Small & Feeble Minds …

I live in a community that is probably 35% refugees from Middle-Eastern countries.  Our neighbors to the right are refugees from first Iraq, then Syria and have become our closest friends.  We share meals and holidays, share our cultures, laughter and love.  In the days following 9/11, another Iraqi family down the street whose daughters were friends with Miss Goose came to our door asking if there was anything they could do for us and saying how very sorry they were for what had happened.  I was so touched.  The police had to place patrols in the parking lot of the local mosque 24/7, for the Muslim community began receiving threats.  It was a tough time for us all … including our Muslim brothers and sisters.

We’ve come a long way since September 11, 2001.  Or have we?  Last November, the people of this nation elected three Muslim women to the U.S. House of Representatives, which would seem to indicate that we are moving … have moved … past the bigotry and Islamophobia that seemed in some ways to define the days and weeks after 9/11.  However, at least one person in this nation seems to have a problem with those women, one in particular.  The person I refer to is Donald Trump, and the newly-elected representative is Ilhan Omar, a representative from the state of Minnesota.Ilhan-Omar-Time-magIt all started back in February when Ms. Omar made a comment criticizing Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  House Minority Leader and member of the House Freedom Caucus, Kevin McCarthy, jumped all over her comment, saying it was even worse than Representative Steve King’s support of white supremacy.  He claimed her comment was ‘anti-Semitic’ (it was not), and rallied the forces of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to condemn Ms. Omar.  What happened next was a series of back-and-forth that isn’t worth the time and space to relate here, but suffice it to say that Ms. Omar made quite clear that she was not speaking against the Jewish people, but against the state of Israel overstepping its bounds by occupying Palestine.  For the record, I agree with her.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association), of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?”

Then last month, Ms. Omar once again came under fire after giving a speech at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), where she was speaking in response to the two mosque shootings in New Zealand, speaking about the lingering fear directed at Muslims since 9/11, and the rights Muslims have to speak out about being viewed with suspicion.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. Many people expect our community to feel like it needs to hide every time something happens. But repeatedly we have shown them that we are not to be bullied, not to be threatened, we are not to be terrorized, we are strong and resilient, and we will always show up to be ourselves because we know we have a right to a dignified existence and a dignified life.”

Many of us knew this would get worse, we finally have a leader, a world leader, in the White House who publicly says ‘Islam hates us,’ who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is okay to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying and doesn’t understand — or at least makes us want to think he doesn’t understand — the consequences his words might have.”

And once again, the republicans and Donald Trump were off the rails, with one comment I read even referring to CAIR as a ‘terrorist organization’.  There is no need for me to repeat all the ignorant comments that came out of the depths of ignorance, but one person took the hate and bigotry a step further, possibly even putting Ms. Omar’s life in danger.  That person is Donald Trump.

On Friday, Donald Trump who calls himself a ‘president’, took one small portion of Ms. Omar’s speech out of context and re-tweeted a doctored video that I will not replay here, for it denigrates every citizen of this nation, including Representative Omar, but suffice it to say that it attempts to show her as being dismissive of the lives that were lost on that tragic day.  This is the work of a small and feeble mind.  When the ‘man’ at the helm of a nation of more than 300 million people resorts to such juvenile tactics, he incites violence by the other small and feeble minds in the nation.  Who, really, is the terrorist here?  It seems to me the one who calls himself a ‘president’ is as much a terrorist as were Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah.

Predictably, the republicans and conservative media outlets went wild.  Ms. Omar has already been the focus of threats, including one by a Trump supporter who was recently arrested.  On April 7, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent Trump supporter, was arrested for making violent threats in a phone call to Omar’s office. According to the criminal complaint, on March 21, Carlineo told one of Omar’s staff: “Omar’s a fucking terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her fucking skull.”

Is this really the sort of nation we want to be?  Is this how we want to be viewed as a society?  The majority of us are capable of thinking for ourselves, reading or hearing Ms. Omar’s speech and understanding that it was a plea for inclusiveness, a condemnation of bigotry.  Sadly, however, there are people in this nation who, rather than use their own minds, prefer to believe what they are told.  In truth, we should be able to believe what the president of the country tells us, but under the current regime, it has been proven thousands of times that he lies to suit his own purposes.

I have the utmost respect for Representative Ilhan Omar, and if anything happens to her, her blood will be on the hands of one Donald Trump.  It’s time, people, to wake up and oust this abomination who some call ‘president’.

