If readme May Stand on its Soapbox a Moment

Hey, readers. readme here. So readme usually tries to keep things light even with all the shit that goes on in the world. Because, you know, laughter’s the best medicine and all, stiff upper lip and whatever those British people say. Like, we crack jokes about how ISIS is a thing.


But the thing is, guys, ISIS is a thing. And it’s a thing that scares us a little, which is understandable given the extremity of their actions but maybe we’re not entirely using that fear productively? Like, a lot of that fear is being directed at American Muslims who aren’t affiliated with ISIS at all, which seems a bit unreasonable. Then again, America pretty much makes unreasonable paranoia into a national sport (see: swine flu, Putin reigniting the Cold War, ebola), so we really shouldn’t be surprised.


We also shouldn’t be surprised that patriotic fervor has reached a fever pitch with the release of American Sniper, a war biopic with the message that America is always right, even when it’s wrong. So now we have a cultural climate that is both patriotic and paranoid, a combination which historically has not worked out well for America or whomever they happen to be afraid of at the moment.


Take this guy, Craig Hicks, for example. Hicks is one of those super asshole atheists who spends all his time talking about how much better than you he is because he doesn’t practice religion. You know the type. He’s also super critical of Islam, in particular. Why he hates this particular religion out of all organized faiths is a mystery, but it probably has something to do with Hicks being a racist bigot.


Last week, he murdered three Muslim university students, execution-style, outside their place of residence in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Police have been “investigating” whether or not the shooting might have been an anti-Muslim hate crime, which seemed odd to readme because… yeah. Seems pretty obvious. But according to early media coverage, there was a fair chance everyone was blowing this whole thing out of proportion. It wasn’t a hate crime, Hicks was just arguing with them over a parking space and things got out of hand. Don’t we all just feel silly now for assuming?


Unsurprisingly, American Muslims were not terribly happy with the news coverage.


They also noted, in a twitter campaign that quickly went viral, that news stations were slow to pick up the story, and that once they did they were strangely reluctant to make any strong condemnations on the character of the man who murdered three of his neighbors. This probably had nothing to do with the fact that Hicks is white while his victims were not. …Yeah, even readme can’t write that with a straight face.


Sorry for the lack of jokes, dear readers. But sometimes a line’s gotta be drawn. We may be at war with ISIS (literally ‘may be’ at war. I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on with that), but we can’t let ourselves ignore the crimes that are committed on our own soil, against our own people, just because they don’t fit the patriotic narrative.

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