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Rear your ugly head

The evidence is in; some people really want an excuse to hate. So OK, Dixie Flatline. Hate away. Put yourself in that dangerous little corner of the human psyche. What happens when you cage yourself is simple; on Sundays, the tourists walk by and take pictures and discuss your strange case. Consider me a tourist. Here’s my discussion.

In your rant, cloaked in the pretense of rationality, you claim that the loyalties of American Muslims must be suspect. You claim that we must watch them closely; the implication, bitter as quinine in your mouth, is that there is no other way to be safe from the threat.

You elide the fact that the soldier who killed his fellows was a malcontent. You elide the fact that he had been resentful; that his officers told him he couldn’t go to war. You choose, in your bile, to seize on one particular identifying mark and shake it in your jaws until it provides you with the blood you so passionately want.

And further, the blood you get is not enough for you. It doesn’t satisfy. It seems that our soldier was a convert, a member of that fanatical Muslim splinter epitomized by Farrakhan and his racist ilk. Is that significant? Is that a useful knife with which to segment the pool of those scrutinized?

No. You can’t be bothered to make such fine distinctions. You can’t be bothered to ask if this man became a Muslim because he thought it was a way to express earlier hatred. He’s just a Muslim, and Muslims must be watched. All of them. No matter what their differences with this man.

Let us turn, then, to the purely practical.

You are an officer. You have been charged with determining which of your soldiers is likely to take action against his own people. It’s an important task; you intend to save lives.

In a camp of, say, 1,000 men, there are 20 Muslims. And there is one soldier who has been acting up, malcontented, angry. So angry you’ve decided he can’t go on the next mission.

What, do you think, is a better scalpel with which to make your determinations? Is it better to spread your resources among 20, or to focus on the clear and evident danger?

Dixie Flatline would have you spread your resources among 20 Muslims. He doesn’t think it’s worth even mentioning that the one man is acting like someone with a grudge. The Muslims have split loyalties, even if they’ve never shown any signs of that in the past. The fact that the one man is so insubordinate that he can’t even be allowed to fight with his unit isn’t even worth mentioning.

See, here’s what makes Dixie Flatline a bigoted man in my eyes. He — or she — is so eager to paint the Muslims with the brush of hatred that he is willing to ignore a better, more productive way of noticing disloyal soldiers. Getting the Muslims under careful watch is more important to him than keeping our soldiers safe. There’s a better way than religious profiling and he doesn’t even mention the possibility.

I think I’ve spent enough time in front of this cage (self-created, self-incarcerated, and only Dixie Flatline can get Dixie Flatline out of it).

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