David Rosman – Columbia, MO – American’s are prejudice. Not all Americans, mind you, but as a nation. That is the way we are perceived from the outside. And by each other.
The Constitution says that every head living in this country must be counted once every ten years. (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3). Since 1789, every president has been a Euro-American. In 2009, the world changed and a man of mixed race filled the office. In the beginning of April, President Obama filled out his census form, marking the race response as “Black, African American, or Negro.”
Blog sites lit up. There were calls that the President lied on the census. That the President rejected his mother’s Caucasian race. That, somehow, his “absentee” father’s race is more important. That his choice of self-identifying as “Black” would somehow change the political direction of the United States for the worse. Not all bloggers were saying that the President hates Whites, but the ones that did are loud and furious.
As noxious were the responses to the story. The New Republic’s review of the “checking of the box” and the history of race designation in the United States brought out the worse, but, unfortunately, typical responses. Degrading the president because of a very typical and non-Islamic middle name. Calling Obama the first American commie president. Liking him to Hitler. And that is only the tip of the iceberg.
On the religious side, I receive an e-mail from American’s United for the Separation of Church and State. It is an interview of Reverend Lynn Barry, the executive director of AU, by Megyn Kelly of Fox News. The discussion was the result of a recent federal court decision that a congressionally declared “National Prayer Day” violates the First Amendment’s “Establishment” clause.
Listen to Kelly, She is angry. She is demanding justice for those who are “believers” and discounting those who are not. I can only assume she is referring to those that believe in the non-existent “Judo-Christian” heritage who are worthy of her praise and recognition. She marginalized Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans and Atheists. And Kelly’s comments and sentiments are quite typical of the extremists. And Fox News Network.
Rev. Barry remained calm and, to his credit, did not take the bait of the emotive and inflamed language.
These are Rush Limbaugh tactics. Yell, scream, interrupt, ask nonsensical questions and change the subject if you feel that you may be losing the argument. Forget that American Blacks, even when they were considered nonhuman, were better Americans than many of their white counterparts. Forget that some of the greatest minds in the United States today come from India, Japan, Pakistan and other non-European nations. Forget that those of Islāmic faith are the shopkeepers you and your family deal with everyday as merchants seeking the American dream. Forget that this is an immigrant nation and no homogenous.
Finally politics. I received an email from my friend Phyllis that claims the new health care reform law excludes Muslims from buying the mandated insurance, based on an Islāmic law of Dhimma.
Jews and Christians lived under the rule of Dhimma during the Islāmic rule for centuries. Dhimma means that one is a “protected person” from attack and reprisal if you lived under the Islāmic government and paid an extra tax. However, you must comply with the Islāmic laws that do not violate your personal religious beliefs. It was a contract and one example can be found at Fordham University concerning the Christians of Syria.
The new health care law does allow for exceptions to the required purchase of insurance for religious reasons. Here is the confusion, Islāmic law forbids gambling. Many clerics believe that purchasing insurance is a form of gambling.
However, this rule also covers non-Muslims, many of which are Christian such as Christian Scientist and other Christian and Jewish sects that do not believe in Western medicine, but the healing power of prayer.
Yet because the law was pushed through by those liberal, socialist, commie Democrats, it has to be wrong and puts “real” Americans at risk of new terrorist attacks.
This is not a condemnation of Christians by any means. It is the extremists from all religious groups, including non-theistic sects. (Am I going to get in trouble for that one.) It is the extremist conservatives and liberals on the political front. It is a level of intolerance that is, unfortunately, nothing new, just out in the open. And it if affecting the well-being of this nation for the worse.
I have no cure, no magic bullet to inoculate every person to be tolerant of their fellow humans regardless of color, beliefs, physical or mental limitations, heritage or other differences we can and will find. I wish there were. The cure to intolerance would be the greatest thing since…
David Rosman is an winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.