Friday, October 22, 2010

I (Bleep) That The (Bleep) Will (Bleep) If (Bleep) (Bleeps)

OK, this has got to be said. We have become WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY too paranoid on the “politically correct” front as exemplified by the recent firing of Juan Williams from NPR. I don’t like Juan, mainly because he hangs around those assholes at FOX “Not News” and any association with that inflammatory, hateful, lying, distorting, bed of ignorance, network is a big negative in my world. But we need to move away from the ridiculous and more towards sanity when it comes to this kind of shit.

When I was young, political correctness was barely a concept. People told racial, sexist, and religion based jokes all the time. I was guilty of it too (but I used to be a Republican as well so you see, people CAN change). I used to justify it by saying I was an “equal opportunity jokester”. I’d make fun of anyone, including myself, therefore it was OK. Well, it wasn’t OK. If someone was laying in bed with lung cancer, knowing they would be passing in the very near future, you wouldn’t walk in and offer them a cigarette thinking it was a fucking riot. Well, when a race, religion, or any other group of people has suffered at the hands of discrimination, bias, or stereotyping, it is very much like a cancer. There’s nothing funny about it.

So, with age I have gradually acquired wisdom and with that, greatly enhanced my ability to recognize ill founded bias. I have become a lot more sensitive to it. I preach it to my kids. Occasionally, they will even say “I have a joke… oh, never mind…. Dad won’t like it..." (which also concerns me because it means this kind of crap is very much alive within our youth). But the firing of Juan was a huge over reaction, a violation of his free speech, and a basic failure to recognize the “elephant in the living room”.

Islam is the largest religion in the world. It isn’t going anywhere. We, as Americans, need to become comfortable with it. But right now, we’re not. And those of you who know me have heard me talk about the answer to that problem (well, what in my OPINION is the answer). Muslims need to rise up and do an overkill condemnation of radical Islam to show the world they aren’t just speaking out about it, they’re doing something about it.

Somewhere there is a moderate Muslim whose brother knows a guy whose neighbor has a cousin that knows where Bin Laden is lurking. He needs to blow the whistle. Somewhere, there is a moderate Muslim whose sister works with the wife of a terrorist sympathizer whose best friend is married to the aunt of a suicide bomber slated to walk into a shopping mall somewhere. That person needs go to the authorities and spill everything he knows. And this has got to happen frequently. And it needs to be publicized heavily. When that happens, the rest of the world, including America, will begin to accept Islam.

I think Muslims also need to consider adapting to the cultures they are emigrating to. Now, those left of me will likely condemn this particular opinion but, people are hesitant to embrace those that are different. Be it out of fear, distrust, or just the fact that it is an “unknown”, human nature tells us to be wary of someone different from us. The mentally handicapped person on the street repels us. The blatantly intoxicated homeless person repels us. People who are very loud and overly exuberant often repel us. It’s not just based on race, religion, and gender. It’s based on “different”. But beyond that…

As civilized human beings (well, some of us) we learn to rise above that base instinct (at the very least, when forced to, but hopefully more often than that) to see what’s NOT different. We look for the good, the worth, reasons to NOT be repelled. We look for what is present that might attract us. It’s not always there (think Ted Bundy), but if fully civilized, we look for it. If moderate Muslims take my advice, we are going to quickly see it. The fact that they wear different clothing and have different religious beliefs will become less relevant. We will look at them as the people who helped rid the world of another bad element. Their children will learn that radical Islam is something to be stamped out, not embraced and through that, the pool of potential recruits will diminish. They need to police themselves even more vigorously than the rest of the world polices them.

I often joke with people that recreational activities that will likely result in death, should something go wrong, hold no attraction for me. I have no desire to skydive. If something goes wrong, you are likely dead. I don’t want to bungee jump. If something goes wrong, you are likely to die. I’ve never been up in a helicopter. Guess why. People have said but you ride a Harley! Well, I’m not a fucking wimp. I didn’t say I avoid things that might HURT me. I just want a fighting chance if something goes wrong. If that parachute doesn’t open, well I’m fucked!

So, take that to the airport. If something goes REALLY wrong on a plane (knife wielding suicide bombers or concealed explosives) I’m likely dead. Am I going to feel at least a little trepidation if there are obvious Muslims boarding my flight? You bet your ass I am. In fact, I’m more wary of those that aren’t obvious. Anyone who appears to be of Middle Eastern descent is going to make me a little nervous. In my mind, someone who has a plastic shiv or some C-4 is not likely to prance aboard a 757 screaming “Look at me! I’m from Yemen!”

Now don’t get me wrong. Unless my “spider sense” is really tingling I’m going to board the flight. I have faith in a few things. First, security is far better than it’s ever been (despite all the negative press). Second, there is NO WAY passengers on a plane will ever again sit back and watch a terrorist fly into a building. Third, I’m going to be watchful and aware. But I guarantee thoughts will cross my mind that wouldn’t have on a plane with passengers exclusively from Nebraska.

So, what Juan Williams did was to voice what almost all Americans who travel have felt to some extent. Firing him for that is beyond ridiculous. What Rick Sanchez said was ignorant. What Juan Williams said was real. It’s an unfortunate fact in today’s world that we have become somewhat wary of Muslims. Not because they’re all bad. Not even because most of them are bad. I believe most of them are good. But most of the time that parachute will open and you’ll float safely back to Mother Earth. It’s when it doesn’t open that all hell breaks loose.

Common Sense

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