Rep. Peter King gets caught in one of his lies


So we’re off.  The congressional committee hearings on Muslims in America, run by NY Republican Peter King have begun and already they are full of false assertions.  King, caught in one of many lies outlined below, has found a way to appeal to the fear and hatred of Americans for other Americans, fostering and encouraging it.  In doing so he has exposed himself for the race baiter, demagogue and Islamophobe he really is.  Don’t think so?  Take a look

 

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Uncle Toming with bigots


Every group of people has them.  You know the ones who are effusive with praise for people who conceivably mean them harm, therby hoping to be accepted by these sheep in wolves’  clothing.  Jews call such people, self hating jews, and African Americans call them Uncle Toms. Meet today’s new Uncle Tom. Allen West, the newly elected US congressman from Florida went on The Shalom Show, that alone should tell you where this is going, and when asked a very leading and bigoted question about  Keith Ellison, another US congressman from Minnesota, and Islam had this to say:

Well I think it’s most important that I stand upon the principles that people elected me to go to Washington, DC and represent them on Capitol Hill. So that when you run into someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established, you’ve got to be able to defeat them intellectually in debate and discourse, and you to just have to be able to challenge each and every one of their assertions very wisely and very forthright (sic).

First off, it’s embarrassing for a Jew in America, with all the history that means to ask anyone to comment on the religious preference of any other American in a defamatory manner.  I wish someone would call the ADL on the announcer, host Richard Peritz for asking a question he knew would solicit the kind of hatred he and other Jews in America once feared and fought against.  But then to have West, an African American member of Congress respond to  that fear mongering and bigotry in kind, well that’s just mighty white of him.

Hatred and racism have come full circle in America.  A black man and  a Jew team up together to denigrate the choice of a fellow American and imply that such an American has no right to that choice and should be discriminated against because of it.  That’s where America is today, in the 21st century, in the year of our lord, 2011.  This is who we’ve become and it is as ugly today as it was in during the days of the Jim Crow south and as worthy of the attention of the masses of people to protest and demonstrate against.  Racism must be alleviated in America; it is detestable no matter who spews it, even if they were once its victims, they cannot, must not victimize others with it!

Keith Ellison has it right


In an interview with the BBC, US congressman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison said ‘those spearheading the effort against the Park51 project were not adequately represented as families of 9/11 victims rejecting the proposal on emotional ground, and were rather anti-Obama, xenophobic types who wanted to suppress Islam throughout the country.’

The real driver of it are people who openly proclaim that Barack Obama is not a citizen. The real organizers of this thing are people who are just proponents of religious bigotry. Nothing more, nothing less.

Around the country, this thing is emblematic of a larger issue… There have been anti-mosque efforts in Kentucky, one gentleman who wants to burn a Qur’an in Florida, there have been efforts in Wisconsin and in the Chicago area and others.

It’s not difficult to know who these proponents of religious bigotry are; and Ellison should be the keenest among us in knowing who they are for they launched personal attacks against him. Indeed they are people who openly oppose every Muslim/Islamic attempt at engagement in American public life using the tactic of linking American Muslims to any and every terrorist incident that has taken place on the world’s stage. Their rhetoric is easy to spot, ‘not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims’, or this time worn phrase of ‘radical Islam’ and equating even the most passive of Muslims, such as Faisal Abdur Raouf as a follower of “radical Islam”.  So let’s spotlight some of these useful idiots and hang their names and photos on America’s wall of racist shame, who have plagued our history.

Martin Peretz, the editor of  The New Republic actually had the following words attributed to him

But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

It should be apparent to all that Peretz is in the throes of Alzheimer’s or has succumbed to it completely. He is supposed to be one of the more intelligent among American voices having taught at Harvard University, with scores of honorary degrees, but that just goes to underscore the difference between book sense and common sense is sometimes as stark as night and day. He is somewhat well connected however, among Democrats, which might be the reason why both Harry Reid and Howard Dean have taken more subdued positions than Peretz’s but with the same outcome, the demonization or marginalization of American citizens. Oh, and I neglected to mention how Peretz, a Jew, making statements that sound so like those made against his fellow coreligionists over the centuries  now using the same diatribe is the height of chutzpah/hypocrisy. Peretz is a self-admitted racist however so having his name on the racist wall of shame is a no brainer, in my opinion.   And we think we don’t have a racial problem in this country or that it was solved with the election of Obama? Think again America!

Politics vs. Integrity: No Brainer!


