Monday, August 16, 2010

my thoughts, frequently in ALL CAPS

You know what's pissing me off today? Well, friends, I'LL TELL YA. Bigotry. Well, bigotry pisses me off every day, but it's especially pissing me off today.

It pisses me off when I hear someone generalize black people. "I was mugged by a black man, so I pretty much stay away from black people." "I lock my doors when a black person walks by my car." "Black people commit a lot of crimes, so all black people must be bad." OH MY GOSH YOU'RE AN IDIOT SHUT THE HELL UP. The actions of an extreme, disproportionate few do not represent black people as a damn whole. (Also, as an aside, black people are CONVICTED of a lot more crimes than white people. That's not because black people are committing more crimes. Look up the effects of poverty and institutionalized racism some day. IT'LL BLOW YOUR MIND.)

Jokes about Catholic priests being pedophiles piss me off. That's bigotry, too, y'all. I get that it was totally a scandal and there was a cover-up and ALL OF THAT WAS BAD, but the actions of an extreme few do not represent Catholic priests, or Catholic people, as a whole. Catholic priests are by and large GREAT MEN. I vehemently defend Catholics against these allegations and against this bigotry, though I am not myself Catholic. Seeing my Catholic friends - good, loving, giving, Christian people, excellent representatives of what Catholicism is all about - be hurt by this kind of bigotry pisses me right off.

Specifically pissing me off today, though, are the people who are against the Islamic cultural center (not a mosque, although there will be a mosque inside) that's being built BLOCKS from Ground Zero in NYC. I'm sorry (no, no I'm really not) but THAT SHIT IS BIGOTRY. Saying an Islamic cultural center shouldn't be built near Ground Zero is like saying a Catholic church shouldn't be built near a day care. A few Catholic priests hurt a lot of kids, and the Catholic hierarchy covered it up - the pope even apologized for it. A few Muslims hurt and killed a lot of people on September 11, 2001 - Billions of Muslims the world over distanced themselves from it and have been trying ever since to make the world realize that the actions of a few extremist Muslims (WHO WERE NOT AT ALL IN TOUCH WITH WHAT ISLAM IS ABOUT) do not represent the entire religion.

Muslims did not orchestrate the attacks on 9/11. A few extremist Muslims did. Stop trying to punish the Muslim world at large, and stop trying to act like Muslims are spitting on the graves of the 9/11 fallen. Muslims are trying to reach out to your thick-ass head with this cultural center. They're trying to tell you, "THIS is what we are about. THIS is what we represent. NOT THAT. We are sorry you were hurt. We grieve with you too. Please understand us."

I heard somebody - Newt Gingrich, I believe - say that Muslims building a mosque near ground zero would be like Nazis putting a Nazi sign near a Holocaust memorial. No. Bad analogy. It's like the German government putting a government building near Buchenwald. The German government itself, as it exists, is not responsible for the Holocaust. Crazy, racist extremists (who were unfortunately the majority at one time) were. Muslims, at large, are not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. A few crazy extremists were.

Unfortunately, I have pissed a friend off in the course of discussing this topic. I get overheated in the face of what I feel is blatant bigotry, and I get ahead of myself. But no, I will not apologize. Nor will I apologize to the friend I called out a couple of years ago when she went off, saying she wouldn't let her child go near a Catholic priest because they're pedophiles. Standing up in the face of bigotry is part of who I am, it's what I will always do, and it's much more important in the grand scheme of things than any friendship.

21 comments:

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Sorry you think I'm a bigot, Stacey, but it has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with tact (or the lack thereof).

But, see, there I am, making myself crazy reading your post when all I wanted was a concession that one might be able to see how it would be offensive to someone. I'm stepping away, I swear. I really kind of hoped that maybe after you'd calmed down you'd've apologized for the "people like you" comment, being as it was completely uncalled for and moved what I thought was a debate on the facts rather than a personal thing.


(And, yeah, I posted this here, too, word-for-word.)

annie said...

You, my dear, are an inspiration and a voice to thoughts that I usually get so flabbergasted in forming into words, that I end up stuttering and spitting a little before I cry and open a bottle of wine. In a nation as polarized as ours is right now, a good, solid voice of reason is desperately needed. If we could get you a show on Fox, good GAWD, we'd all be better off.

Andrew said...

If it's distasteful for these Muslims to build what amounts to a YMCA four city blocks from the WTC location, then American Christians, in the name of sensitivity, should immediately cease all activity in Muslim countries where America has ever bombed, assassinated, or overthrown a government - which would probably be most of them. It is astounding how Americans act like our history with the Muslim world began on 9/11/2001, ignoring literally decades of our government treating those people like pawns in a game for its own benefit.

Allison said...

We have freedom of "religion" in America. Not freedom of "Christianity".

Crawdaddy79 said...

