I can’t imagine a better example of hypocrisy than the hysterically racist reaction to the building of an Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero.
Catered via FOX Schmew’s political hacks—Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck (who claims to channel “The Spirit”), this non-issue has become the Summer Blockbuster for the Republican Tea Party whose corporate sponsors will do anything to win seats in the November mid-term elections.
And they might; they play the “sucker born every day” card very well.
Contrary to the claim that Tea Partiers are “pimps for the plutocracy,” they’re really just prostitutes for corporate America suckered by euphemisms about how they’re standing up for liberty; the only thing they’re standing up for is their own continued exploitation by America, Inc. Corporate sponsors like Rupert Murdoch, Dick Armey, and the Koch brothers are the pimps—making millions by suckering white folks into believing that the world as we know it is coming to an end, and the people to blame are the poor and/or the brown, and/or Muslim.
Think the “grass roots uprising” over the “9-11 mosque” was some spontaneous outcry for 9-11 victims? Think again. This charade is bankrolled by Murdoch and Koch who, by fanning the flames of religious bigotry, have exploited the horror of 9-11 for their profit margins. Why pay attention to Koch’s John Birch Society legacy? Why worry the environmental/human-health impact of his stalwart resistance to any regulation at his pollution-spewing factories? Why worry about Murdoch’s takeover of the media?
No—we have Muslims to hate, and a First Amendment to despoil.
Tea Party Republican bigotry doesn’t end at the “mosque.” The same folks who believe that Feisal Abdul Rauf is bent on training terrorists on U.S. soil are likely to believe that Obama is a Muslim (terrorist), that he’s not an American citizen, that “death panels” are part of healthcare reform, that Saddam Hussein orchestrated 9-11 and/or harbored WMDs, that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have different historical roots, and that the first amendment’s establishment clause excludes “radical” religions.
We need search no further than 30 Seconds’ Obama-is-a-Muslim-terrorist-Lysk, Got-guns-Heller, How-about-genocide-Brobst, Ditch-the-14th-amendment-Pushinaitis, and Brown-people-are-herd-animals-Harter to see what prostitution for America, Inc. looks like. According to a recent Newsweek article (www.newsweek.com/photo/2010/08/24/dumb-things-americans-believe), one in three Americans would deny freedom of religion to “fringe” faiths. Yet, 21% believe in “sorcerers, conjurers, and warlocks,” 41% in ESP, 32% in ghosts, and 25% in astrology.
Is it any wonder that we’re so easily suckered by America, Inc.’s exploitation of fear, suspicion, and bigotry?
No wonder at all, even when there’s no issue: the first amendment is no more subject to hand-wringing about our feelings than is my right to speak in a public venue, however unpopular.
There’s no more mystery about whether Muslims have a right to build a community center than there is in the fourteenth amendment about who counts as a citizen. Our Constitution guarantees us religious freedom; the fourteenth amendment insures that birth in the U.S. grants citizenship. Yet those who cry loudest for a return to the founders, who insist on “strict constitutionalism,” are the first to interject riders and exceptions—suckered by pimps like Glenn Beck whose, as John Stewart puts it, “I Have a Scheme” rally not only aims to bastardize the legacy of Martin Luther King, but make millions off “reclaiming” the civil rights movement—for white people.
Think the dollars from this event will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation? Think again, and read the rider: After the events bills are paid. AKA: After Beck, Palin, and their corporate sponsors get “theirs.”
Wendy Lynne Lee
firstname.lastname@example.org (597 words)