I’d been struggling to come up with something to say about the Park 51/”Ground Zero Mosque” affair that would not start with a profanity and devolve from there into frothing monosyllabic incoherency, but China Mieville beat me to it. His statement ends with a profanity, but it’s a well-earned one. And he further calls for some designer somewhere to come up with a slogan, logo, etc., that will allow those of us in a fury over this to express our objections more simply.
He concludes with: “Racism out of Manhattan”.
To which I say, this so hard.
I’m sick of this. I mean that quite literally — I can feel my blood pressure spike whenever I try to talk to people about this, and I throw up in my mouth a little whenever someone wafts a bit of hateful garbage in my direction. It’s not just that I have Muslim friends; there’s no need to personalize it. Bigotry is bigotry. I don’t have to be a member of a particular group, or have ties to that group, to be revolted when I see them being vilified, especially for such cynical, agenda-serving reasons. And yes, I’m mad at conservatives and liberals alike for this. Bigotry — like religious extremism itself, which is rooted in the same kind of xenophobia — costs lives. No one should be playing political games with it.
And so much of the rhetoric on this issue ignores the basic facts: that the building’s nowhere near Ground Zero (it’s 2 blocks away; in Manhattan, that’s miles, figuratively speaking); that many Muslim Americans died on September 11th, so this “disrespects the victims’ families” crap is just that, crap; that the site is by no means sacred; that there are already two mosques in the area and they’ve been there for years; and that this is mostly furthering the political ambitions of people who don’t even live here. Per that link, the people who do live in Manhattan are in favor of Park 51… yet for some insane reason the media seems most concerned about what people in Florida think. Florida.
::womanfully resists urge to unleash an entirely different F-word:: …Okay. Starting to go monosyllabic. Time to wrap this up.
No comments on this one. I trust the majority of Whatever readers to be able to have this conversation in a civilized and mature fashion, but I also trust the internet to be the internet, and I’m busy today and don’t have time to play whack-a-troll. It’s not fair of me to leave this one on Kate. Besides, it’s not like there’s a shortage of other places where you can go and express your feelings on this issue. Now you just know mine.