Black Lives Matter. Terrorist shootings. Muslim bans. Donald Trump. I have read several great posts regarding these topics, with relevant, thought-provoking points. One blogger spoke of having “the talk” with his son about how to interact with the police, which could mean the difference between life and death.
Another blogger made great points, including that, even if he might have been interfering in some way (which is still in question), Jamar Clark didn’t deserve to die. She also pointed out that Clark might have had ongoing mental health issues which could have exacerbated the situation. And, given his underprivileged economic status, it was highly unlikely he was getting proper medical treatment. To me, these examples are just as much a crime as any law that might be broken.
Extremism is not Exclusive
Other points were made about Christians not wanting to be represented by extremists such as the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church. Most Muslims condemn the recent, abhorrent terrorist actions and do not identify with them. And while I am not an atheist, I am also not a believer of any dogmatic religion—which can lead to intolerant, exclusionary thinking. Having said that, Muslims also deserve the courtesy of not being lumped together with the radical extremists who misrepresent their beliefs.
Nowhere is that more true than in the United States, with its constitutional protections of religious freedom. Trump’s proposed ban is not only preposterous, ethically, morally, and logically (even within the Republican Party, many see his views as too far “out there”). As an article in the Washington Post states, it is also, on some levels, unconstitutional. It compares the ban to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which wasn’t completely overturned until 1965; spurred on by the Civil Rights Act of that time.
I recently watched a documentary on the rise of the Third Reich and the Nazi Party, leading to the start of World War II, which the U.S. helped fight against; and won, fortunately. Some of the isolationist ideologies are eerily similar to the rhetoric of today. In fact, some of the tenets of Nazism are based on the book, On the Jews and their lies. Published in 1543, it was written by none other than Martin Luther, founder of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation.
Another mantra of Hitler’s was to once again make Germany a great country. I have seen similar slogans regarding the United States during the Trump campaign. But that throwback to another era would, essentially, only apply to those who met the following criteria: white, Christian, heterosexual, male. Now, I realize that not all who fit this profile share the same bigoted, exclusionary mindset. But, for those that do, I think they see their yacht of elitist privilege taking on more water. And they see Donald Trump as the guy with the biggest pail.