Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thank you, Colin Powell

I've seen too many videos recently showing folks who say they vote on the basis of a candidate's religious beliefs. One woman, speaking of Obama, said she wouldn't vote for him because his last name is Obama. Asked if she thought he was a Muslim, she said "No, but his father was."

I've heard too many people say this is a Christian nation, and reluctantly I write that I've heard too many people say this is white Christian nation (and it should stay that way).

This is a predominately Christian nation. Here's some rough statistics: Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)from the interesting repository of statistics on everything, Nationmaster.com.

What about "race"? white 81.7%, black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2% (2003 est.) Note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (including persons of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)

I was impressed with what I heard Colin Powell say on Sunday. Beyond his endorsement of Obama, he (finally) had the guts to speak what seems to be the unspeakable at this moment in time, namely, this:

Obama, a lifelong Christian, is not a Muslim, Powell said. But, he added, "The really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? No, that's not America".

As to the ugly videos that are all over the internet and television, referred to at the beginning of my post, he said, "Those kinds of images going out on Al-Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world, it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are. If you're an American, you're an American."

Good for you, Colin Powell. I thank you for speaking truth to power.

Photo note: I originally had a pic of a distasteful poster here. It was of a collection of guns with the title "Celebrate Diversity". I asked if any of you could tell me why I should remove this image, I would. Well, I couldn't wait. I may post the image at a later date and write about it and why I find it disturbing, but not today. Instead, here's a photograph of a diverse crowd at a Martin Luther King rally in San Francisco in 1968, found here.

Addendum: For a glimpse into the intersection between some of the oldest nonsense (accusations of withcraft!) and technology (your interface) check this out.

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