A husband and wife couple, who happened to be Muslim, killed 14 people and wound 22 during a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, the deadliest such tragedy in three years.
Donald Trump has suggested banning Muslims from our country by spewing vicious propaganda in reaction to the shooting tragedy. Surprisingly 25% of surveyed Americans and 38% of GOP primary voters agree with him. Trump’s rhetoric and ideology is reminiscent of “slavery back in effect“.
One of this country’s founding principles is freedom of religion, which is enshrined in the first amendment. Even if you dismiss that principal, the logic of Trump’s proposal and those that agree with him is flawed.
Are all white people the same? Are all black people the same? Are all Christians the same? Are all Muslims the same?
The answer to all of those questions is NO!
People are individuals with individual characteristics. Even my two sons who live within the same household, raised by the same parents are as different as night and day. One is religious, the other not so much, one is athletic, the other not so much, one is small the other large, one is very social and outgoing, the other more reserved and quiet, one is silly the other one more serious and the list could go on and on. Of course, as I have mentioned before, they also have many similar traits such as intelligence, kindness, likability, being respectful, love of music, travel, family and friends and again the list could go on and on.
As of December 2nd, 353 mass shootings have killed 462 and wounded 1,317 people in 220 cities, according to the website shootingtracker.com. The majority of the shooters were Young White Christian Males rather than Muslim.
However, no one would dare suggest banning Christians or even profiling young White males. White privilege prevents most people from even considering the profiling of white males. But as soon as the perpetrator is someone other than White, the discussion changes and stereotypes and prejudices are introduced.
Whenever I hear a person make racist or derogatory statements against a whole group of people based on stereotypes, I realize that person probably expresses similar sentiments about the group I belong too. A person making generalized negative comments to me about one group is probably making negative comments about my group to others.
As expressed in an earlier post, “First They Came“, once we allow the unreasonable exclusion or discrimination of one group, it makes it much more easier to discriminate against the next group. Eventually, the discrimination may reach you or one of your family members or friends. And if you don’t speak up for others, you can’t expect others to speak up for you.
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