Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sometimes, I Despair

On February 9, a storefront mosque was burned in Columbia, Tennessee. The three men charged with painting swastikas and white power slogans on the building, then firebombing it with molotov cocktails claim to be part of the Christian Identity movement, which is white supremacist.

There are two Christian Identity orgs in East Tennessee, in Kodak and New Tazewell. Those towns aren't too far from my own front door.

And the first thing anyone says nowadays when accused of being racist, is "You're the racist! You're prejudiced against me!" which is escalation and refuge in audacity rolled into one.

It is not racist to call out racism in others honestly. But if you're using it to deflect criticism or to bolster statements that are racist on their faces, that's disingenuous and weaselly.

I need a beer.

On the other hand, last year the Klan tried to have a rally in Knoxville and a whole bunch of young people got together and counter-protested, to the point that the Klan abandoned its rally and the protestors marched down the street cheering "Whose streets? Our streets!" I wish I'd known ahead of time.

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