66 thoughts on “Small & Feeble Minds …

  1. This is such a well-written article. Thank you for sharing. I have written on the recent attempts by Mr Trump in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’ and how I disagree with this title. It would be great to hear your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,

    Representative Ilhan Omar is being deliberately targeted by the president, his GOP sycophants in the US Congress and FOX TV because of her Muslim faith. If she doesn’t misspeak, they’ll make something up.

    The Democratic Party needs to step up in being much more forceful in protecting her. She’s being used to further the president’s interests to stoke the flames of Islamophobia among his base of voters, in particular, his White Evangelical base in order to win reelection in 2020. This is his game plan.

    Maggie Haberman wrote the following in her NYT op-ed piece, “Donald Trump is lying about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., because he thinks stoking bigotry against Muslims is a winning campaign issue in 2020. Even as the White House continues to gaslight the press about this, denying that Trump is doing what he is obviously and unapologetically doing, Haberman writes: “Trump’s electoral success in 2016 was based partly on culture wars and fears among an older, white voting base that the country it knew was slipping away.” He clearly thinks that amping up the racism and sexism will be a winning strategy one more time.”

    “It would be unwise for Democrats and their voters to become complacent about the possibility of Trump winning re-election. But there’s good reason to believe Trump is wrong to believe confident that the same golden ticket of hatred will pay off again in 2020. But to beat this, Democrats need to be forceful in their response, and not indulge the long-standing Democratic tendency to give in, in hopes it will all goes away. It won’t. I promise you, Trump has no intention of letting up on Omar or any of the other women of color he can use as scapegoats for the Fox News audience.”

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always like Maggie Haberman’s columns … it worked for Trump in 2016, this stirring up fear and hatred of Muslims, so there is no doubt that will be a part of his platform for 2020, along with stirring up fear of Hispanic immigrants from the south. It’s a sad statement that creating fear of our own brothers and sisters is the platform of a world leader, but it’s an even sadder statement that nearly half the people in this nation buy into it. Ignorance runs rampant in the U.S.
      Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Since King Trump publicly threatened a congresswoman on Twitter, I want to know why they did not nullify his account? Doesn’t Twitter’s official policy on social media threats on their platform dictate such a policy? ie. Roger Stone?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You got me! There was something he posted … a video, I believe … a couple of weeks ago that Twitter took down because of copyright infringement, but this one they leave. Can you imagine his rage if he were suspended from Twitter? I would LOVE it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I looked through donald trumps timeline and maybe it was a visual thing but I don’t see how his tweet was threatening. Even if he did paste that “some people did something” over footage, that’s not really insighting violence. It’s tasteless and taking it out of context but that’s totally different from a call to violence. So what am I missing to come to this conclusion? Can someone help me understand this?

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are right that, in and of itself, it does not call for violence. BUT … given the mood of his followers these days, it IS an incitement to violence, and in fact the death threats to Ms. Omar have more than doubled, many referencing Trump’s re-tweeted video directly. It isn’t so much what was actually said, as the mood of the nation at the moment. We are a tinderbox, just waiting for a spark. Sigh. Hugs, my friend.

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  4. Back in 1960 something in my lily-white Evangelical community when I was a high school student, a local man of excellent repute ran for the school board. He was well respected, but the issue that got him defeated was his religious affiliation. He was Catholic. Out of fear many Americans are retreating to the tribal instinct. If it doesn’t look, talk, smell or worship like me, then it has to be evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes … that was also the time that many were afraid to vote for JFK because of his Catholicism. I was only 9 at the time, but I remember being so confused over why that should matter. It still confuses me, as does the whole concept of tribalism/nationalism. I guess that is why I’m drawn to songs like Lennon’s “Imagine” and Wonder/McCartney’s “Ebony and Ivory” … they speak what I feel.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Something you said right at the beginning connected up some dots for me. You were talking about Muslims who were in your neighbourhood, people you knew as individuals. To you they are not Muslims, they are people, people you know personally.

    The connection that went ‘ping’ in my head was a curious fact about where Islamophobia is the strongest [according to polling]. And that is in areas where there are very few actual Muslims – e.g. in country towns etc.

    I wondered about that until you made me realise it’s the people who don’t actually know Muslims who are the most afraid of them. To these people, Muslims are ‘the Other’ with a capital ‘O’. Ignorance goes hand in hand with fear and only takes a few small triggers to explode into hatred.

    tRump didn’t set the scene for this fear/hatred, but he is a past mastered at /using/ it. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So agree…She is hated because she is a woman, young, articulate, a Muslim and a threat to the white good old boys. She represents change along with AOC and they can’t handle it.

