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.