KING: Why we must never hate Islam, or Muslims, because of the violence of its fake followers
My dear mother is a sweet, supportive, 66-year-old white woman from rural Kentucky. I love her without hesitation. Yet, on a daily basis, both as a journalist and an activist, I confront white privilege, white supremacy, and the devastating effects of systemic racism in our country and around the world. Out of necessity, though, I have always been forced to be nuanced and carefully parse how I approach my feelings about white people in general, in great part because I’ve always had this wonderful white woman, who first taught me to stand against racism, as one of the essential pillars in my life.
On many occasions, after some horrible incident of racism or bigotry or police brutality in America, or the failure of our justice to truly hold white people accountable for those wrongs, I’ve been in the room with black friends or family when I’ve heard the phrase, “I hate white people.” As pale as I am, people have no qualms saying it in my presence. I don’t join in, but I understand. Whiteness is a problem. Since it was first created as a philosophy of domination in which color was used to give and take away access and privilege, it has always been a problem and always will be.
Yet we must always resist the urge to throw an entire race of people under the bus even if we truly despise whiteness or white privilege or white supremacy. It’s an easy temptation to oversimplify our emotions into dangerous generalizations, but we must resist such urges.
Of all the friends I have, none are more consistently warm, peaceful, supportive, and kind than my Muslim friends. They are actual Muslims, though. In a day and age of fake news and fake politicians, perhaps nothing is more dangerous than fake Muslims and Christians — who cloak themselves in the accouterments of religion but do so for the asinine and insincere reasons.
It’s sad that this must be said, but you must find a way to be angry at what happened in Manchester without hating Islam and its more than 1.5 billion adherents. Blaming all of Islam for what this idiot, or for what the few hundred other idiots like him have done, is not just simple, it’s both dumb and dangerous. You are better than that.