By 2000, I'd been active in local politics for several years. And I was also learning that though I might only wear one hat at a time, all the hats are a part of me and none get left behind as I go through my day. Thus, while working on campaign and listening to potential candidates, I listened with ears of women, Muslims, workers, counselors, people caring about kids and the elderly, and all the other lenses with which I see Life.
So, that Sunday before Election Day in 2000, when I opened my email and received SEVERAL copies of a American Muslim group's endorsement of Bush, I got a bit crazy.
CHICKENS VOTING FOR COLONEL SAUNDERS
As much as I'm not over the theft of the Election, I'm still angry at some group took it upon themself to claim my opinion. Well, that is also what Bin Forgotten and Bush are doing too, but there's an assumption that national groups are not psychotic megalomaniacs.
I've always been able to look at Bush's narrow, hateful face and see the bigotry right down to the core of his dark, dark soul.I've seen bigotry look me straight in the eye. I've heard it as I overheard conversations. I've read it on paper that was put in my hands and on walls as I've driven or walked by.
So have you. If you think you haven't... open your eyes and start listening.
September 16, 2001:
Bush made the same point during his remarks at the White House. "This crusade, this war on terrorism is gonna take awhile. And the American people must be patient. I'm gonna be patient," Bush said.
September 2, 2006:
"You know what I'm gonna tell those Jews when I get to Israel, don't you Herman?" a then Governor George W. Bush allegedly asked a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. August 22, 2006:
Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, referred to his house painter as "a nice little Guatemalan man" and suggested that worker as well as employees of a roofing company he hired might be in the country illegally.
August 14, 2006:
Earlier this month, George Allen, a Republican senator from Virginia, twice referred to an opponent's volunteer using a term for a monkey, considered by some to be a racial slur. "Let's give a welcome to Macaca here," Allen said. "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."
There is a part of me that cringes at being so angry at the Colonel Saunder supporting chickens. People do have the right to be masochists and make their own lives miserable.
But they don't have the right to sell off others or their children. Or worse yet, raise their children to buy into the proverbial butcher.
Some of those Muslims who sent me their endorsements of Bush now regret doing so. Not only did they get a scathing reply from me, but I'm also considerably less likely to engage them in politics anymore. Some realized how ignorant they were. But more often, the biggest regret is that Bush sits in the White House.
In January, Mike Arcuri attended the community dinner held by my mosque. He was the first political guest in my memory who stayed for the entire dinner. And he not only stayed, but he also conversed with countless other diners and sat at a table of congregation members instead of a head table.
He GETS not just the importance of diversity but the celebration of it.