Having made my declaration in favor of Hillary last week by absentee ballot, I am ready to move onto the real issue at hand. How did the Republicans get themselves into such a mess and how are they going to proceed going forward?
I got the hint of an answer listening to the Oct 28th This American Life Program entitled: Will I Know Anyone at This Party? Zoe Chase reports on the buildup of anti-immigrant sentiment though a large national network of organizations promoting anti-Muslim views in St. Cloud, Minnesota where there was a large influx of Somalis into a previously 84.6% white population. The last part of her story reminded me of us- another misunderstood American minority and the educational campaign we have waged to educate Other as to who we are, what we value and how we support American values.
Islam in the U.S. has the problem. It is diverse and decentralized. Newcomers try to please and fit into their new surroundings. Second and third-generation Muslims use their energy on assimilation to convince fellow Americans that they do indeed belong. As a minority faith, U.S. Muslims have got to step beyond and create a public relations campaign that educates other Americans about their beliefs and practices. A Highway billboard near Dearborn, Michigan says it best: Donald Trump can’t read this, but he is scared of it. The truth is- He and his supporters exhibit phobia after phobia because they simply don’t have the knowledge it takes for any kind of understanding and transformation.
How would this help the Republicans get back on track? If Muslims can demystify and move beyond other, white hatred as part of the conservative agenda can be derailed and disentangled, leaving Republicans to work on their core values of individual rights with prosperity, social order and patriotism for all. Reading the GOP platform makes me wonder, maybe the Republicans could use an educational campaign of their own!