Monday, October 11, 2010

Define Normal: Pam Gellar Pushes for America’s Retreat into a Bigoted Past

Political writer Pamela Gellar is the newest national voice speaking out against a diversified America. Gellar, a self-described “racist-Islamophobic-anti-Muslim-bigot” is the publisher of Atlas Shrugs, a controversial blog that at times ignores both history and fact. This is troublesome considering her half-truths are influencing public opinion on current affairs.

For instance, Gellar, a single mother of four, is an unwavering opponent of Park 51, the Muslim community center being constructed two blocks away from Ground Zero. “You’re building a Christian cemetery” Gellar said even though the center’s mission is to provide adequate prayer space for some of the 8 million Muslims that reside in New York.

But that is of no interest to Gellar who believes Islam is an inherently violent religion. “In the war between the savage and the civilized man” she said, “you side with the civilized man.” Highly charged rhetoric such as this has thrust Gellar into the national spotlight, however not everyone is in agreement with her.

“Nine-eleven didn’t happen in a victim” one challenger said, “it came from a long history. But when people like Pam Gellar are the loudest voices out there talking about it, it drowns out everything else and makes everyone look crazy.”

On the contrary, Gellar’s relatives continue to support her. What she “really wants is for everything to get back to normal in America,” said her sister, Jessica Gellar. However, what is normal?

According to Gellar, normal might be a country that is home to groups only deemed non-threatening to its values. Currently its adversary is Muslims, however at one point it was African-Americans, the Japanese, and Jews. So would “normal” mean regressing to that not-so-distant era where discrimination was institutionalized?

A better definition of normal would be a country that continues to allow freedom of religion, and freedom of speech which ironically is what enables Gellar to spread her thinly veiled messages of hate. “I have an interesting play on words sometimes” she said. But what is not so great is her words having the authority to fuel prejudice after years of citizens fighting to contradict it.

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