Thursday, September 09, 2010

We, the People....

......are seriously fucked up.

What is this trajectory this country is on?? Seriously, I'm not all Pollyanna and Mary Poppins with my patriotic optimism but I never imagined I would find my country moving in such a divisive manner . Is this what having a Black president brings out of people??

This controversy over the site of the Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan is appalling. Yes, men who professed to be followers of Islam commandeered planes and committed crimes against humanity so egregious it's still a sore wound for me, almost 9 years later. And yes, in the aftermath there were some who cheered because to them the hijackers were David and we were the fallen Goliath. However, that does not give us the license to condemn this project. Every religion has fanatics and extremists (wait....are there Buddhist extremists??? I don't know). The KKK claimed to be Christians. I don't see anyone protesting the building of churches near where people were lynched, brutalized, terrorized. Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic. Are we saying that no Catholic Church or anything related to the tenets of Catholicism can be erected any where near the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing because doing so would be "insensitive"?
(Sidebar: I see no one protesting the current existence of strip joints and "massage" parlors in such close proximity to these hallowed grounds in lower Manhattan. Sooooooo, sex is okay but religion is not?? Ohhh, okay. )

This blanket condemnation has to stop. The people behind this project had NOTHING to do with the mass murders that occurred on September 11. Don't you think that if they did, the government and the media would have figured it out by now?? All they want to do is build a center that accommodates their congregation since they have outgrown the space they currently occupy (which, by the way, was already in the neighborhood). The religion itself is not responsible either. The Pope may not be happy with the way I live my life all the time but I'm still a Catholic. It's my interpretation of my faith that plays a role in how I live my life. That doesn't mean that every single Catholic in the world subscribes to my interpretation. Instead of burning the Qur'an - a book held sacred to some just as the Bible and the Torah are sacred to others, how about we read it and understand the beliefs of this religion we clearly know nothing about? In this case, knowledge is definitely power. Power against propaganda and close minded viewpoints. Don't get hoodwinked by the zealots that stirred up your fears. If so, we're doing EXACTLY what they wanted us to do. We no longer need to elect politicians, we're allowing them - the terrorists- to govern our lives. We are becoming no better than them. Why stoop to their level??

Personally, I believe the Islamic Cultural Center would be a great addition to the lower Manhattan neighborhood. It would stand as a symbol of tolerance and acceptance of diversity. A testament to not allowing the actions of a few to define the beliefs of all. If the center is built as planned, it will include a performance arts center, a childcare center, fitness center, culinary school, art studio, September 11 memorial, and a prayer space for Muslims to worship. Someone please explain to me what is so evil and insensitive about such a structure. I've tried to see the opposing points of views but it all just sounds like codes for bigotry and xenophobia. I'm almost expecting a resurgence in white hooded outfits and cross burnings. Will I be considered 3/5 of a person again? Will I be relegated to the fields picking cotton?? Will people be burned at the stake for not going to church?? How far are we taking this??

Some people do cruel unconscionable acts, all in the name of religion. Why can't the rest of us turn our backs on the hate and embrace our differences, all in the name of humanity? Isn't that what this country was founded on? If we, as a country, as a people, continue on this intolerant, insensitive, hate filled road, we will see more attacks, more divisiveness, more hate. We can't afford anymore wars. The United States essentially becomes an oxymoron and the Constitution becomes nothing more than some old piece of paper. Like Spike Lee famously admonished through the voice of Laurence Fishbourne at the end of School Daze, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKEEEEEEE UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!

*To those who may stumble across my blog because you've set up an alert for any of the controversial terms mentioned above, respect my space. We can agree to disagree, however I won't tolerate or publish any viscious or negative attacks on me personally. I can't go for that, no can do.

1 comment:

rashad said...

I agree with you thatthis country is veering towards a scary place..ironically, the last time it was this scary was right after Sept 11th when everyone was ultra patriotic. xenophobia reared its ugly head under the guise of pro-america talk and it was scary.

In the meantime, who's down to send some audio versions of the Qu'ran to Terry Jones?