“Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational,” he said. Referring to the loved ones of Sept. 11 victims, he said, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.” -Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League, quoted in NYT 7/3010
Foxman made this statement in regards to the ADL joining the opposition to a mosque being built several blocks away from ground zero in lower Manhattan. To understand how an organization which since 9/11 has made many brave stands against creeping Islamophobia and general xenophobia one need only read the line 'entitled to feelings that are irrational.'
Now it's certainly true that bigotry as reaction to outside attack is the easiest kind to understand. If someone noticeably different from you commits some horrible act then of course there is great comfort in convincing yourself that the thing that makes them different is the reason for why they did it, and that more importantly your own difference from them means you need never doubt your own immunity from committing such evil. So the sad truth is that suffering through an outside attack can make good-willed people not generally prone to bigotry suddenly succumb to it.
This is easy to understand, but still bullshit; adhering to a prejudice that is understandable is certainly not the same thing as being entitled to it.
Now for those who had been prone to bigotry before it can be pretty well assured that any sort of outside attack will produce a strutting told-you-so paternalism among them. In the North Platte Telegraph last winter there was one among its stable of lunatic screechers who admitted to being glad for 9/11. The far right considers the WTC attacks as indisputable proof that their eternal-struggle view of the world was the correct one. 'Different peoples exist for the purpose of attempting to impose their wills on each other, and not one of them has any right to do so except for us. For we are the worthies, we are the people, the only people on Earth who exist for our own sakes. Everyone else exists only out of reaction against us,(Note how there are still those who use 9/11 as reason to restrict Latin immigration and their actions are nothing more than acts of behavior born out of fearing us or acts of misbehavior born of not fearing us. Let all those who speak the absurd lie of peace now see what happens when they don't fear us."
Keep in mind that the circle of 'us' may be tightened or expanded as needed for whatever the argument of the monument demands. Since the worthies are, after all, destined to total victory in a struggle that is destined to never end, it goes without saying that this involves a great deal of slapping reality around. The Germans and French will at some times be included in the circle as part of 'The West', and at other times be cast out of it as socialist faggots. The residents of the cities where the 9/11 attacks actually occurred can be accepted in the circle as sacred victims for who the worthies pledge to extract revenge, and at other times be excluded as, well, socialist faggots.
What it basically comes down to is a desire to keep the circle of us as small as possible, because where's the honor in being worthy unless almost nobody else is? And yet the Worthies' claim to dominion is based on a stated commitment to protect what they seek to dominate; And so they must occasionally express devotion towards Coastal American and Western European cities while at the same time obviously hating these places and the modern cosmopolitanism that the they represent. So beyond the basic core of White American Christian Conservatives it's never at all clear just who does constitute us but that's not important. It will all work out in the end as long as it is perfectly clear who they are.
And on this point let us be clear indeed. Hatred of Muslims is the greatest sacrament among those Americans who hate religiously, and will remain so until such time as we are attacked by roving gangs of Neo-Odinic Icelanders or proto-Marxist Argentines. The last serious foreign attack, whether it happened yesterday or a century ago, will to the Worthies forever be the ultimate proof that we are doomed to slaughter without their control.
Let it be understood that a refusal to allow the Lower Manhattan Mosque, in addition to violating the Constitution, would fail in it's intended purpose of soothing the worries of normally tolerant people who have been shocked out of their senses for however long by the attacks. The general public's suspicion of Islam-in-general will fade over time, just as suspicion towards the Germans and Japanese did. And Preventing the mosque would only give fading Islamophobia a fresh breath of life through official sanction.
Worse yet would be the message that such an action would send to those Worthies who lust for eternal apocalypse, against either Islam or whoever else is available. Note how opponents of the mosque describe it's building as an act of 'conquest' by Islam as a whole and plead with officials to not 'submit'. Absolutely every human action is an act of either dominance or submission to these sick minds, and they have invented this controversy out of thin air for the express purpose of showing that, lost elections be damned, they are still the rightful owners of American culture.
The American Right has recently gotten very busy abusing this or that brown minority as a means of regaining political power, and it is to our shame that this seems to be at some level working. Still it towards them that we should be careful of showing no signs of surrender towards, for they have been threatening our liberty far more than any Al-Quida bird brain for some time now.
A bit more on that in the next post .