Monday, November 29, 2021

Shoe Merely On Other Foot

There is more than a little truth in the axioms "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" and "turnabout is fair play." 

At a town hall gathering in Pueblo, Colorado, Representative Boebert had given an account of an alleged encounter in Washington, D.C. with Representative Ilhan Omar, well-known Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota. ending with "well, if she doesn't have a backpack, it should be fine."

After the anticipated outcry, Boebert apologized, thankfully not attempting to rationalize the fictionalized story as a joke, which it obviously was, which would not have excused the remark. It clearly does foster an atmosphere encouraging violence against Muslims and as Move On noted, merits accountability.

So there is an obvious solution, one which will be ignored by Congress. In February, 2019 Omar herself posted tweets (thereafter deleted), in which she "accused Israel of having 'hypnotized the world.' She then sparked more outrage with tweets criticizing the influence of pro-Israel lobbying groups. "

Reacting to the congresswoman accusing American Jews of dual allegiance, House Democrats drafted a resolution steeped in bothsiderism, condemning "anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, "and other forms of bigotry." The resolution was meaningless and therefore passed easily, avoiding mention of the Minnesotan. Worse than meaningless: in response to a resolution addressing anti-Semitism of a Muslim,  two Muslim members of the House joined Omar in a statement boasting "It's the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation's history."

Coupling the two didn't curtail bigotry, but that never was the point. For Democrats in 2019, it was a willingness to call out anti-Semitism as long as they could do the same with anti-Muslim and anti-black animus. For Republicans now, it could be the reverse: condemning anti-Islamophobia while denouncing anti-Semitism and, for good measure, supporting Israel. 

It wouldn't solve the problem displayed by Omar in 2019 and Boebert in 2021. Many members of Congress, wise enough to keep their preferences to themselves, will continue privately to judge fellow Americans by their religious or racial identity. However, a superficial resolution would offer Representatives an opportunity to make a statement about their values- however twisted- and give them a warm feeling inside.


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