I generally ignore the National Enquirer. Between it’s coverage of Bat Boy to falsified discussions of various celebrities, I know that this is not the magazine for me. I do discuss its “credibility” in my classroom, laugh about how ridiculous it is.
Today, Donald Trump was gracing the magazine’s cover. Along with the huge headline about Muslim spies being found within Obama’s..cabinet? Staff?
I don’t know. I just kept on seeing the word “Muslims” growing and growing. And feeling the pressure of a fabricated emotion being thrust upon me.
I am not the most intelligent of people. I am rather gullible, can be really naive in my perception of the world. I trust people too quickly, too much, too often. I know that I have been taken advantage of time and again and I know that this will happen in the future time and again.
But I really just want to give people a chance, to do what I think is right for humanity or for the person who might need that second chance. I have needed plenty of second chances and was blessed by friends and family members who reached out and gave this to me.
Regardless, I refuse to even to think that the headlines of the National Enquirer bear any resemblance to the truth.
I remember my fury on September 12, when I wanted to join the military and reap some form of vengeance because the world I was planning on giving to the Boy was gone. I knew that the United States would be going to war and I was ready for it. I wanted to join. But my son was six months old and I was needed home to be with him. I didn’t join the military. I don’t regret my decision. I am where I need to be and doing what I need to do. I have found other ways to support the men and women who have given of themselves to serve on the front lines.
I will not deceive myself regarding the ethnicities and “religions” of the terrorists. I scar that word intentionally because in my limited knowledge of Islam and in my relationships and friendships with different Muslims, I know that that radical ideologies do not capture any nuance of a religion that has its foundations on peace, love, and compassion.
Sure, I know that tenants of Islam will discuss the modesty of women, the corporal punishment of law offenders, etc. I also have read the Old Testament in which similar corporal punishments are required for law offenders. And if I go by some of Paul’s preachings (if taken literally), then I am breaking many religious codes when I attend church with my hair uncovered and then stand in the front of the church and pray.
Note, I am not attacking religion. I am merely pointing out similarities because I can hear the critics in my mind shouting things at me. I guess I’m trying to predict the response of various audiences who may or may not read this blog.
What I am attacking, though, is a publication’s attempt to create fear and hatred. What I will not do is live quietly under the auspices of “no one takes that magazine seriously.” Because, in reading Time magazine’s most recent edition, I saw where someone had spray painted a swastika on a wall with the words “Make American White Again.”
First of all, America was never, initially, white. Native Americans or, at least, the descendants of the nomadic tribes of people who crossed the ice bridges over the Bering Straits were, in my opinion, the original settlers of the North American continent. And if my historic knowledge is wrong and flawed, please correct me diplomatically and politely. And show me the credible resources so that I can read and validate your claims.
From there, oh wondrous people who like that type of graffiti, let’s remember that the United States of America is merely one country within a much larger set of continents, both of which bear the name America. Therefore, if that person really wants to have his/her head spun around, go down to South America and take a long trip into the Amazon rainforest.
You will encounter the Yanomama, an indigenous group who don’t look white.
By the way, I really hate referring to skin color as white. I am not white. I’m rather peachy. And when I’m having a great day, I’m peachy keen.
All right, I’ll admit it, the joke’s lame. But I needed a moment of levity.
I will not stand for hatred that is based on false accusations. I understand being angry at people. I understand that sometimes hatred will fester between people. I held on to my hatred for several people for a long time. They had betrayed me, had absolutely shattered me. But, time truly did heal those wounds. I don’t need that hatred holding me down anymore.
Now, don’t think that I’m some amazing soul impervious to hatred. I do admit that I really dislike some people. But I will not dwell on those individuals or blah blah blah. I also know that people dislike me. And I’m still alive and doing well.
Regardless, the toxins accompanying this headline are terrifying. After nearly eighteen months of constant personal attacks from various candidates spanning the political spectrum, I hoped that December would be a time of peace, of reconciliation.
But to stand in the check out lane at Wal Mart and read about Muslim spies in Obama’s government was terrifying. To have it sprawled out across the headlines on a magazine known for its lack of reality is even more terrifying. Because it is still in business in spite of the fact that so much of the population knows about the lack of reality. And now, this hateful propaganda is being spread.
I keep on thinking about the Holocaust, about the anti-Semitic propaganda. I have just finished reading Daniel Mendelsohn’s Lost in which Mendelsohn searches for the history of six family members who were victims of the Holocaust. A simple lie on a magazine cover would have been part of what stirred people’s anti-Semitism into action.
I think about the “re-education” centers created by the Khmer Rouge. Or the lies spread by ISIS in their “schools” which are more about indoctrinating children into paths lined with hatred and violence.
I will not stand here silently and let this happen. I will take a stand. Here. Now. I will not allow my corner of the world descend into this darkness of hatred and animosity because lies were broadcast and treated as real.
This is my corner. And you are invited to stand with me. Together, we will step forward and we will change the next corner and the next. I will not be defeated. WE will not be defeated.
I know that hatred exists. I know that it will never truly be eradicated. But that doesn’t mean that I have to let it win. God loved the world so much he sent his son to us. And I believe in Jesus. I believe in loving my neighbor as myself. And I know that I fail at that a lot. But I have great neighbors. So I’m going to keep on loving.
Save some room for me in your corner!
The door is always open. Our corner just got a little bigger. And we will continue to stand.
I wrote a letter to Walmart’s corp HQ re: that same hate speech via the National Inquirer. Feel free to adapt it to your needs? (Our local store removed the national enquirer from the check out lane…. so it’s worth the trouble.)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
702 S.W. 8th Street
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716
December 5, 2016
I stood in line at Walmart in Iowa City, IA on Sunday, December 4th, beside the National Enquirer which featured the headline: MUSLIM SPIES IN OBAMA’S CIA (picture below). While the National Inquirer is not generally regarded as a credible news source, this might be dismissed. However, such bold, false claims serve to stigmatize a whole group of Americans whose freedom of religion is constitutionally protected. This amounts to hate speech.
I am offended that shopping in your store requires that I stand idle beside this attack on my fellow Americans. I ask that you please review your policy regarding the placement of such hateful messaging, and remove it from your check out aisles immediately.
Thank you!!! I love this!!