You Don’t Have to Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here

Once again iGoogle surprised me and linked this bit ‘o’ honey about Joe Lieberman gamely defending his title as “Biggest Douche in the Universe” by introducing legislation that would allow any American citizen with “ties” to terrorism to be stripped of their citizenship. People are wisely pointing out that a law such as that would be ruled unconstitutional. But let’s take some time we could be spending actually getting something done in Congress and spend it on reactionary political posturing.

This is pathetically and unsurprisingly vague. “Ties” and “affiliations” can mean way too many things for that to be the language they’re using. This bill appears to be just another way we can single out Arab or Muslim Americans and Other the crap out of them. How precarious is their citizenship? Thousands have already been detained without habeas corpus. I don’t know how much more effectively you can marginalize a community than the government and society in general have done with Muslims.

So while I’m at CNN reading about that, I come upon Bill Mahr’s interview on AC 360. I like Bill Mahr some of the time but his views on Islam are seriously, intensely problematic. I’m specifically referring to what he says in this video in which he attempts to explain why the Times Square bomber turned to terrorism and says that Islam right now is where Christianity was during the Dark Ages. You don’t have to watch it all the way through, just trust that there is a whole lot of postcolonial fail going on up in there. He straight up says that Western culture is better than Islamic culture, that “our” (and by “our” I assume he’s referring to himself, Anderson Cooper, and any other overprivileged rich white men) fundamentalist preachers don’t kill people, on and on. Seriously Islamophobic (if that’s not a word it is now) bullshit. Anyone who feels like saying some fucked up shit like that about Muslims needs to test its equivalent with a group whose oppression they believe in. Because they’re obviously not recognizing that Muslims are being seriously oppressed here, and that saying those kinds of things is not like talking about the Russians during the Cold War, it’s more like how Japanese Americans were treated after WWII. Has the Texas schoolbook committee removed that from our history books yet?

Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and scream into a damn pillow.

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9 Responses to You Don’t Have to Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here

  1. Rachel May 7, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Yes, THIS!

    I live in Connecticut, and after this, there's no way in HELL Liebermann is getting my vote.

    VOTE OUT THE BUMS!

    And the teabaggers claim LIBERALS are bringing back nazi-style fascism? What a crock! Consider this and the anti-Hispanic legislation in AZ as evidence of that.

    • Tasha Fierce May 7, 2010 at 9:53 am #

      I really don't understand why he just doesn't switch to being a Republican. He is constantly pulling this shit.

  2. Meems May 7, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Oh, for the love of…

    Please vote Leiberman out. Please? I hate the thought that he's the only Jewish politician (well, maybe aside from Rahm Emanuel) most people have heard of. He makes the normal, liberal, socially aware majority look bad.

    • Tasha Fierce May 7, 2010 at 9:55 am #

      I feel for Jewish people, as a black woman I'm all too aware of the "if one looks bad, we all look bad" sentiment, because of course some people will view it like that. That's why I'm praying Obama gets re-elected because it would just be a disaster if our first black president only served one term. Like when is that opportunity going to come up again if people are soured on black politicians.

  3. Twistie May 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    //He straight up says that Western culture is better than Islamic culture, that “our” (and by “our” I assume he’s referring to himself, Anderson Cooper, and any other overprivileged rich white men) fundamentalist preachers don’t kill people, on and on. //

    They may not have pulled triggers and beaten people to death with their own hands, but plenty of Christian fundamentalist leaders have encouraged their flocks to commit violence on abortion providers, gays and lesbians, etc. Does Mahr seriously think there's a moral difference between calling on Muslims to destroy infidels and egging Christians on to bomb abortion clinics?

    At the core, pretty much every religion on the face of the earth says the point of life is to treat everyone around you well and be a good example. There have always been people who pervert the message to serve their own violent ends. This does not mean that everyone who follows a particular religion is guilty of the extremes of the worst perverters of the message. Far From it.

    Most Muslims live quiet, peaceful lives trying to do right by man and God. Most Christians do the same. For that matter, so do most: Jews, atheists, agnostics, and Buddhists. And there are jerkwads and douchebags in all the same groups.

    Joe Lieberman, you are one of said douchebag jerkwads.

    If you look hard enough, pretty much everyone on the planet is in some way 'associated with' or 'related to' someone skeevy. Dig deep enough, and there's dirt in everyone's life. That doesn't make us all dangerous.

    • Tasha Fierce May 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

      They may not have pulled triggers and beaten people to death with their own hands, but plenty of Christian fundamentalist leaders have encouraged their flocks to commit violence on abortion providers, gays and lesbians, etc. Does Mahr seriously think there’s a moral difference between calling on Muslims to destroy infidels and egging Christians on to bomb abortion clinics?

      And throughout the history of Christendom there's been violence against "nonbelievers", it's no different when you call them that instead of "infidel". I mean, take the obvious example of the Crusades. It just roasts my nuts that he is so superior and smug about "Western culture" when even today it seeks to dominate and oppress those that do not conform.

  4. Heather Flescher May 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    If you look hard enough, pretty much everyone on the planet is in some way ‘associated with’ or ‘related to’ someone skeevy. Dig deep enough, and there’s dirt in everyone’s life. That doesn’t make us all dangerous.

    And what makes a group "dangerous" is so politically loaded anyway. I'm thinking of how during the '80s, the U.S. government slapped the label "terrorist organization" onto groups like CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. What made those people "terrorists"? They practiced nonviolent direct action to stop the U.S.-backed genocide. Trying to stop terror makes you a terrorist if the terror comes from our side.

    I thought I had already lost all respect for Joe Lieberman, but he just managed to slip down another notch in my book.

  5. icedteaandlemoncake. May 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    extremists of every point of view get violent. islam/muslim culture may be something westerners tend to disagree with, sure, but that doesn't mean it's fair to assume they're going to be the terrorist ones. i am a christian and there are violent people that get to extreme on our side although, and i'm guessing with islam/muslim (i am terribly uneducated and keep forgetting which is culture, which is religion, forgive me) its the same, that it's not really the true followers who go around being terrorists. like that group of militant christians that was in the news a while back? they're gonna have a real challenge proving that what they were doing is in the bible. religious extremists, i think, go outside the canon of thought so to speak and make their own rules.

    ok so if i'm starting a debate i'm sorry i was just rambling.

  6. Heather Flescher May 8, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    islam/muslim culture may be something westerners tend to disagree with

    Well, what you said is kind of tricky. I know most of my fellow Americans who aren't Muslims think there *is* such a thing as "islam/muslim culture". In other words, they think there's this one big unified cultural block out there. And they disagree with the views of this hypothetical block that has been portrayed in the mass media. But that has nothing to do with most of the real Muslims in our real world. I'm not going to try to speak for them, but I can tell you there's a tremendous range of diversity across and within all the world's Muslim cultures.

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