As a newspaper reporter who still writes stories for newsprint, I try — as hard as possible — to be objective about the news I cover and see.
That objectivity is, I admit, more and more difficult with the America I cover today. I am too often sickened by what I see and what I have to cover as a newsman.
After more than half a decade covering news around the country and around the world, I today am ashamed of the America that exists today.
Our country is overrun by bigots, racists and haters. We have become a nation that turns its backs on those in need and places political opportunity above what is best.
One need only to look at comments posted on this news site about a Christmas story about immigrants seeking a better life in America with no place to even stay as their fates are considered by our government.
“Depots them,” said many of the comments. “They are illegal,” cried others. “They are scum and criminals,” said others.
News stories today are filled with anti-Muslim rants. Muslims are part of the American fabric. Thomas Jefferson talked about the Muslim race as the Founding Fathers defined the need for separation of church and state in drafting the Constitution.
“In the formation of the American ideal and principles of what we consider to be exceptional American values, Muslims were, at the beginning, the litmus test for whether the reach of American constitutional principles would include every believer, every kind, or not,” says Denise Spellberg, author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders, said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Jefferson authored Virginia’s Stature of Religious Freedom which eliminated the state church, funded by taxpayers, and established the separation of church and state.
“What he wanted to do was get the state of Virginia out of the business of deciding which was the best religion, and who had to pay taxes to support it,” said Spellberg, a professor of history and Islamic studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
At least 20 percent of slaves brought to America were Muslims. Muslims have served in Congress and other parts of out government. Muslims have fought, and died, for our freedoms as soldiers.
Donald Trump, the GOP front runner to the 2016 Presidential nomination — another sad and despicable event in American politics — want to slam the door on Muslim immigrants and deport those who are already here, even if they are American-born citizens.
The white supremacists, bigots, racists and haters that dominate the crowds that cheer Trump promote bigotry and violence against immigrants and minorities. In a case of “good old-fashioned karma coming ’round,” the white race is expected to become a minority in America by the next census.
I saw racism first hand as a 10-year-old student in Prince Edward County, Virginia, when the school board and board of supervisors closed the public schools to defy a federal order to integrate and replaced it with a taxpayer-funded all-white private school.
For too many years, any young resident of that county who was not white received no public education. Living in that culture helped turn me into a newsman. I sold my first story — about being a young man living in a racist society — to the a newspaper
This is America?
It should not be, but with each passing day, America appears to be a place that is despicable and one that brings shame to our nation.
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