Just yesterday I was sitting at a traffic light with my wife in the car. A white homeless guy with a cardboard sign started walking between the two rows of cars (I was in the right lane), and I instinctively locked my car doors. I surprised myself with this, and turned to my wife and said "Hey, I'm not racist after all! I lock the doors on white people too."

Regarding the mosque, it's in bad taste on part of the people who are building it. They show a blatant lack of respect to most of the nation, regardless of their intentions, dismissing them as bigots. That's what's angering to most people.

And of course, the government shouldn't do anything to stop it from being built.

At the same time, I saw a quote today that I thought was pretty good. It went something like "Why shouldn't they build a mosque right next to our ground zero? We've been making ground zeroes next to their mosques for almost a decade."

White Baby said...

Hmmm... I agree with the analogies that you put down. I don't have a big problem with them building it. I actually don't know too much about it and don't figure I get an opinion because... I don't live in NYC. I can see why the people of NYC, as a first reaction, would be rather disturbed, but they can get over it.

Stacey said...

Cousin - I am completely failing to see how it is at all in bad taste without using bigotry as a justification. Is building a Catholic church next to a day care in bad taste too?

Crawdaddy79 said...

If it was the same day care that a bunch of Catholic priests had previously partaken in their afternoon delights, absolutely it would be in bad taste.

Stacey said...

And similarly, if this cultural center was being built by the same Muslims that orchestrated 9/11, it would be in bad taste. It's not. They're just regular old Muslims.

Crawdaddy79 said...

You've skipped my point. The Catholic church that you speak of was never to be built by the same Catholic priests who entered the Day Care.

The people building the church should be cognizant of the sensitivities of the people in the area. You can't just label people bigots and then dismiss their opinions/feelings. That in itself is bigoted.

Stacey said...

I didn't skip your point. A Catholic church built by a bunch of regular Catholics and their priests, near a day care, is no more offensive or insensitive than a cultural center being built near ground zero. A parent within the day care whose child was molested by a Catholic priest would have no more standing to oppose the church than the people who are opposing the cultural center.

I understand that the attacks have created within some people a fear and distrust of all Muslims. That is, in and of itself, bigotry at its purest level.

Crawdaddy79 said...

"A Catholic church built by a bunch of regular Catholics and their priests, near a day care, is no more offensive or insensitive than a cultural center being built near ground zero. "

Correct. It is roughly equal (again, if the day care is one that was previously assaulted by members of the Catholic religion).

"A parent within the day care whose child was molested by a Catholic priest would have no more standing to oppose the church than the people who are opposing the cultural center."

Also correct. The parent would probably protest it all the same, as is the right of any individual or group. If the church disregards their feelings and builds anyway, what does that say about the church? They can't speak out of the other side of their mouth and say they care and be taken seriously at the same time.

"I understand that the attacks have created within some people a fear and distrust of all Muslims. That is, in and of itself, bigotry at its purest level."

... So? I suppose it's easier to call people bigots. Everyone is a bigot.

Stacey said...

If the church disregards their feelings and builds anyway, what does that say about the church?

It says that the church rightfully believes that they, as a group, should not be held accountable or punished for the actions of one asshole. It would be nice if that church reached out a hand and maybe offered counseling to the family, or started a sexual abuse survivor's support group. The Islamic cultural center will include a 9/11 memorial.

Everyone is a bigot.

True. My bigotry is admittedly against politicians.

Wanda M said...

People call others a bigot who don't agree with their own personal opinion. There is true bigotry YES, most certainly - but it doesn't apply just because someone holds a different moral value or opinion that you. Just clarifying that. I disagree with a lot of people - but I am not a bigot. Consideration and sensitivity is the key with this issue I believe (my personal opinion) - and there is a lack thereof. The world as the US citizens know it changed on 9-11 and it will take years (if ever) for it to not be as volatile as it is today.

Stacey said...

Wanda - I'm not throwing the word "bigot" around like it has no meaning. I disagree with a lot of people over a lot of things, and I don't think they're all bigots. Opposing a cultural center being built by Muslims, on the grounds that Muslims attacked the WTC and it's therefore insensitive, is bigotry in its clearest form. I've not heard any explanation for the opposition that is not inherently rooted in bigotry.

What is your opinion of my analogy with the Catholic church and the day care?

Wanda M said...

My opinion, without elaborating or debating the issue any further, is that you can't compare the two issues to each other.

Stacey said...

Then I'll continue to not understand your position.

Stacey said...

What if my mostly-white church decided to move to Selma, Alabama, the site of one of the worst KKK attacks on people of color in history? Little girls died on that day, it was a huge tragedy. Would it be insensitive of my church to want to move to Selma?

Crawdaddy79 said...

It would be if people protested it and they did it anyway. :o

Watercolor said...

amen sister!!! (and i've only read your post, not the comments)

Watercolor said...

So if a bunch of people protest something, it shouldn't happen? Just because they are offended and chose to protest? So when those church people protest military funerals the families should cease with the ceremonies to bury their loved ones?