Friday, July 23, 2010

Ignorance by any other name would still smell as foul . . .

I've recently been alerted to the escalating bigotry associated with the possibility of having a mosque constructed at/near the former site of the Twin Towers in NYC (here and here). The most shrill voices in opposition to this project include people we have already come to know as ideologically-motivated blowhards who select and manipulate data in any way that will further their political agenda: Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

Neddy Merrill over at EotAW provides a succinct overview of how Palin's comments on this issue are simplistic and ignorant, and how these comments perpetuate an extreme level of bigotry by implying that all Muslims are terrorists:
    the CI masjid will be “unnecessary provocation” only if people see the pain of 9/11 as caused by muslims rather than, say, extremist muslims in al Qaeda . . . Complaining about the symbolism or psychological effects just helps to cement the idea that the relevant reference class is muslim rather than something else.
One commenter to this EotAW post replied:
    But only .000000066% of the muslim population had direct involvement with the Trade Center attacks, assuming about 100 people actively worked on it. Bump that to 1000 people working on it and you still only have .00000066% . . . So that’s a pretty big fuck-you to a large portion of your fellow humans.
On this issue, Newt Gingrich weighs-in with another example of the selectivity and prevarication in which he excels. Again, Neddy Merrill over at EotAW does a great job of pinpointing the key element of this example of how Gingrich's bigotry leads him into faulty reasoning. Gingrich is arguing that the mosque project should be rejected because one nation in the "Muslim world" has draconian laws that don't allow non-Muslim places of worship. Here, as with Palin, the argument centers on the implication that all Muslims are the same -- that all Muslims are terrorists.

Now there's a bigoted television advertisement promoted by the National Republican Trust PAC that continues on the despicable path that Palin and Gingrich (among others) are forging.

At the same time that TEA Baggers such as Palin are railing against those who would characterize them all as racist & bigoted simpletons, they are themselves working hard to frame the NYC mosque issue in bigoted terms. TEA Baggers and other far-right conservatives want to be granted the benefit of the doubt, but they're not interested in extending this benefit to others. Ignorance and bigotry by any other name is still ignorance and bigotry -- call it Fox News, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, TEA Party, whatever.


1 comment:

  1. Thought-provoking take on this topic from the conservative side of the political spectrum.