Simple fact is this: We shouldn’t need Supreme Court rulings in order for us to say that visages of hate such as the one shown below are wrong and unpatriotic.
I could try to explain to these “protestors” that what they yell counters religious liberty vital to America’s identity. I could try to explain that the hate they spout sows seeds of hate among their children and communities. I could try to reveal the gross negligence they display, but people who yell hateful words against those trying to help battered women probably won’t listen.
Our struggle as America, the grand experiment, remains the ability to move forward together. Only together under one flag (the one with 50 stars and 13 stripes) can we expect improvement. As long as we call these visages of hate “protests” we will live in the delusion of "separate but equal." Some things never change. Our combative tones makes a “more perfect union” (read: the American Dream) the greatest pipe dream ever to have existed. It will remain as such so as long as we fight against each other, and not for each other.
As with Jim Crow, Women’s Voting Rights, or McCarthyism, American Society possesses an uncanny ability to find someone to oppress. If you were to examine American history it would chronicle the story of how the oppressed become privileged, and then found a new group to oppress. Islamophobia marks the next unfolding chapter of injustice.
Remarkably, many of these people will attend a Christian congregation on Sunday, and it is there that they have been fed abhorrent messages of hate. I struggle, every day, to come to terms with that fact that they call themselves Christian and I call myself Christian. I struggle, every day, to come to terms with that fact that they call themselves American and I call myself American. We must recognize that we need each other, or we will forward yet another oppressive movement that inevitably leads to the demeaning of our common humanity.
With my Muslim brothers and sisters I find strength. The story of humanity's redemption remains far from finished, and I hope humanity lasts long enough to see it come about. Those that denounce this act must stand together, and speak out lest our silence remain complicit with injustice. Half-truths have been made “The Truth.” Our humanity calls us forth into persistence that demands neither condemnation nor simplification, but transformation. Words of hate that call for militant action against American citizens practicing Islam demeans America’s identity. It’s not only the American principles their words weaken; it’s not only the Founders they disgrace with their egregious visage of hate; it’s not only our children and future ancestors who, with their continued hate, they sell short; but, we demean our common humanity.
If Islamophobes care about what America “once was,” they will cease hateful speech, and learn the narrative of oppression constantly forwarded in this country. If Islamophobes call themselves “patriotic” they will understand that Muslims have died for the flag in front of which they yell. If Islamophobes want Muslims to “go home” then they too should pack their bags. This country is not the home of the White-Anglo-Saxon Protestant, Catholic, Tea Party Member, Democrat, Republican, or any person save Indigenous American Peoples.
Unpatriotic isn't the failure to fly a flag. Unpatriotic is Islamophobia and anything that ignores the narrative of oppression from which this country was built, and presently uses to slow justice.
Our common destiny is our common humanity.
E Pluribus Unum. Or, if you need a quote from someone there in the beginning, here’s President Thomas Jefferson:
“Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.”
Will we allow them to continue to guide us? Or, will we turn out the light of liberty and cease to be the “city on a hill”? If we cannot accept our Islamic citizens we fail our United States of America.