Muslims. And no, I’m not pointing the finger at ALL conservatives or Right-Wing thinkers.
But to the Trump supporters, to those who agree with committing war crimes against civilians, to those vocal, hateful voices out there bringing disgrace upon your party and the nation you claim you love:
Congratulations. You’ve become the thing you fear and hate most: An ideologically-driven body of angry people espousing violent, radical, anti-American declarations and policies without regard for any conflicting evidence or higher good.
You’re the ones not only casting away traditional American values but actively coming against them.
You’re the danger. You’re the threat.