Thursday, January 25, 2007

Who's The Real Bigot?

[The following article originally appeared in the Roanoke Times on Thursday, December 28, 2006.]

Now who's the bigot?
By Jerry Fuhrman

Well, ol' Virgil has stepped in it this time. As you may have seen or read, Virgil Goode, 5th District representative from Southside, sent a letter dated Dec. 7 to a number of his constituents, expounding on his personal belief that the recent election of a Muslim from Minneapolis to Congress was the beginning of the end of civilization. Or nearly so.

Had he stopped there, Mr. Goode would have been in trouble enough. God knows we don't say bad things about Muslims in this day and age and get away with it, even if some are inclined to want our children and grandchildren slaughtered in the streets of our cities. Or so it seems. We don't want to get them madder at us, that's for sure.

But Goode went well beyond trashing a Muslim congressman-to-be, who has stated that he intends to use the Quran next month at his swearing-in ceremony. Goode also took the time to denounce illegal immigration, a subject about which many conservatives agree, and to call for reductions in legal immigration as well, something with which most of us don't.

Lord have mercy.

As a result of the publication of his letter, the good congressman has suddenly been thrust into the limelight, finding himself trying mightily to defend his positions to the press. I'll leave it to others to decide whether he's been successful. And I'll not defend him here. He's on his own.

But for those of you who think Goode is a bigot or a xenophobe or a knuckle-dragging throwback, have you the same thoughts and feelings about the Muslim who prompted this uproar? If you're unaware of this guy's history but were now to find out that he is an adherent of one of the most bigoted and hate-consumed Americans alive today -- rivaled perhaps only by Al Sharpton and David Duke -- would you be prepared to denounce the incoming congressman as willingly and as vehemently as you are Virgil Goode?

Keith Ellison is said to be of the Muslim faith. In truth, he is a disciple of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan's fanatical black nationalist religious sect that calls for the complete separation of black America from the rest of society.

Malicious toward whites in general, Farrakhan and his followers save their most venomous hatred for Jews. From his lips, in a speech at a mosque in Chicago in 2003 and earlier on "Meet The Press": "You say I hate Jews. I don't hate the Jewish people, I never have. But there [are] some things I don't like. ... I don't like the way you leech on us. See a leech is somebody that sucks your blood, takes from you and don't give you a damn thing. See, I don't like that kind of arrangement."

He went on: "I believe that for the small numbers of Jewish people in the United States, they exercise a tremendous amount of influence on the affairs of government. ... Yes, they exercise extraordinary control, and black people will never be free in this country until they are free of that kind of control."

But what does this have to do with Ellison, you ask? This: The man who once went by the name Keith X Ellison has never renounced his affiliation with the most hate-driven organization in America. To this day, he is an enthusiastic supporter of Farrakhan, his grossly malevolent pronouncements and the principles upon which the Nation of Islam stands.

Ellison is a home-grown radical Muslim. And he's soon to be a member of Congress. Had Rep. Goode focused on this issue, he'd have gone on record as having brought up a subject that few people in this country seem to want to address but will, at some point, need to.

Having dragged the immigration issue into the discussion, though, Goode has brought upon himself an endless string of denunciations. Perhaps deservedly so.

That having been said, I ask once again: For those of you who think Goode is a bigot, have you the same thoughts and feelings about the Muslim who prompted this uproar? If your answer is no, I ask you this: Who's the bigot now?