I remember all the brouhaha surrounding Keith Ellison’s run for the House of Representatives; people were afraid he would institute Islamic Shariah law and therefore felt he was a threat to the security of the US.  He handled himself well throughout all the racist diatribe he faced and prevailed and won election and reelection last fall as well.  Meanwhile another American Muslim was elected to Congress from Indiana named Andre Carson, albeit with a lot less fanfare.  Now I know why.  Politics as it stands today is a business, and congressmen are business people, not representatives in a Republican form of government.  How else can you account for the fact these two Muslims of African-American descent voted either present or for House Resolution 34, which says in part:

expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state……reiterates that Hamas must end the rocket and mortar attacks against Israel…believes strongly that the lives of innocent civilians must be protected to the maximum extent possible…lay(s) blame both for the breaking of the ‘calm’ and for subsequent civilian casualties in Gaza precisely where blame belongs, that is, on Hamas….reiterates its strong support for a just and sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict achieved through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

There’s a lot wrong with the wording of the Resolution and many of the “facts” have been disputed worldwide, and on some of the pages here at Miscellany.  What’s disturbing is that ANYONE could vote for such a lame document that is so  factually inaccurate and easily documented as such, but it passed overwhelmingly, with the votes of 2 Muslim American congressmen…or rather 1.5 votes of the two. Keith Ellison said in part:

Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border have been repeatedly harassed and live daily in fear. Hamas, a terrorist organization founded with the goal of destroying Israel, has launched more than 6,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2005.

We need to have compassion for the people of Gaza and the tremendous human suffering there.

That is why I will vote “present” on this resolution concerning the current conflict in Gaza.

There are no recorded remarks for Carson regarding this resolution.  On the one hand this vote dispels the notion that Muslim congressmen are monolithic and contrary to American foreign policy, but it also points out how political office in America tends to foster myopic vision of world events when it comes to Israel.  What I would have liked to see is a more compassionate and reasoned voice like the one offered by Dennis Kucinich, Democrat from Ohio, who said:

In Gaza, the United Nations gave the Israeli army the coordinates of a UN school, and the school was then hit by Israeli tank fire, killing about forty. The UN put flags on emergency vehicles, coordinating the movements of those vehicles with the Israeli military, and the vehicles came under attack, killing emergency workers. The Israeli army evacuated 100 Palestinians to shelter, and then bombed the shelter, killing thirty people.

Emergency workers have been blocked by the Israeli army from reaching hundreds of injured persons. Today’s Washington Post: 100 survivors rescued in Gaza from roads blocked from Israelis. Relief agencies fear more are trapped, days after neighborhood was shelled…Today, the U.S. Congress is going to be asked to pass a resolution supporting Israel’s actions in Gaza. I’m hopeful that we don’t support the inhumanity that has been repeatedly expressed by the Israeli army. The U.S. abstained from a UN call for a ceasefire. We must take a new direction in the Middle East, and that new direction must be mindful of the inhumane conditions in Gaza.

Ellison and Carson could learn a thing or two from Kucinich.  Or there is this even more eloquently expressed opinion from an ordinary citizen, Sarah Shields.

I accuse you, the US Congress, of having voted for US House Resolution 34 by an overwhelming margin, 390-5. In the name of protecting Israel’s security, this Resolution instead protects Israel’s “right” to hold a whole population accountable for the violations of a few. By condoning Israel’s behavior over the past two weeks as self-defense, HR 34 condemns one and a half million Gazans to capital punishment without trial for crimes they have not committed. By publicly acknowledging and approving Israel’s behavior, you now share responsibility for the outcomes.

I accuse you of violating the laws made by the Congress of the United States, laws like the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, which insist that American-made weapons may not be used against civilian populations.I accuse you of supporting flagrant violations of human rights. The combatants you voted to support are required by international law to care for civilian victims of war. Yet the Israeli government denied the International Committee of the Red Cross access to the sites they bombed for four days.

I accuse you of transgressing international law. The United States, as one of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, is required to protect civilians in war, and to call to account anyone who targets them. You have instead voted to support behavior considered criminal according to international law.

I accuse you of putting politics before humanity, of condoning the slaughter of innocents, of supporting war crimes instead of standing up for the most basic human right: the right to live without the terrifying fear of immediate death.

I hold you responsible, each of these 390 members of America’s 111th Congress. I accuse you of complicity in the most serious transgressions that humans can commit.

This is the type of passion we need in American politics, the fervor for going against the “status quo” no matter the stakes, if your position is right.  I salute the Dennnis Kucinichs and Sarah Shields of today who place their humanity before politics or religion or nationality, who make principled positions based on facts that are readily discernible and not on public relations brochures and junkets, and  I ask,  Keith, Andre, where were you when it counted?