Pushing the Spectrum (from Seth Godin) makes a subtle but important statement today. He references how parts of our society has tried to turn fear into hatred. (He kindly refers to the people as “marketers,” which I suppose is technically accurate. I’d call them something far different.)
There are a lot of blogs, news items and Facebook posts today about what happened nine years ago. My most vivid memory, aside from the news, was checking my email. Earlier in the year, we had taken a trip to Germany, and had stayed in small B and Bs the entire time. That afternoon, I received an email from all five of them, letting us know they were thinking of us and that they hoped we were safe. These were not long stays, mind you. Two of them were just overnight. But it was that outreach and support that I remember most.
In contrast, I still receive mass emails from time to time about boycotting “Arab businesses,” about how much everyone in the Middle East wants to destroy us, about how horrific it would be for a religious/community center to be built near ground zero. Rarely are these well thought out, logical missives about our world. Instead they propagate hate and fear toward a race of people who, for the most part, want little more than to live in peace, celebrate their faith, raise their children and enjoy each other’s company.
There are extremists in all corners. Just as most of us, I hope, would not want to be judged based on a “preacher” who slings hate and burns religious books that are different from his own, I hope we have moved past a time when we judge all members of a religion based on the actions of a few extremists.