The “PC” defense

There was a great article in the St Pete Times several months ago (11/1/2006).

The gist of the article was that a couple of right-wing-nuts from Hernando County went off on a Muslim group that wanted to have a party at a county park. It started with a Hernando County Commissioner’s wife writing a letter to the editor of the St Pete Times, the Times making a follow-up call for comment, and moved on to the whole thing turning into something a little ugly. Lest we think these were isolated folks, voicing a lonely opinion, the piece characterized the couple in question as “the first couple of Hernando County’s Republican Party.”

Here are some excerpts from the article:

A Hernando County commissioner said Tuesday that he is “in total agreement” with a letter his wife wrote calling Islam a “hateful, frightening religion.”

“Overall, worldwide, it certainly is,” said Commissioner Tom Hogan Sr. “Don’t you read your own paper?”

“There’s a saying out there, and there’s some truth to it, that not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. It’s their thing.”

“Even if they have gotten citizenship, they are not true Americans in my opinion. They all want to kill us.”

… political correctness keeps many from speaking out. “These people are trying to kill us. They want to kill us. Why can’t you understand that? They say that. It’s written in their bible.”

She said moderate Muslims haven’t done enough to condemn and stop terrorists. “I don’t want to sound like a raving maniac, but I think some raving is in order,” she said.

Do these people have a legitimate beef against the “sensitivity police,” or is this nothing more than the raving of people whose beliefs have fallen victim to stereotype and prejudice?

You didn’t ask but I’ll tell you what I think anyway: right or wrong, it was an irresponsible thing to say. The fact remains that there are millions of peacefull muslims in this country and this kind of talk smacks of justification for mistreatment or abuse.

Give the gift of words.