Monday, July 23, 2007

Why do my friends think I would be interested in this?
























A very good friend of mine sent me an e-mail today that was purportedly written by an American Airlines pilot. Snopes has the original letter and a rundown here. I'll post my friend's letter in comments.

Gloria Steinem once said that if you were uncertain as to whether a statement was sexist or racist or somehow bigoted, remove the offending class from the statement and replace it with another.

I've done that with my friend's letter. A comment left earlier today has had me thinking about our response to the second worst act of terrorism on American soil, the Oklahoma City bombing. So, putting those two things together, I altered the text of Amy's e-mail to me to reflect how it would have sounded had we let ourselves become consumed with fear after right wing extremists (who were Christians) plotted and carried out attacks on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma city on April 19, 1995.

Subject: This is why you worry me.
>
>
The newspaper stated today that some right wing christian extremist doctor is saying we are profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on an airplane.
>
The following is a letter from a pilot. This well spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully....>Read, absorb and pass this on.
>
"YOU WORRY ME!" By American Airlines Pilot - Captain John Maniscalco
>
I've been trying to say this since April 19, 1995, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country.
>
But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me. I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People from the backwoods, professing to be right wing christian extremists, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
>
On April 19, 1995 right wing christian extremists loaded a rental truck in my
country. They bombed children and watched mothers panic as they ran to the site.. They took that truck and drove it into buildings killing hundreds of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
>
The right wing extremists celebrated, the fundamentalist whackos were overjoyed as was most of the Posse comitatus fringe groups. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that have destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the right wing christian extremist terrorist.
>
How do I differentiate between the true right wing christian fundamentalist and the right wing christian extremist terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of
OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack on an abortion clinic that will slaughter these same good neighbors and citizens?
>
The events of April 19, 1995 changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every right wing christian in this country to determine it for me.
>
I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ? Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in >your many daily prayers that God will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it? Or do you pray that God will destroy it in the Rapture? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Freedoms that are spelled out in all ten amendments to the constitution, not just the second? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America ?
>
If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it. Your right wing christian leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a communit y and as a religion to protect the United States of America .
>
Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy. I am only interested in action.
>
What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war?
>
I want to see right wing christians championing the Bill of Rights in the streets. I want to see young right wing christian men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.
>
The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the Alfred P. Murrah attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in right wing christian extremist communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals. The right wing christian extremist representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating.
>
They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow right wing christian extremists from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing "leaders" like Nichols, Rudolph, Koresh, Robertson, Dobson and Falwell.
>
If the true teachings of Christianity proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the bible and statements from popular right wing christian extremist leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the bible are good, and pure, and true, when your "leaders" are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance.
>
It matters little how good christianity SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's
right wing christian extremists interpret the teachings of Jesus incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of
violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after a year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth.
>
We will NEVER allow the attacks of April 19, 1995, or any others for that
matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the
greatest constitution in the world.
>
I want to know where every right wing christian extremist in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family. I am pleading with you to let me know.
>
I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American.
>
But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. Until then. "YOU WORRY ME!"
>
THIS IS TOO GOOD TO JUST READ AND DELETE.... LET'S SATURATE THE USA WITH THIS


You know, I was there when a Christian extremist attacked Centennial Park in Atlanta 1996. It didn't then and doesn't now make me afraid of Christians (other than their unique ability to trample my rights and act victimized all at the same time).

I am just dog tired of the fear mongering.

9 comments:

Jess Wundrun said...

Here is the original e-mail:

Subject: This is why you worry me.
>
>
The newspaper stated today that some Muslim doctor is saying we are
profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on an
airplane.
>
The following is a letter from a pilot. This well spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully....>Read, absorb and pass this on.
>
"YOU WORRY ME!" By American Airlines Pilot - Captain John Maniscalco
>
I've been trying to say this since 9-11, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country.
>
But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me. I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
>
On September 11, nineteen ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my
country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutallystabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
>
The Palestinians Celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the
Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that have destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.
>
How do I differentiate between the true Arab / Muslim-Americans and the Arab Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools,
enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of
OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter these
same good neighbors and children?
>
The events of September 11th changed the answer. It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with
ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.
>
I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ? Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in >your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it? Or do you pray that Allah will destroy it in one of your Jihads? Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America ?
>
If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it. Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a ommunit y and as a religion to protect the United States of America .
>
Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent. No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy. I am only interested in action.
>
What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war?
>
I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting "Allah Bless America " I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.
>
The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim
communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, now! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I
have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals. The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that
HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating.
>
They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing "leaders" like Khadafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat.
>
If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, and pure, and true, when your "leaders" are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance.
>
It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's
Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a
degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us
over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of
violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after a year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America , the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.
>
We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that
matter, to take away that which is so precious to us: Our rights under the
greatest constitution in the world.
>
I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family. I am pleading with you to let me know.
>
I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American.
>
But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. Until then. "YOU WORRY ME!"
>
THIS IS TOO GOOD TO JUST READ AND DELETE.... LET'S SATURATE THE USA WITH THIS One,

FranIAm said...

You nailed it sister.

I blog today from outside Tampa FL where my company has an office. I happened to be here during that fateful day in April 1995.

The next day I had planned to take my team of Florida employees(8 of them) out to lunch, so we did that. In that group we had an uber-conservative right wing nut(sorry but true),2 Jews, 1 gay person and a few more "all American types." Then there is me, crazily liberal, fierce, Catholic with big Jewish roots and a love for all.

At lunch the team was going off on Muslims and I silenced the table(and several nearby tables I might add) by kind of saying in a slightly louder than needed voice...

"What if it was a different time in history and a table of people was blaming Jews? Or gay people? Or Italians? Or Irish? Or whatever???"

They all just looked at me. Lunch carried on uncomfortably from there and no one ever said anything to me about McVeigh being caught, save the gay man, who today remains my friend.

Deep sigh.

DCup said...

Jess - Thanks for posting this. So our standard for "the other" is guilty until you and everyone who looks like, worships like, has sex like you....proves themselves innocent.

Good thing the Constitution is just a piece of paper now.

Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon, by my hand!
Read My Inaugural Address
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Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Clapping for you now.

Johnny Yen said...

The day that Murrah building bombing happened, one of my closest friends, whose father is a Pakistani Muslim, got stopped by an acquainance and asked how she felt about "her people" doing something like this.

I've always meant to ask her if she went back to him, a white male, and asked how he felt about "his people" doing something like that?

BAC said...

Thanks for posting this! In the words of Holly Near --

I ain't afraid of your Yahweh
I ain't afraid of your Allah
I ain't afraid of your Jesus
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God


It's not a particular religion that should be "feared," but rather any fundamentalist group that would carry their views to the extreme.

For decades now women seeking abortion services, and the doctors who provide them, have been under attack by Christian fundamentalists.


BAC

Jess Wundrun said...

Then there is me, crazily liberal, fierce, Catholic with big Jewish roots and a love for all.

Can you better describe a person you would like to have on your side than this?

FranIAm said...

Oh Jess! I've been away so just catching up on my reading. Wow- thanks.