On the 4th of July thousands of people across the country interrupted their celebrations and plans and set out to protest the out-of-control spending. One such gathering took place in the nation’s capital. With the Capitol building looming in the background thousands did such crazy things as pledge allegiance to flag, sang the national anthem, and read from the declaration of independence. CNN estimated that 2,000 people attended, but at the protest the park police said the number was closer to 5,000. People drove several hours to attend this protest, and then spent the day enjoying the many activities and one of the nation’s best fireworks displays.
One of the nicest things about this particular group of tea parties is that the mainstream media could not blame Fox News. These were organic, grown out of frustration of an out-of-control spending spree by our federal government. These protests are organized on a very local level and paid for mainly out of donations and people lending their own equipment and time. The protests are growing in numbers and they are becoming more diverse. They are also happening in cities that come as a surprise; such as Seattle. A heavily liberal city if there ever was one, they even have a statue of Lenin in one of the suburbs.
This morning I was looking at some pictures taken by the wife of one of the speakers. I enjoy looking at the ingenuity of the signs and the t-shirts that people wear. “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” Thomas Jefferson. Yeah, I cling to my guns and God too, Tiny minds pass unread bills, No tax $$$ for criminals (an ACORN reference), Atlas has Shrugged, Martin Luther King was a Republican, and Read the Bill next time. Then there was one that read Impeach Owebama and the camel he road in on. This is what I feel we need to take issue with.
This is an overt reference to the President’s faith, a claim that he is really a Muslim. The question I have what if he were? Would it matter? I really don’t care. My problem with the President is his policies and his views of the world. I will admit that I have taken issue with the church he attended in Chicago. I don’t understand how the Obama’s can look anyone in the eye with a straight face and say they didn’t know that Rev. Wright is a racist.
I used to work part-time at Macy’s after my illness to pay off my debt. During that time I got to know people of the Muslim faith. Many of the people who worked at this particular store were immigrants; mainly from Africa and the Middle East. A majority of them were Muslims. Some of which were very devout. They believed in family, doing the right thing and taking personal responsibility. These are all values that as a conservative I hold near and dear to my heart and try to live by. If you look around the conservative blogosphere lately, you will hear much about the treatment of Sarah Palin. How conservative women feel that we are somehow dismissed by icon’s of the women’s movement because of our views. Isn’t this the same type of behavior? We as a nation need to find a way to look past someone’s faith, color, or gender and judge based on issues and character. The whole content of character thing talked about by Dr. King.
The tea party movement is an important one. People are standing up and voicing opposition to politics as usual, government intrusion into our lives, over-regulation, and unsustainable debt. We are fighting an uphill battle with a government that is becoming more powerful and less likely to listen to us “little folk”. The constitution is being ignored by both parties and we feel powerless to stop it. By injecting racism into the mix we are only hurting the cause.
Are we saying that a Muslim cannot be a good citizen of the US? Can they not serve this country as loyally as someone from a Judeo-Christian background? Because I don’t believe for one second that to be the case. Yes there are elements within Islam that are at war with us, but it certainly is not all of Islam. Extremism exists in all faiths and all walks of life. Two recent high profile murders were committed by men who considered themselves “good Christians”. I can guarantee you the families of those victims will disagree with that. Painting with a broad brush is always a dangerous thing. It reeks of close-mindedness and shows ignorance.
We need to be aware of the dangers of extremism that exists in the world and we need to fight against it at all times. We also need to be aware that good people come from all faiths and all different walks of life. By bringing these types of signs to the tea parties, we are just playing into the hands of Janeane Garafolo and Keith Oberman. We open ourselves up to the charges of racism and risk putting the entire movement in jeopardy.