    This hatred just never stops, does it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Though I don’t doubt that there are some who hate her because she’s a woman, it always amazes me that people never consider the notion that it might also be the ideas of AOC for instance that some people don’t like. People who hate someone because she is a woman or of another race are just as bad at playing the horrible identity politics game as those who vote for a candidate based on those same immutable characteristics.

      Think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, my friend. Apparently there is no room for diversity in the minds of some in this nation, and I no longer feel like I even belong here. I remember the Civil Rights years, the violence and bloodshed, and I fear we are headed for similar times. No, the hatred never stops, and it won’t as long as the “leader of the pack”, the ‘man’ whose every word is repeated on every media outlet ad nauseam, incites the hatred, promotes and encourages it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This whole episode, for lack of a better description, seems to be centered around two separate things. One is the few words of Ilhan Omar’s speech that are indeed taken out of context “some people did something” and the second is the Trump tweet on Friday that shows video of Omar repeatedly saying those words as video footage of 9/11 is interspersed and at the end of the tweet in caps the words “WE WILL NEVER FORGET”. Quite assuredly, some people did something and we will never forget! The problem lies with how both sets of words, that are both in fact true, are being used to put across an agenda that is questionable at best. Of course, politics being as it is today, this will not be laid to rest anytime soon by one side or the other. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was quite busy this morning using words to defend the president and simultaneously condemn Omar on ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos and on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Her words on the former must have been read from a script, but I will let you choose to read or watch for yourself. One must always be aware of the power of words, they can be used constructively or destructively…choose wisely. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right … this will not be laid to rest soon, and I fear Trump has just set off a spark … or perhaps lit a torch … that will lead to even more violence. It seems people have lost the art of verbal communication. Ol’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders, eh? I’m afraid that I will have to pass on watching her, for I would likely have to buy a new laptop if I did. That woman makes me sick and furious at the same time. Apparently she sold whatever conscience she had when she got the job of press secretary. Sean Spicer had the good sense to realize he couldn’t be the liar Trump wanted and got out while he still had a shred of dignity left. Sigh.

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      • You do not have to watch or listen to SHS if you choose not to do so, you can just read her comments. I read about this in The Hill Sunday Shows today. The one that I included in my comment is from a piece by Kyle Balluck, you can read or also watch the clip too. I would also check out one by Michael Burke that is also included, among others that I have yet to read, that has SHS’s comments concerning Trump’s release of tax reports. I will entice you with these words from her : “I don’t think Congress – particularly this group of congressmen and women – are smart enough to look through thousands…”. Do read or read and watch the clip too. The most positive thing that can be said for Sarah Huckabee Sanders is…she earns whatever Trump is paying her to sell her soul for him! Thank-you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Jill, as you know, I write often about name-calling and painting people with labels. They are short-cuts for people whose arguments are poor to influence a less informed audience. As a former Republican and now Independent, I continue to be disappointed in what has become of my former party, which was one of the reasons I left. This started long before the current President, but he readily exploited it to get elected and still does. That is truly unfortunate.

    One of my concerns is some folks, who are wound too tight, act off these labels. Alex Jones, unfortunately, has been able to influence some of these extreme folks, so it is not just the President’s labeling that is harmful.

    As an Independent, the antifa folks do a disservice as well. We should not condone violence no matter who does it. We must have civil discourse focusing on the issues that need to be dealt with – health care, debt, environment and climate change, job- retraining, etc. – in my view. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know and agree with your stance on name-calling. I try not to do it, always thinking when I do “Keith won’t like this”, but sometimes I cannot bite my tongue. Sigh. I agree that the Republican Party was on this path some time before Trump came onto the scene, but in truth, he has escalated it into madness! It is as if they think anybody not in agreement with them doesn’t deserve a life at all! In the past two weeks, I have twice been told to get out of the country, and once been told to “just die” by people offended by my views. Our society is in tatters!

      It seems that most of Trump’s hardcore supporters believe that violence is the answer. And yes, Antifa is as bad. My concern is that it’s getting worse rather than better, and Trump is encouraging it! Never before has there been a president in this country who thought it was a good idea to pit the people against each other. Another 19 months of this may well drive us all insane. Civil discourse seems to have been left behind in the ashes. How do we get it back? How do we convince people to sit down and talk rather than issue threats? I wish I had some magic wand.

