Tuesday, January 27, 2015

As the utility of scaring people with the gay menace wanes ...

Here's a little bit more on the fearful fantasies occupying our Republican fellow citizens: Paul Waldman at the American Prospect points to a developing conflation of xenophobia and Islamophobia that he thinks may replace hating the gays as a central theater of culture war:

... a rumor recently began circulating that in many countries in Europe, Muslims have established areas where not only are non-Muslims afraid to go, but where police refuse to go and some version of Sharia law has replaced the actual laws of the country.

... away from debating about what is or isn't happening in Europe, to what might be coming to the United States. Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, an extremely influential figure among the religious right, recently warned that Dearborn, Michigan, and "parts of Minneapolis" are now ruled by Sharia law. In response, Representative Keith Ellison—one of two Muslim members of Congress, who represents Minneapolis—sent Perkins a warm and patient letter inviting him to the city, where he could see that while there are many Muslim Americans who live there, all federal, state, and local laws remain in effect.

While you might think that any whipped-up fears having to do with Muslims are about terrorism, this is as much or even more about immigration. It's an exaggerated version of what so many find disturbing when they see significant numbers of immigrants in and around their communities: that the new arrivals will make them feel like aliens in their own home. People will be speaking a different language, eating different foods, participating in a different culture, and all of it will seem strange and unsettling. ...

The good news: the right is losing on gays, and it will lose on demonizing our latest wave of immigrants, eventually. That's the story of the country.

Noted in San Francisco's Civic Center plaza on a nice fall day. We may be under siege by a wave of tech zillionaires, but as usual, the city by the bay is cheerfully living the conservatives' nightmare.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

Where I live there are many diverse cultures due to the nearby university and the agricultural community. The places that fear seems easiest to instill are where they see less people who are not like them in ethnicity. The more people see and live around others the less others are scary.

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