Lately I've been swatting at several flies, hoping to see them die but its a bit harder to swat away these issues. Each day I find new stories of public support for the most ridiculous things: outrage against a project to build a Muslim community center in New York, the canceling of a school prom because a girl wanted to bring her girlfriend, Dr.Laura, Rush Limbaugh and The Tea Party Patriots ever growing popularity, and the police state in Arizona meant to scare
Putting the imagery of flies aside there is a current of stupidity that is spewing through American politics right now. We have an America where our president is perceived by 1 in 5 Americans as a Muslim and only 3 in 10 can correctly identify him as a Christian.The problematic part of all this is that these are poll numbers that are declining, meaning that Americans at one point knew the president was a Christian but the power of truthiness revision has increased these myths to accepted truth. There comes a point where truth is not about facts but rather what is perceived to be true. Right now a group of politicians are playing up white paranoia via the Southern Strategy, and an anti-Muslim phenomena known as Islamophobia is taking hold of nearly some 70% of Americans.
In times such as these I feel it is necessary for a collective response of peoples dedicated to social justice. We must engage with the mainstream middle-class to hold honest discussions about these issues and work on building of common ground through community projects to end the powerful indifference that this otherness paranoia has been stirring up.This engagement by the middle-class will then demand the change of the powerful elite in our society and the governing represenatives as they realize they must adhere to the will of the people to remain in power. Personally, I've found the best way to check my own biases is to constantly engage in inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue. I take those experiences with me into my home, church, work, and school. When we spend time really getting to know people we start breaking down subconscious barriers that have seperated us and the experiences we share have a powerful ability to change the way we think when we hear messages lumping groups of people based on their race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. It is my hope that through open dialogue, common effort, and collective struggle we can create the desire for a change so strong that it demands a political climate that cares about social justice issues.