Secondly, trigger warning on the video for xenophobia, threats, accusations of domestic violence, and virulent Islamophobia.
This video was posted on SocImages a few days ago. A SoCal chapter of ICNA Relief, a Muslim organization which raises and distributes money for various charitable efforts including food pantries, disaster relief, and women's shelters, hosted their annual fundraising dinner in Yorba Linda. The funds raised were to support women's shelters, as well as homelessness and hunger relief work. However, a bunch of racist fuckwits got wind of it, and came to protest. Because, of all the things in this country to be protesting right now, a fundraising dinner for a charitable relief agency is totally Important, right?
So a couple hundred (according to news accounts) asshats showed up with American flags, signs, and vicious xenophobia to protest the dinner and harass the people entering and leaving. Again, trigger warnings on the video - this shit is *ugly*. Partial transcript below.
Footage shows groups of angry white people behind police tape, carrying signs and a veritable forest of American flags, screaming hateful things, interspersed with shots of Muslim families, some women in headscarves and some without, being harassed as they enter the community hall where the dinner was being held, and shots of elected officials standing on a flag-draped and -bedecked podium letting their ignorance and hate hang out for their constituents to see.
"Make no bones about it - what is going on over there is pure. unadulterated. evil...My son is a Marine - in fact, I know quite a few Marines who will be happy to help these terrorists to their holy meeting in Paradise!" - Deborah Pauly, Villa Park Councilwoman (R)
Random protester, after threatening to rip the video-taker's fucking camera out of his fucking hands and break it if he kept taking video: "Go back home! Go back home! You beat your women and children! Why don't you go beat up your wife? She probably needs a good beating!"
"The problem with America is that our children have been taught that every idea is right, that no one should criticize another's positions, no matter how odious...They call that "multiculturalism". And it has paralyzed too many of our fellow citizens from making the critical judgment we need to make to prosper as a society!" - Congressman Ed Royce (R)
Random protester, as a woman in a headscarf walks by with a girl beside her: "One nation under God, not Allah! Get out of here! Never forget 9/11!"
Various other protesters: "Take your Shariah and go home!" "You don't belong here!" "You're not welcome here!" "Get out of here, terrorist!"
I watch this video and want to cry with shame at what my "fellow Americans"* think is acceptable behavior. The ignorance on display here, the hate and seething rage that feels, even from the distance of three weeks, half a state away, and viewing it on video, a hair's breadth away from exploding into outright violence, is stunning. This is the kind of mob mentality that ends up with people getting killed. And further, that elected officials feel safe in getting up behind a microphone and adding fuel to the fire...I have no words for that.
Like Councilwoman Pauly's assertion that a charity dinner, purely by virtue of being sponsored by a Muslim organization, is "pure unadulterated evil". And her veiled threat about Marines she knows who would "be happy to help them to a meeting in Paradise!" I cannot believe that an elected official feels safe and supported in getting up and saying, on-camera, that she knows some people who would like to kill those people over there whose only crime is belonging to a religion she disapproves of. What the fucking fuck?
Or Congressman Royce's schtick about "multiculturalism" being a bad thing that "paralyzes" our "fellow citizens" - hey, asshat, you know what? Most of the Muslims at that dinner you're so loudly criticizing are, in fact, also citizens of this country. I thought the whole point of America was that, even if you believe something different from the mainstream or dress differently than the mainstream, you are still American? No? - from "making the critical judgments." So, let's pull the veil off this one, Royce. What exactly are those "critical judgments" you think we need to make? I have a fair guess: you want us to outright declare that any beliefs but your WASPy traditions are Wrong and Bad, and only White Cis Straight Christian Men (WCSCM) should be allowed to run this country because they're the only ones with the right Principles and Morals, yes? And of course it has nothing to do with the fact that you yourself are a WCSCM and would benefit greatly from official codification of the status quo and official condemnation of anything that does not fit your standards. Right?
And of course, the protesters, who have no obligation to be coherent or even pseudo-rational in their screamed hate, because they won't have names attached to what they say. The themes of "Go home" - as if there are no Muslim Americans? As one attendee to the dinner was quoted in the local paper as saying, "I'm actually from Fullerton, CA. So I don't know where "back home" is." - and of course, conflating "Muslim" and "terrorist" as if they are one and the same, are incredibly disturbing. The anti-Sharia sentiment is telling, as well. As I pointed out to a family member the other day, when talking about the wave of anti-Sharia bills being passed by various states, it's not as if anyone has ever proposed implementation of such in any American legal system. And it's not like the Christian stranglehold on government is easing, nor is there some sudden Muslim majority in governments which could pass such a law. It's a solution in search of a problem - and they are demonizing and scapegoating American Muslims to create the "problem" they need. This protest just shows the fruit of those efforts.
This also highlights the further hypocrisy of mainstream political Christianity in this country. They're so keen to have the government funding "faith-based" charity efforts and disaster relief - even our super-secular-socialist President has maintained funding for faith-based initiatives - and there have been outright claims that the government's social safety net programs can and should be replaced by community faith-based charity organizations and individual charity giving. I've often heard it claimed, too, in debates over the merits of various religions in this country, that Christianity is superior because "all the charities that are religious are Christian. Nobody else takes care of the poor and needy like Christians do." And yet here it is, a non-Christian faith-based charitable organization, raising money from individual donors to spend on what I'm fairly sure would be nearly-unanimously regarded as Good Causes, and what do they get for it? Protests, mocking, angry threats, told to "go home" even though they ARE home, being called terrorists. Well, angry Christian assholes? You say you want other religions to step up and be all charitable in order to earn your respect. But then you do everything you can to make that not happen. Which is it, hypocrites?
But there's a tiny little silver lining here. Some nice, solid, undeniable evidence for the next time some privileged meatsack claims there's no anti-Islam sentiment in the US and that those hysterics are just exaggerating everything. >.<
*I have absolutely less than zero interest in sharing any kind of cultural identity with these fucking shitstains, yet by virtue of being white and read mostly as middle-class (despite my current financial situation, I have the clothing, dialect, and mannerisms of a middle-class upbringing), most of them would classify me as one of them.