Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baby Boomer paranoia and an Islamic Cultural center




Unless you have been camping in the Amazon for the last several weeks you've heard about the controversy surrounding a proposed cultural center and mosque near the site of what's called ground zero in New York City's lower Manhattan.

According to a poll I saw yesterday 63% of Americans think it's a bad idea to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque near ground zero. The news media is loving the controversy, they can't stop talking about it. And President Obama was so over come by the pandering instinct last Friday night that while speaking in front of a group of Muslims honoring Ramadan he said he supported building the cultural center. Of course the next day he denied supporting it.

So since so many people are in such an uproar over this I have to ask myself why this proposed Islamic center doesn't bother me in the least.

I'm an American. I was raised in the U.S. So shouldn't I be as closed minded as everyone else? Shouldn't I both hate and be frightened of anyone who is different from me? Shouldn't I feel insulted by this cultural centers close proximity to the place that 3,000 Americans were killed on September 11, 2001?

Maybe you as well are confused by your lack of righteous indignation about this. Maybe you too feel it's really no big deal.

So what makes some Americans so closed minded, hateful and fearful when others aren't? Does it have to do with age? Seems most of the people going nuts about this are so-called baby boomers. And baby boomers are notorious chickens. They are afraid of everything. Maybe it's because they grew up just after World War 2 and during the Cold War? Maybe it has to do with them thinking America as they knew it was coming to an end during the 60's?


What ever it is I'm really getting sick of baby boomers and their nonsense. It seems all they do is protest anything or anyone different from them. The Tea Party couldn't exist without baby boomers. Fox News would be out of business with out its baby boomer viewers. The Arizona anti-immigrant laws would never have been passed without baby boomers.

Note below the crazed baby boomer hyperbole from possible 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich:

"And I think we ought to be honest about the fact that we have a right – and this happens all the time in America. You know, Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

Now I understand that not every baby boomer is a crazed hater of everything. Some are totally rational people. But it's painfully obvious that baby boomers have more than their share of wackos that hate everything and everyone.


Which brings me back to the Islamic cultural center.

After writing this I realize that nothing is wrong with me. I just don't belong to a generation that is afraid of its own shadow. After all it's fear that is driving these protests against the cultural center. Fear masquerading as outrage.

Baby boomers are afraid of Muslims because they're different. And many of them are brown. And some of them have foreign accents when they speak. And because of that baby boomers see them as 'other'. And because they are other, they can be villains in this never ending melodrama performed by baby boomers over and over again. A melodrama of anger and fear.

The proposed Islamic Cultural center in lower Manhattan doesn't scare me. In fact after its built I'd like to visit it. I'm just not afraid of the stuff that a certain generation is afraid of.

I don't think baby boomers are going to change. I think they'll be riding off into the sunsets of their lives yelling and screaming and pointing fingers. So it's up to the rest of us to not let them destroy what America is supposed to be about. And that thing is hope. A hope that we Americans can turn corners when needed and do better. That we can overcome differences by realizing how much we all have in common.

America can survive an Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan just a few blocks from ground zero but I'm not sure we can survive the baby boomer generation.


14 comments:

? said...

Well, if sixty three percent of Americans are against it, that sounds like more than just the baby boomers.

Jason said...

It seems it is hard for people to distinguish between ordinary Muslims and AL-Qaeda.

To be clear, Islam did not bomb the World Trade Center, terrorists did the bombings. I don't care if an islamic community center is being built there, there are more pressing issues to be concerned about in this country.

I doubt if anyone would oppose a church being built there.(talk about terrorism!)

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

The media can take polls on this issue until the cows come home Val,this is just plain old racism and religious hate.

Moanerplicity said...

This was very well stated, Val.

The reality of life in America, or perhaps even in human nature is that all it ever takes are a few evil ones to spoil, damage or forever taint the perception of the whole. This applies w/ Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, Koreans, you name the minority.

I understand freedom of religion as a concept. It's another of those beautiful ideas (much like equality & civil rights for all) within the Constitution that are often put to the test... only to fail so miserably. But here is a chance and another test to see the IDEA to become a reality, to live out that creed... and this alone should be enough to quell the entire argument.

But then, I'm not someone who is still mourning a mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, a husband, a wife, or a loved one who was a victim of 9/11. I can't pretend to know what that sadness, the grief, bitterness, that ache, that loss, or that anger feels like in my viscera.

If these protests and this growing uproar over the proposed center stemmed from, and consisted of those very people, then at least it would have some real emotional merit.

But, for the most part, it's about fear, politics, ignorance & that ole rabid dog called: hatred.


One.

Val said...

@?

There are a lot of baby boomers out there.

Val said...

@Jason

I agree with you. And it's interesting Newt Gingrich used a Nazi comparison because that's what these people who are opposing the cultural center are acting like.

Val said...

@BIgMac

Very true. There's nothing here we haven't seen before in this country, unfortunately.

Val said...

@Lin

"...here is a chance and another test to see the IDEA to become a reality, to live out that creed."

That's it exactly. America can't just say who it is, sometimes it has to show who it is. If we are for freedom then we have to allow people to have their freedom.

Citizen Ojo said...

Val - interesting to bring in the age element. I heard a guy on the radio fussing about the issue today. He then went on to say this proves Obama is a muslim. When pressed on what proof he had of that-he nutted up. This thing has turned into a side show. I want to talk about Jobs!! Jobs!! Jobs!!

Val said...

@CO

Noooo, we can't talk about jobs! The point of the game is to only talk about stuff that doesn't affect most Americans!

Politicians are afraid to talk about jobs. The Dems because jobs aren't being created as fast as they'd like. And the Republicans are afraid because people might figure out that they don't want any jobs being crated before the November elections.

? said...

I don't think either party knows how to create jobs; hence, they'd both like to avoid the topic.

Citizen Ojo said...

Val... that is truly sad!!

uglyblackjohn said...

Pa-lease...
Obama could have done a lot of things instead of just going with the cuurnt economic flow.
The trillion dollars soent on all those programs would have generated a better return if he had spent the money to pay off every American's credit card bills (est. $980 bil at the time of the passage of all those stimulous bills) or payed off everyones student loans (est. $960 billion).
Each action would have given the banks money to loan but would have freed many American from their debt.
The 'shovel ready" jobs programs could have focused on T. Boone Picken's plan.
We could (should) be well on our way to newer refineries, newer power lines and renewable enery sources.
The government has (had0 the power to make the changes but it wasn't in the best interests of those who really run things.

Back to Ground Zero.
I'm sick of it.
One of my cousins was killed at the Pentagon.
I don't get mad that there are muslims there.
EVERYONE wants to be THE victim these days.

Val said...

@UBJ

Yeah I agree about the money. Especially all those billions Wall Street and Detroit car companies got.

I bet those Wall Street guys are still laughing about how they got over. And Detroit sat back for decades satisfied with making crappy cars, to heck with them.

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Soldier Of Love

I've lost the use of my heart
But I'm still alive
Still looking for the life
The endless pool on the other side
It's a wild wild west
I'm doing my best

I'm at the borderline of my faith,
I'm at the hinterland of my devotion
In the frontline of this battle of mine
But I'm still alive

I'm a soldier of love.
Every day and night
I'm soldier of love
All the days of my life

I've been torn up inside (oh!)
I've been left behind (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound
(oooh oohhh)

I know that love will come (that love will come)
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love (soldier of love)
Every day and night
I'm a soldier of love
All the days of my life

I am lost
But I don't doubt (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound

I know that love will come
I know that love will come
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(4x)

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(3x)

Still waiting for love to come

Miss Keri Baby!

Tracee!

Solange!

Solange!
The only interesting Knowles

un·for·get·ta·ble: Earning a permanent place in the memory; memorable: an unforgettable experience.

Alicia says...

Rest in Peace Mitrice

Rest in Peace Mitrice
Mitrice Richardson