Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Blasphemous, Un-American Moron...

Sometimes  you sit down at the  keyboard and  rather than type your thoughts  you just want to rest your head against it, and  hope everything that  is going on in the world, will just go away....

This is one of those times.

Wade Michael Page, a deranged racist,  who would often talk of a coming "racial holy war", bought a 9mm semi automatic handgun with multiple ammunition magazines on July 28. Then two days ago went to a Sikh Temple just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and opened fire.

As a country, and as a culture, America struggles with how to react when things like this happen. Conservatives tend to circle their political wagons and claim Liberals,  and anyone else who says tragedies like these should cause America to examine its  relationship with guns, are “exploiting a tragedy for political gain.” While liberals claim the defence of completely unlimited gun rights by those on the Right, shows how “out of touch” conservatives are. While everyone else just tries to get through the day without wanting to cry, or scream or both.

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Let me get this out of the way first.  As far as the whole Gun issue goes.... I do not believe the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution allows Americans to have whatever kind of , and however many, guns as we want. The line in that often cited Amendment that many Americans like to forget is the first line of it;

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

So many Americans, are convinced, the right to have a gun, whatever kind of gun, and as many guns as they want is as critical to American Identity as our freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. Consequently any talk of the right to a gun, being “well regulated” sends otherwise rational people into spasms of  conspiracy riddled indignation.

Trying to have any sort of national discourse on America’s cultural firearms fetish, is pretty much like trying to teach pigs to Juggle. All you are going to accomplish is one group gets frustrated and the other group gets annoyed.   So if you disagree with me on the Gun issue, fine.  But  we both know you are wrong. So don't bother spewing  your supposed love of the 2nd Amendment  in the comment section on here.   I won't read it, and I won't post it.  Go back to forwarding your nut job chain letter emails  claiming that the President Obama is  "coming for your guns".  Because I don't care.

 I didn’t post anything about the recent, horrific movie theatre shooting in Colorado, so I wrestled with writing a post about Sunday’s shooting at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I am quite familiar with that part of the world, being from Wisconsin, and having lived and studied in Milwaukee. Still not having lived there for nearly two decades, I really didn’t feel there was anything I could add to the discourse on this, other than my own shock, and sympathy for the victims and their community.

Funny odd thing, life... How one brief encounter on a London Subway, can change all that.

Last night I was on the London Underground heading home after work, Thanks to the Olympics I have found the trains actually less crowded than usual. So oddly enough, I was able to find a seat on the Jubilee Line, while I read the London Evening Standard. I had just finished the article reporting on the shooting in Oak Creek, when I looked up and noticed two young Sikh men sitting directly across from me, reading the very same article. Their distinctive turbans and beards standing out in the crowd of weary evening commuters.

They appeared to me to be at most, in their late twenties. They both were looking at the newspaper one of them was holding, The expressions on their faces growing increasingly solemn as they read the account of the shooting.  The older looking of the two, folded the paper and looked at the other and shook his head and said quietly “Americans think we are all Muslims. That’s why they shot them.” His companion nodded his head, and replied; “Not just Muslims, they shoot each other at the cinema too...

I wanted to say something.  I wanted to  tell them,  that  Wisconsin  is not a place full of racist gun toting nut jobs who feel  threatened to the point of deadly violence when faced with any religious faith that isn’t their own.  I wanted to tell them  how  Wisconsin   is a  place where  you would want to grow up.  Where you would want to come and study.  I wanted to explain how one  racist  lunatic  with  a gun  did not, could not, and never would  speak for me,  my family,  my friends and  that part of  the United States that  I still to this day,  call  “home”.

I wanted to say all of that. But I didn’t.   Because there is absolutely no reason on this Earth for those two young Sikh men to believe me if I had.  After all,  why should they  believe anything of the sort, when America’s self-proclaimed leaders of faith are saying crap like this.

Page, who was shot and killed by police during the attack, has not been identified as an Atheist, yet this sad, demented hate monger was first out of the gate to go on national television to say it was a lack of belief in God (his God specifically) that is partly to blame for the shooting.

I know habitual viewers of FOX News are going to have trouble understanding this, so I will type slowly.  Try to understand this;  God does not love America more than other nations. We are not God’s favourite kids. If you think that, you are a blashphemous moron. Pat Robertson is an un-American hate merchant who thinks America is better than other nations because of people like him. He could not be more wrong.

The success of the United States as a nation throughout our history has been a direct result of our DIVERSITY - E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one,) THAT is what makes America exceptional.  Not some twisted notion that John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin,   fought less for the idea that all people are created equal,  and more  for the right of every American to own an Uzi.  Or the even crazier notion that, owning that Uzi is somehow  pleasing to the Almighty, thus granting America special divine favor.

The people of Oak Creek Wisconsin are in my thoughts, and yes.... my prayers.  Prayers that they will survive both this tragedy,  and the idiocy that has followed it.   It is the fact that there is a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin to begin with,   and there will continue to be, even after this senseless tragedy;   That is what makes America exceptional.

1 comment:

Otaku said...

I'm not really sure what transpired to cause the extreme religious right to become so forth coming with their hate towards all who do not speak and believe as they do. But it scares me. Its time for the moderate christians to speak up LOUDLY that the hate that spews from these extremest arent what they believe. We are a powerful country due to our vast diversity, but the last 5 years or so, our diversity is being severely challenged by these far far right religious people. They want our country to become a theocracy, something that our founding fathers feared with a passion, hence the whole separation of church and state, something now that seems to be twisted by these people as well.

I'm quite worried about our countries future. I feel we are on the cusp of a huge sea change, and I'm hoping that it doesnt go the way of the last one, with massive riots in the streets, the burning of entire neighborhoods, and wide spread violence. Our country still hasnt fully healed from those riots, those wounds still seep in many areas of our country. But, sadly I see things headed that way.

The extreme religious right, talks of nothing but hate hate hate hate, and to make their speech worse is they cloak it in rags of "just wanting the truth". The whole brouhaha over Obama's birth certificate is nothing but racism, pure and simple. But they feel the need to "pretty" it up by claiming they are worried someone that isnt legal to hold the office of POTUS, is indeed in office. What frosts them is a black man won an legal election against a white man. And that tears at their world view.

Great post, it really got me fired up. lol as you can tell!