Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sign of the times: Making America White, again

This sign was posted in a New Mexico business.
OMINOUS SIGNS are starting to appear.

On the last day of 2016, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, urged a New Mexico business to remove an anti-Muslim and anti-President Obama sign.

A convenience store in Mayhill, N.M., has a notice posted on its door reportedly stating, "Obama & other Muslims Not welcome here." The hate sign has also been sold to customers. Last year, an image stating "Kill Obama" was reportedly posted in one of the store’s windows.

“While everyone has the First Amendment right to free speech – even offensive speech – we urge the store’s owner to remove the sign in the interest of common decency and of our nation’s unity at a time of increasing divisions,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., has noted an unprecedented spike in hate incidents targeting Muslims and other minority groups since the Nov. 8 election.

The sign is reminiscent of earlier times in U.S. history when businesses would bar people of color from their premises. 

When Donald Trump began using the phrase, "Make America great again," for his campaign, many of his supporters interpreted that to mean the time in the U.S. when whites were guaranteed social, business and educational privileges and status by virtue of the color of their skin.

By inference and by practice, that meant people of color were not worthy of those same "entitlements " that were accorded to white residents of the United States.

We thought that the U.S. had progressed beyond the blatant racism of those signs. believed they were remnants of the past. We can't say for sure whether the business owner voted for Donald Trump, but white supremacists have been emboldened by his victory. Is this the new normal? This is 2017, after all.