i put up this post at the hand mirror a couple of days ago about a particularly offensive bigotted attitude. i expected a little bit of flack, but it seems the crowd from nzconservative decided to turn up and attack. it then got picked up by that rather sad internet troll known as redbaiter - banned from almost all left-wing blogs and for good reason. on his blog, the bloggers at the hand mirror have had some pretty misogynist insults thrown at them - which says more about their mentality than anything else. it sounds like nothing so much as certain men not being able to cope with strong women who are prepared to control our internet spaces.
and some of the commenters missed the point of the post, which is about bigotted attitudes that are often expressed by people without any thought of how nonsensical the proposition is. this proposition formed part of one of the questions asked of me when i did a session via skype with a high school class in christchurch. it's that whole notion of people expressing that i don't belong here, which is without any basis. people who can't accept that i have equal rights and equal value to them.
in sort of related news, american candidate (not sure of the correct terms here) for the republican ticket has surprised everyone by refusing to demonise all muslims. i can't say that i've been following that process very closely other than the various embarassments and scandals, most notable of which have involved rick perry and herman cain (michele bachmann has hardly covered herself in glory either).
nothing about mr romney had me enthused - but then i would say that as a lefty. he certainly hasn't stood out in any way, hasn't shown any spectacular characteristics, hasn't clearly been a front-runner. though, given that it's now looking like a contest between mr romney and mr gingrich, i'm picking that mr romney is most likely to win the nomination.
in which case, it was nice to hear this:
A man rose from the audience, claimed he had many Muslim friends, but said, “I have never heard one Muslim condemn Islamic jihad or terrorism. I see Islamic jihad as one of the greatest threats to America and the western world. Are you going to continue to give Islam and Islamic jihad in this country a pass like everybody before you continues to do? The only people that call Islam a religion of peace are the Muslims, and they are the most violent religion in the world.”
Romney said radical, violent Islamists pose a threat to Americans and others around the world. However, he said, “they take a very different view of Islam than the Muslims I know.” He noted that he was raised in the Detroit area, which has a large Muslim population.
“They are peace-loving and America-loving individuals. I believe that very sincerely. I believe people of the Islamic faith do not have to subscribe to the idea of radical, violent jihadism.”
ok, it's not a very positive statement, i wouldn't go anywhere close to saying it was an ideal reply. but compared to what the tea party crowd are saying, and compared to what mr romney was saying just 3-4 years ago, it's a huge shift. it's the kind of answer that our very own bill english didn't have the guts to give, in a similar context.