In 1957, nine black students in Little Rock, Arkansas were subject to verbal abuse and vile protests because they exercised their right to attend a white school. On February 13, 2011, American Muslims attending a charity dinner in Yorba Linda, CA were subjected to the same racism and intolerance. I’ve posted videos of both events and you’ll note the striking similarities.
It’s been over 50 years, but this America still exists. The word “Muslim” has become synonymous with “terrorist” and we let that happen. We let Fox News spend months deriding the Area51 center because Muslims who were guilty of nothing wanted to have their center a few blocks away from ground zero. Because 16 evil men claiming to be Muslim killed so many on 9/11, all American Muslims must apparently now pay for that slaughter. They don’t get to Americans any more. They’re not subject to the same rights. The angry, hateful protestors at Yorba Linda scream “Go home!” even though these are American Muslims. They have the same rights as you or I and they’ve done nothing wrong.
The protest is made worse by elected officials attending and cheering on the crowd. Hatred and intolerance still works wonders at the ballot box and who cares if a minority has to be trampled on to get there? I doubt the children of Congressman Ed Royce will ever have to worry about his children being cursed at by strangers. I doubt Councilwoman Deborah Pauly will ever need to sit down with her children and explain why Americans hate them for no good reason. Forcing other families to have those conversations isn’t a concern to Mr. Royce or Ms. Pauly. There’s a group of angry Americans and the last election showed that there’s success in currying the votes of hatred.
After you watch the Yorba Linda video, I encourage you to donate to ICNA Relief USA, the group that hosted the charity benefit. Their services include women’s shelters, feeding the hungry, and disaster relief. People attending the ICNA’s charity dinner gave money to help others and their reward was to be labeled as terrorists. But you can make good come out of this evil by donating to ICNA and making the hatred of the protestors backfire. They wanted to call attention to ICNA. Well they got it, along with my $20.
The protest at Yorba Linda is a snapshot of America. I don’t believe all Americans are intolerant and that every Muslim in the world is good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any videos of American Muslims and Non-Muslims holding hands and singing Kumbaya, but I’m sure that there are more of us who get along than don’t. We have to. Hate is exhausting and as seen by the Westboro Baptist Church, it’s a full-time job. Watching the Yorba Linda video is tough, but it doesn’t make me despair for humanity. It makes me despair for those protestors.
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