Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Man With No Name Rides Again

Anonymous has entered another sad chapter in his ongoing saga of learning to read for comprehension. I don’t want to keep him away from his normal reading material of “Highlights” and “Jack and Jill,” but he raised a couple of points that I’d hate for anyone to think were an accurate description of what I wrote.

I’ll begin with kudos. At least this time Anonymous addressed something I actually said, instead of riffing on his own inaccurate inferences. His opening paragraph deserves close examination.

He begins:
No, what's "chickenshit" is calling people you don't even know, or have even taken the time to understand, "towel-headed, camel-driving sand monkeys". Have you even considered how many millions of individual people you might have insulted and degraded with such a blanket comment?

Sure I have: none. The people distinctly referred to as “towel-headed, camel-driving sand monkeys” were those who threaten or carry out extreme violence over a cartoon. No one else was implied. If anything, my comments gave such troglodytes the benefit of the doubt. Nothing I say could possibly degrade them more than their own actions.

Anonymous continues:
I am quite sure you don't even know enough about the Muslim faith to write a paragraph, much less justify this denegration [sic] of millions of people that you've never even met.

I doubt too many would say it takes a religious scholar to identify this spade as a spade. We’re not talking about religion; we’re talking about violence and the denial of freedoms (speech, religion, etc.) to others.

He then goes on about my suggestion to the overwhelming majority of law-abiding, tolerant, and peaceful Muslims to cut these extremists loose as “plain lunacy,” saying Muslims have no more control over these extremists than Christians have over theirs, and that if ending the madness was that easy I should just contact any number of “Christian” organizations and tell them to “knock it off.”

This blog is my forum for doing that. If anything, I have even more scorn for the Aryan Nation, KKK, and the other human impersonators he mentions because I don’t want anyone to think their actions represent me in any way. It’s possible the media underreports the denunciation of extreme Muslims by mainstream Muslims. I can only go by what I know.

Anonymous, do us all a favor. Instead of attacking the messenger, why don’t you apply your righteous indignation to telling us what you think of the medieval morons who carried their “Death to Freedom” signs and pledged violence against blameless individuals living in countries who have done no one any harm? You’ve responded as though this was all about me expressing my opinion. It’s not. It’s about those who would deny others the right to express theirs.

So, what do you think about the cartoon violence, Anonymous?


Anonymous said...

While many democratic countries hold the tenants of free speech as an irrevocable and undeniable right, many have recognized the intentional and provocative nature of those that disguise their hate filled messages of bigotry as a purposeful inducement towards violent action. The Supreme Court has long been in battle with the very idea that certain expressions, while only speech and not action, nevertheless can and do act as an impetus and enticement of violent acts, and as such should in some degree be held accountable for the consequences. So while it is certainly not logical to condone some of the violent responses to the cartoon, one has to admit that it was highly irresponsible for the publishers to ignore the conceivable violence that was more than likely to follow such an inflammatory message, especially in today's culture where words such as "Islamaphobic" have been created, and where such words should even exist. This violent response, which comes from only a few and certainly not the majority, is certainly not a first from a person/group who holds strong racial/religious/gender/political fervent beliefs in their ideals, nor will it be the last. It is only one that the media has provocatively and, obviously, convincingly used as a tool to discredit and disgrace an entire people, and as such should hold a certain amount of responsibility for the fallout. I realize that it might sound that I'm justifying acts of terrorism and violence but, ironically, all I want is for the hypocrisy to end. I simply can't accuse and discredit those who are doing nothing different than what I've seen in my own government, church, schools, and media. Just like it says in the good ole bible, "those who live in glass houses…",
I think before we toss our stones at those we believe beneath us, we need to feed our children, give homes to the homeless, incorporate equality into education instead of basing it on property taxes, teach our illiterate how to read, protect the 3 out 4 children who will be raped in their lives, get rid of "ghettos, barrios, the projects" and provide all with safe and healthy neighborhoods, treat addicts instead of imprison them, respect our elders, punish white collar criminals to the full extent of the law instead of giving them tax breaks or sending them to prisons with cable t.v., provide health care for those who are sick, extend our so called "equal rights" provided to American citizens to, in fact, every citizen not just heterosexuals, pay women and minorities the same as others in the same job, change teenage idols from Brittney spears to Stephen Hawkins, disallow large corporations to use "soft money" to finance politicians who will allow them to move factories into other countries where they will exploit labor and the environment at the expense of jobs for our citizens, accept the fact that illegal immigrants are here and doing the jobs we won't and if we truly want to stop them, instead of increasing the budget for border patrol, target and fine the companies here that actually hire them and, most of all, promote the values of diversity and acceptance that America has always claimed makes up the heart and soul of our country.
Let's start there….let's start with finding out how to prevent our own brand of terrorism: gangs and drugs and irresponsible corporations and the ever widening gap between rich and poor and the discontented who pick up their own tools of destruction, those, who while don't strike out in a way that might be resplendently publicized, are still killing and dying at an ever increasing rate…once we fix all that, I promise, I'll worry about what those damned Muslims are up to…

2nd Amendment Correspondent said...

As many people today are finding out freedom is not free. Nor is it easy, without cost, without effort, and doesn't please everyone all the time. In this day when the 1st Amendment is trampled heavily and used to excuse many sorts of utter rubbish, it is the right of the American public, and press, to exercise their Constitutional right to free speech. So, publishing cartoons is going to lead to violence, murderous demonstrations and prove to the world that the U.S., and other European countries, are the great Satanic evil that the "good" Muslims of bin Laden and Zarqawi are going to rid the world of?
Sorry, but my religious beliefs are trampled upon on a regular basis by the press. So far, I haven't held any demonstrations, blown up any religious centers, decided to become a suicide bomber, or done any of a number of other retaliatory acts. Violence on the scale that we have seen is an anaethema to freedom, democracy, and the principles of our Constitution.

Free speech is guaranteed by our Constitution. You get all of it, not just part. Censorship is a good way to become a police state. I certainly don't like everything that is published by the mass media, I think a lot of it is junk. But I support their right to put it there. What I decry is the denseness of my fellow citizens not to insist on more responsible reporting. And having said that, publish the cartoons. If anyone is that threatened, perhaps they should take another look at how sincere their beliefs are.

So, should we look to our own, as Anonymous suggests? Certainly, but if you only work on your own backyard, you may find the bulldozers flattening you out because you missed the meetings that said you were in the way of the new highway.

So, I worry about the extremist Muslims, just as I worry about the influx of MS-13 and their machete wielding thugs in my backyard.