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      • hey you guys, here’s a bit of humor to lighten the mood. I hope you get a chuckle out of this one, I thought it was pretty good myself.

        “A blonde lady motorist was about two hours from San Diego when she was flagged down by a man whose truck had broken down.

        The man walked up to the car and asked, “Are you going to San Diego?”

        “Sure,” answered the blonde, “do you need a lift?”

        “Not for me. I’ll be spending the next three hours fixing my truck. My problem is I’ve got two chimpanzees in the back which have to be taken to the San Diego Zoo.

        They’re a bit stressed already so I don’t want to keep them on the road all day. Could you possibly take them to the zoo for me? I’ll give you $100 for your trouble.”

        “I’d be happy to”, said the blonde.

        So the two chimpanzees were ushered into the back seat of the

        blonde’s car and carefully strapped into their seat belts, and off they went.

        Five hours later, the truck driver got his truck fixed and was driving through the heart of San Diego when suddenly he was horrified!

        There was the blonde walking down the street holding hands with the two chimps, much to the amusement of a big crowd.

        With a screech of brakes he pulled off the road and ran over to the blonde.

        “What the heck are you doing here?” he demanded.

        “I gave you $100 to take these chimpanzees to the zoo.”

        “Yes, I know you did”, said the blonde, “but we had money left over, so now we’re going to Sea World.”

        Liked by 2 people

          • Funny story Scott. We need more humor.

            Jill, I was thinking earlier about Trump’s management style which has been recorded in several biographies and in Bob Woodward’s excellent book “Fear.” Trump likes to pit people against each other as it is written that he feels that tension creates better ideas. In my business consulting, this is a horrible management style, as it creates in-fighting, politicking and chaos.

            In essence, this is what I feel he has done to our country pitting people against each other. He rarely misses a chance to divide often opining on things a galvanizing President would leave alone. He picks fights much too often and truly wears me out.

            This in-fighting between US citizens has to become more civil. Neither party owns all the good ideas and both have some bad ones. Civil discourse with data would help, unfortunately, that is not the President’s strength or modus operandi. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • I, too, was thinking about the same thing, perhaps from a different angle. Yes, he has further divided the people of this nation, and I have been wondering if his reason is to keep us so occupied bickering and nit-picking with each other that we fail to notice what is happening behind the scenes. Or to wear us down so that we stop paying attention to his every move. I do not trust him, not one bit, and there is purpose in this divisiveness. But, I don’t know how we go about convincing everyone to calm down and lets discuss things, for I cannot even be calm most days.

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              • Jill, planned or accidental, he is the personification of chaos. Yet, we must find our better selves. We must focus on civil discourse of real issues, like you did with your wind energy post. Keith

                Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad there are people of Arabic origin making their way on to the political stage their. If they were making the kind on inflammatory statements they’re accused of, they wouldn’t be elected by the people of the States they’re in.These are people who’ve taken on the American Nationality and who want to do the best they can by their new country. You can’t blame them if they try to do their best by the old country too, or rather it’s people.Many people dislike what the Israeli Government have done in Palestine. I feel strongly about it and my brother is Jewish.even he hates it as do many Jews in Israel. Trump is treading dangerous ground trying to turn people against the Congresswoman knowing how heated some people get when talking of 9/11 terrorists. Kevin McCarthy should be censored for his remarks and any Republicans that share them should be ashamed.
    Lecture over….sorry
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to be sorry, David. I feel the same as you and find this whole thing not only disgusting, but a slap in the face to not only all Muslims, but also to every citizen of this nation, though there are some who deserve the slap in the face. Trump assumes we should all hate all Muslims because of 9/11, but the majority of us are smarter and more humane than he. Like you, I am pleased that we are achieving some … not nearly enough, but some … diversity in our Congress. When a person from another country comes here to live, they should not be expected to give up their culture or cultural values. It is that blending of cultures that adds so much value to our society. And to judge all Middle-Easterners by the actions of 19 men 19 years ago is lunacy. You know it, I know it, but Donald Trump rode into office on the wings of hatred and bigotry … it is the core of what he is. I also agree with you on Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and was very sorry to see Benjamin Netanyahu win re-election last week, for he is as much a bigot and wanna-be dictator as Trump. The whole thing has my blood boiling. But make no mistake … Trump’s words and his little video have energized a large portion of his base, and I dread what is to come. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  10. why not feature the undoctored video so we can decide for ourselves what he did or didn’t say? I make it a point to listen to his speeches because I’d rather hear the words straight from his mouth than to have them filtered through the minds of people who hate him with a passion I haven’t seen towards a president in decades. There’s an old saying that says “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer”. My way to do that is to carefully listen to what he says directly from the source and then make up my own mind about it. Yes, he lies a lot so it’s an interesting strategy and probably doesn’t always work but it’s something to think about. As for that horrible excuse for a human being who threatened the congresswoman, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law insofar as it is written for such consequences to occur. No one should ever stoop to violence against a political opponent or someone with whom they disagree (but I guess it’s okay to “punch nazis isn’t it), whether that means threatening to put a bullet through the skull of a newly elected representative, or someone who would threaten the life of and be very happy with the demise of our president. Both are detestable and I want absolutely nothing to do with anyone who would take glee from either event.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Scott! There isn’t an ‘undoctored’ video. What this video does is takes multiple clips from 9/11 showing dramatic images, such as the smoke coming from the towers, the Pentagon afire, etc., and intersperses them with a single portion of Ms. Omar’s speech, the line that says, “some people did some things” over and over, then ends with the words “We Will Never Forget”. It has been viral on social media, but if you haven’t seen it, I am sending you a link. Trump himself is not actually on it, as I recall, he only re-tweeted it. I found it offensive and to me, personally, denigrating, for it suggests that the citizens of this nation should hold Muslims accountable. I don’t. I hold Usama bin Laden and the 19 men who flew those planes responsible, but no one else, certainly not every Muslim. I know many Middle Easterners of Muslim faith who are among the most generous and kind people I’ve ever known. Unfortunately, some people in this nation have made up their minds to hate and won’t even bother to find out the reality. Okay … I’m off my soap box now 😉 (winking smiley face). Here’s the link to the video:https://twitter.com/i/status/1116817144006750209 If you’re interested in Ms. Omar’s speech to CAIR, I can send you that, too. Let me know. And Scott? Hugs, my friend!

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      • Hi Jill.

        thank you for sending me that clip. Yes, I’d be interested in hearing her speech as well. Twitter is blowing up with the one line that seems to be taken out of context and people have said that she should go further and condemn the terrorists. In my mind, it seems that the time for condemnation of the terrorist act was right after and George Bush did a pretty good job at that at least. Now, 18 years in Afghanistan, that’s a bit overkill I believe.

        hugs my friend, I hope you’ve had a good weekend and I look forward to the jolly Monday post tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Hi Jill. I listened to the speech and you know what I find interesting? People who come out against Islam like to quote verses to substantiate their claims but if someone speaking out against Christianity takes a verse out of context, that individual is called out for it. Isn’t that the highest form of religious hypocrisy you can imagine?

            As you know, or I think I’ve said that I don’t have a particular spiritual belief system, probably deism comes the closest, or it did until mid-2017, now I’m not exactly sure what to believe but I’m getting off track. The deities of these religions would be quite disappointed and ashamed of a lot of the human ambassadorship which we’ve used on this planet to represent the different religions, not just Christianity, not just Islam, but all of them, Hinduism, Buddhism, wiccan, Shintoism and I could go on and on.

            No one can know the mind of God, perhaps until they get to the afterlife and due to our limited humanity, and the words written centuries ago by people in a different culture, we can, as the biblical text says see in a mirror dimly.

            all that to say this. People who are intent on shouting quotes out of context to justify their fear and hatred of a religion they can’t possibly understand are the ones who may not be welcomed into a glowing afterlife where it is said “you have done well my servant”. quoting from memory so that may not exactly be accurate. But then who knows, I may be wrong about all of it, no one really knows. are the people who believe that Judas Iscariot is in hell because he betrayed Jesus and then later killed himself really sure about that? It’s an interesting question to ponder.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Over the years, I have come to see all religion as hypocrisy. I have always been a pragmatist, a realist. If I cannot prove something exists, then to me it likely doesn’t exist. I try not to criticize a person’s religion, though I personally claim none myself, however when someone starts trying to push their religion on me, claiming that they “know” that their religious beliefs are the only “right” ones, then I push back. Personally, I have no belief in an afterlife. If there is one, I always thought I would like to come back to earth as a wolf. I have much more respect for the animal kingdom than for the human one.

              I agree with you that most people in every religion say one thing, but their actions are rarely in line with what they say they believe. They can talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk. All the hate we are seeing today is not in line with any religion that I’m aware of, and yet they use their religion to justify their hatred. Puzzling, don’t you think?

              Like

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