The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

September 24, 2013

Village idiots take aim at Miss America

A couple months ago, I got an email from Supreet.

Supreet is in the 11th grade. He shops at Wal-Mart and plays basketball. His father came to this country from India and both are Sikhs, followers of a centuries-old faith founded in the Punjab region. Supreet wanted to tell me what it is like being a Sikh in America.

He wrote about how, after 9/11, his father became “perhaps the most hated man in our small town.” He wrote about how his dad had to stop wearing the turban Sikh men use to cover their “kesh,” the hair their faith forbids them to cut. He wrote about bullying and depression suffered by young Sikhs. He wrote about black boys who taunted him as “Osama’s son.” He wrote about Wade Michael Page, who in 2012, shot 10 people, killing six, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, likely thinking it was a mosque. He wrote about how President Obama canceled a visit to a Sikh holy site in 2010, which some people thought was because male visitors are required to cover their heads and Obama didn’t want anyone calling him a Muslim.

“But Sikhs are NOT Muslims,” wrote Supreet. “Why do we keep getting labeled as Muslims?”

It is a plaintive question with which the new Miss America would doubtless sympathize. Nina Davuluri of New York state won the crown last week, becoming the first Indian American to do so. Her triumph was marred by an eruption of — pardon the tautology — ignorant bigotry on social media.

“Audrey Graham” tweeted, “Miss America is a terrorist. Whatever. It’s fine.”

“Luke Brasili” tweeted, “9/11 was four days ago and she gets miss America?”

“De La Rutherford” tweeted, “Congratulations, Al-Qaeda. Our Miss America is one of you.”

And you are almost — almost — less appalled by the bigotry than by the slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, dull-eyed ignorance of people so stupefyingly uninformed that they can’t even hate straight. Miss America’s parents are Hindus. Hindus are not Muslims, either. Not that hating them would be acceptable even if they were. And not that the distinction will matter to the folks quoted above. All dark-skinned people with exotic names or unfamiliar customs are Muslim terrorists to that bunch of nuclear physicists.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook