George Packer of New Yorker on Intolerance

Voices are getting louder and more anxious as the country openly re-examines its value system. I have a sense that some key brick in the wall of national identity has come loose, leaving us with a very shaky structure that is causing widespread instability. I had an encounter today with an outspoken conservative, which is what I guess he’d call himself. He was generally angry at what most of us would call modern life in western civilization. His idea of what America should be was a world away from my sense of it. Read the New Yorker’s George Packer on the dangers of extreme intolerance.

2 Responses to George Packer of New Yorker on Intolerance

  1. C R Krieger says:

    I think Mr Packer doesn’t dig deep enough.  It is correct that in the immediate wake of 9/11 the People did not blame their Muslim neighbors for what happened.&nsp; So, what has changed?  That is the question.  Perhaps we need a course at UMass Lowell that talks to this issue and gives us a chance to think it through.

    It does seem to me that a couple of things have happened, or not happened.  It seems to me that the Muslim Community has not convinced the American People that Muslim-Americans reject the idea of violent jihad.  As we wait for “the other shoe to drop” we want everyone to be united in condemning these kinds of terrorist actions.

    Then there is the fact that those responsible for filling in the hole in Ground Zero have failed to do it and failed to do it miserably.  If that had been done we wouldn’t have this uproar over the Muslim Cultural Center, which would be dwarfed by the monument.  And, maybe, the Greek Orthodox Church on the edge of Ground Zero would have been rebuilt by now.

    But, even given those two problems, I think that things are actually going relatively well, given that we are, in fact, a nation at war.  Even those who oppose the Cultural Center and the Koran buring recognize it as within the limits of our Constitution and law. However, not opposing the Cultural Center or opposing the Koran burning out of concern for who might riot is, in its own way, a loss of our rights as Americans.  That Yale University Press would publish a book that included a discussion of the infamous Danish Cartoons and then not print copies of the cartoons, out of fear, is a blot on our story as Americans.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. PaulM says:

    Cliff, I agree about Yale and the omitting of the cartoons. We need to act for the right reasons, otherwise, as the phrase use to go, “the terrorists win.”