All right, folks, I need your help. I have got to be missing something. Sojourners contributor Lisa Sharon Harper has written about the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on radical Islam, and in the process seems to be doing exactly the same thing she is so enraged about Rep. Peter King allegedly doing. Is it really possible for a person to be so unreflective, so incapable of self-examination, that they could do what Harper seems to be doing in this article?
Today, another kind of “King” is ascending to make his mark on the annals of history. But his mark will only merit a few ballistic blogs and a few twittering tweets. My tweet read: “Peter King’s anti-Muslim hearing unites Long Islanders, Republicans, Christians to Dennis Kearney and Joseph McCarthy legacy. #kinghearings”
Dennis Kearney’s political posturing and racist rhetoric led to the 1877 Chinese Exclusion Act and Joseph McCarthy’s 1954 guilt-by-association anti-commie campaign led Americans through their own political version of the Spanish inquisition. Kearney and McCarthy fashioned some of the darkest days in American history. They led us away from our values — away from our ideals. Kearney and McCarthy stoked the embers of fear until they became a bonfire that consumed the soul of America, leaving only destruction, alienation, and crushed images of God in their wake. Now it seems Peter King is hell-bent on leading us into darkness again.
The most shameful part of this anti-Muslim-American melodrama is King’s Long Island constituents, his party, and those who share his Roman Catholic Christian faith are being forced to partake in the legacy of King’s like-minded historical players. History will look back on this moment with a “tsk-tsk” and a waving finger, and with all the flying blogs and tweets, King won’t be the only one implicated. People from Long Island will be reminded — they elected him. Republicans will be reminded — they did not censure him. And Christians will be reminded — they sat silent and let their spiritual brother lead the country away from God and into darkness.
I read the rest of the piece thinking, “surely she’s going to say that this was nothing more than an example of the kind of thinking she’s attacking.” But no. She says nothing to indicate that her statements that Long Islanders, Republicans, and Christians will be “implicated” with King is anything but heartfelt.
This is a person who doesn’t want all Muslims tarred with the brush of radicalism, but she turns around and uses the non-violent, balanced, legislative action of a single congressman to claim that three large groups are somehow responsible for what he is doing. Or does she? Am I missing some kind of subtle sarcasm or irony here? Or is she really incapable of seeing herself doing exactly the same thing she accuses King of?