The Mid-Atlantic Blog

February 26, 2006

A Climate Of Fear?

A short, but necessary corrective to views about fly-over land.

The common view, particularly in the UK, of red-state America is pretty negative. In particular, there is the perception that the view of the ordinary member of the population is effectively simple racism, and that this drives both votes for Republicans and attitudes towards the Iraq war (and the Middle-East as a whole).

This story, then, should be given wider publicity. In Toledo, Ohio over the course of a single week an Islamic charity is closed down by the Feds (under suspicion of funneling money to Islamist terror groups), and then three Moslem men are arrested for suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism.

The reaction?

Not race riots. Not violence against the large local Moslem community. Not an upsurge in Mosque burnings. No calls in the local press for suspicion of local Moslems.

Nope. Instead, we get stories on headlined "Ohio Muslims Say They Don't Fear Backlash" (and you can be sure that if there were suspicions of the opposite ABC would have been happy to cover them).

I guess those small-minded racist red-neck Ohio hicks aren't quite as bad as might be thought.

Oh, and by the way. The leading contender for Governor on the Republican side? Ken Blackwell, the current Secretary of State of Ohio. And those damned racist right-wing Ohioans are clearly playing to their prejudices again, what with him being African-American, and all. Small-minded intolerant bigots, the lot of them...

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