Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 113- Ghosts of 2008

Dear Mr. President,

I'm glad that you've publicly addressed the injustice of the racist immigration law recently passed by the state of Arizona. I'm at a complete loss; I can't fathom how in this day and age such legislation could be seriously discussed, let alone signed into law. We need comprehensive national reform, and in the meantime the Arizona legislation ought to be fought by the courts and by the voters. My roommate, a member of the Hidatsa-Mandan tribe, joined in our outrage at this legislation, despite having, better than any of us, a historical claim to this land. We're a nation of immigrants, outside of the reservations. Where are the small-government conservatives now? Where's the libertarian outrage at this massive infringement on individual liberty? How does John McCain, who supports this bill, even look at himself in the mirror?

You've already spoken forcefully about your objections to this legislation, so I'll waste no further time preaching to the choir. As I read through the day's news, another story raised my blood pressure. Try as I might, I cannot seem to effectively ignore Sarah Palin. Pretending she doesn't exist in the hopes that she'll stop talking and go back to Alaska doesn't seem to be effective, so I thought I'd point out yet another example of her glaring hypocrisy. Today, in response to the news that Franklin Graham was uninvited from the national day of prayer ceremony, Palin said, "Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can’t abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith? What a shame. " This, from the same woman who thought that the controversial views of Rev. Jeremiah Wright should have been reason for voters to mistrust you in 2008. While I may not have been as offended by Reverend Wright's remarks as I was by Graham's, I'm sure that I many were. Mrs. Palin needs to decide; either political correctness extends past the church doors or it doesn't. I think the real disconnect between the two situations in Palin's mind is that one condemnation was of America (actually, the American government, but I'm not sure that she makes that distinction unless there's a Democrat in the White House), the other was the entire Islamic faith. Palin believes that one of these is acceptable to criticize, condemn and even insult; the other is not. I think that a certain level of respect in public discourse, especially from religious leaders who claim to be men of God, is not too much to ask. However, I think that expressing the outrage of centuries of racial oppression and government abuse in melodramatic anti-American rhetoric is far less troublesome than calling an entire religion "wicked" or "evil."

I think if Arizona has taught us anything today it is that hatred, bigotry, and hypocrisy may never go out of style in this country, they don't look good on any one.

Respectfully yours,


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