This column is a bitter sweet one for me to write about because it deals with blinding and escalating scourges that exists among some of my fellow citizenry. Those scourges are the continuing and rapidly spreading diseases of racism and hatred toward Muslims, Jews, Hispanics and other immigrants of color in general.
Take for example, and according to a recent national report that appeared in a recent New York Post article, hate crimes against Muslims (in particular) soared last year. “The Post” stated that the actual total was 67 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year—as overall bias crimes in the country spiked nearly 7 percent according to FBI statistics released this past Monday.
The agency’s Uniform Crime Report revealed that Muslims were the target of 257 hate crimes in 2015 as opposed to 154 in 2014. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know that something is apparently terribly wrong in this country that we flaunt as the embodiments of the land of the free and the home of the brave.
You don’t have to be a true follower of the Islamic religious traditions to know that intolerances toward you and other faith traditions are rampant. Many, many others also feel the sting of discriminations if you look around you and you aren’t blind to what’s really happening in certain political klaverns and social caldrons freely flowing and growing in the USA and elsewhere.
This is serious business that I’m talking about today, so don’t brush this off like it’s only loose chatter. Listen carefully, hidden racisms and bigotries galore are very much socially alive, politically thriving and really hazardous if you about look at and think about the real America of today very carefully.
Oh, by the way and for your further information, it’s interesting to note that, overall, there were a total of 5,850 hate crimes reported to police nationally in 2015—a 6.8 percent hike from the 5,479 incidents reported the year before, the FBI said. It makes me want to ask the question, “Are the so-called ‘The American People,’ whoever they are, completely blind to the developing hatreds lurking from within its midst like termites in hiding, but still destructively operating, and causing immense damage in any given structure or scenario, while concealed from view?”
I know that I’m a proud Muslim, born a long time ago in Harlem, and America is the only place I know to call home in many degrees of the word. My faith of Islam is more important to me than anything in the world, but I’m still a true American respecting all, no matter what their faith, gender or ethnicity may be.
That sentiment by me, I’m sure can be echoed profusely and profoundly by others of this diverse country’s religious traditions and backgrounds, whatever, again, they may be or call themselves. In the ethical, puritanical and constitutional concept of what America is “supposed” about concerning freedom for all, even in religious matters, in my august opinion, it is the grateful utopian beauty, amongst others, that makes any sensible and sane American love what this country symbolically, allegedly and idealistically stands for.
It’s freedom, but I also know that there are some nationalistically and anarchistic minded ethnic folk in this vast nation who don’t really see it that way, no matter what freedom for all means. From groups like the infamously dangerous and very vintage Ku Klux Klan to the equally sinister nouveau alt-right movements, some misguided Americans are still blinded by radical beliefs and religious bigotries big time.
This includes some “poly-trickstians,” oops, I mean, politicians, who use coyly inflammatory words or suggestions to covertly, or overtly, bring about the denials of some Americans’ rights to practice his or her religious beliefs or traditions. These pseudo moralists operate behind a blind, or hidden, chauvinistic agenda, and I trust that you haven’t forget and have been blinded by what just happened in the past national elections?
Hmm! Did you know that to be blinded is to be sightless of the realities of life in many formats and norms of persuasions? Some Americans, due to their own mental shortcomings and bigoted conditionings, lack fair perception, sensitive awareness and moral discernment of what the Constitution really is about as it applies to all and not to just a certain group of European descendants.
I offer that with no intended disrespect and hatred toward anyone, but please do not get things twisted in this discussion about race, reality, politics and culture. Today’s America is a melting pot containing an ever-growing mixture of “colored” souls where religious bigotries and ethnic biases and racism in any formats are going to be confronted by older and young free thinking folk who won’t stand for bigoted inequities in their midst.
At heart, I believe that these fair minded beings believe in the credo that respect and hatred toward none, including Muslims and Jews, is what the Constitution really, really meant. These noble souls aren’t blinded by the prejudices of a few, even if the political leaders of this nation are secretly advancing policies of exclusions and divisiveness. Are you blind to what’s happening?
I hope not because America is and has always been a confederation of diverse ethnicities and variant religious segments coming together to be who they are. Their cultural heritages are what makes America great, but living here means that you should, must and will respect others, even if they differ from you in many sorted ways.
I’d like to add that “The Post” article mentioned that the FBI said that almost 57 percent of the 2015 incident reports were generated as a result of race, ethnicity or ancestry. Blacks were targeted 53 percent of the time, while Whites were the subject of 19 percent of the attacks. Are you still blinded?
Jewish people and Israeli institutions remained the most frequent target religious-based hate crimes, representing 53 percent of all those reported. Crimes against Jewish people increased about 9 percent.
Enough is enough. Open your eyes. Let’s make America awesome now. Destroy racism and bigotry. Don’t be blinded by intolerance and discriminations. Our country is potentially too great for those types of rubbish, and for today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”
This article appeared in the Wednesday’s November 16, 2016 edition of “The Charleston Chronicle,” www.charlestonchronicle.net.