I was compelled to write this based on the comments of a poster “Average American”. It became very clear to me that I have to cover up some very common misconceptions as to what that means, especially in the light of the fact that so many of my readers are not from America but are from the other side of the planet.
First and foremost, there is truly no such thing as an “Average American” because to many Americans that implies many different things. The only true way to define what is meant by the statement “Average American” is in light of that individual American’s beliefs and ideas. That way we can at least define what segment of America that individual claims to represent. Even still, there will be many flaws in the claimants understanding and description as an “Average American” as Americans are rarely monolithic.
Secondly, it doesn’t take much to make such a claim. America is a true melting pot, consisting of varied and diverse people, religions, etc. that somehow despite the obvious differences come together in the great experiment called American Democracy, that for the last several centuries actually works!
Now my purpose is not to give a history or civics lesson, but to merely lay the foundation of my “beef” with those who claim to be an “Average American” and use that title and/or association to criticize me or my religion.
In truth, I am in many circles considered an Average American. I’m a black descendant of slaves, who grew up in the inner city of NJ, living in and working in the Nations Capital, with a wife and children with the same background, who served in the Military, grew up in a “good Christian household”, wanted to be like Mike, loves Apple Pie, and America’s team the Dallas Cowboys!
So what does that mean? Absolutely nothing outside of context!
Now if one was to check my post “The next time people want to lie against Islam and our feelings toward others….”
They could get the gist of my rant.
To sum it up, I posted a “good news” article that lends more credence to my constant mantra that the majority of Muslims are of the strand that I am and the reason why people don’t know is because they refuse to read and the media aids in their ignorance by not promoting positive news, but sensationalist ratings-based news about Islam, to further the falsehood that we are all foaming at the mouth barbarians.
Then true to form, a poster “Average American” gave me a lecture about how it’s somehow my fault and other Muslims like me for the perception he and others have about us. I have heard this mantra before as I am a black man in the US and for decades, blacks have been told that it’s our fault white Americans believe we are all gangster’s, pimps, and Ho’s with little intelligence and are all on welfare. Therefore, I don’t respond well to this type of rhetoric and will venture to say that those of the mindset about black Americans, are the same people with the mindset about Muslims and Islam.
This particular group uses extreme examples and isolated events, history, people, etc. to promote an ignorant, sometimes border and blatant racist agenda, to somehow cover their “truth” or opinion about those different than themselves. What irritates me and others to no end is their unwillingness to accept overall fact, in leu of their selective “facts” and once confronted with the truth, blame their thesis on lack of access to the facts.
Case in point, the crowd that lumps all blacks and black males into one box, willfully ignore that the majority of black Americans are employed, educated, take care of their families, are religious, etc. etc. etc. Yet, we are often characterized by music videos and the 9 o’clock news that will never talk about what good black people do, but only what young thugs and ignorant blacks do. Never mind that blacks have the means to spend on average 13 trillion dollars a year, let’s only perpetuate the myth that the majority of blacks are poor welfare kings and queens. Let’s substantiate this myth with the popularity of rap music (which the majority is bought by whites, and the labels are owned by whites) or the fact that blacks make up the majority of the prison system (but how did they get there, considering that the majority of gun manufactures are white owned and I don’t recall blacks frequently visiting Columbia for drugs…) then let’s add fuel to the fire by only allowing “entertainment” to be released that substantiate these myths in the form of movies, music, etc. (ignoring the ownership and power behind that), then let’s say we are truthful, ignore the overwhelming contribution of black inventors, scientists, educators, etc. or the fact that the only reason whites enjoy their position is because of over 400 years of free labor, etc. etc. Then when faced with these facts, let’s claim ignorance or simply deny it.
In fact, let’s blame black people for not doing enough to project that image and say it’s not our fault because we believe about you the way we do, but yours for not doing enough! As if blacks controlled the news, Hollywood, or the music industry!
Now let’s meditate on the run-on sentence worthy of a “D” in English class.
How does it apply to Muslims and/or Muslim/Islam opinions by the so-called “Average American?”
They lump all of Islam and Muslims into one box, willfully ignoring the fact that the majority of Muslims are not the same as they are from all corners of the Earth, have various beliefs, and consist of over a billion people etc. etc. etc. Yet, we are often characterized by skewed histories, isolated text and of course the 9 o’clock news that will never talk about what good Muslims do, but only what terrorists, radicals, etc. say or do. Their bread and butter is the latest Osama Bin Laden tape. Never mind that Muslims per capita are the most affluent bloc in America, representing the most likely to be professionals, college educated, and the least likely to have been found guilty of any crime, let’s only perpetuate the myth that the majority of Muslims are backward terrorists or terrorists in training. Let’s substantiate this myth with a 24 hour news cycle that continually feeds us the latest suicide bombing, or crazy Mullah’s fatwa, proclamation, or statement (even though the majority of which is against fellow Muslims… so who are they really against?) or the fact that the majority of this “news” comes from reports in the “Muslim World” (but of course, the dictators in power just happened in a vacuum and the West had nothing to do with their creation or staying in power) then let’s add fuel to the fire by only allowing foreign born Muslims onto radio and television shows to defend Islam and Muslims (of course to “prove” that there is no such thing as black, white, or Asian Muslims.., they are only Arabs from the Middle East) this way, Islam/Muslims can continually be viewed as “other”, “different”, ..etc. then let’s say we are truthful and ignore the overwhelming contribution of Muslim inventors, scientists, educators, etc. or the fact that while Europe was in the Dark Ages it was largely due to the fact that Muslims preserved the ancient texts and expounded on them, that it was Muslims that pioneered mathematics, medicine, etc. and helped get the West out of the Dark Ages, largely brought on ironically enough, because of the Church. Then when faced with these facts, let’s claim ignorance or simply deny it. In fact, let’s blame Muslims for not doing enough to project that image and say it’s not our fault because we believe about you the way we do, but yours for not doing enough! As if Muslims controlled the news, Hollywood, or the music industry!
See how similar the story is?
I am convinced that the “Average American” that thinks like this represent a single bloc of people and not all Americans, because the “Average American” bloc I belong to, doesn’t have problems with Muslims or Islam, in fact, many of our families have Muslims in them, we allow Muslims to speak in our Churches and events, and understand the history and role Islam played in our ancestry.
My point: Let’s not get into this “Average American” crap. Let’s just say how we feel and take accountability for our own thoughts, because all one does is expose them self, their agenda, and the bloc of like minded individuals they represent.
Yes, I know I used horrible English, Grammar, spelling, etc. But I’m certain if you want to get what I’m saying you will, and if you don’t, it’s not surprising.
I close with the last back and forth from the posting that inspired this one: