Linwood NJ, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Hirsh Singh was joined by leaders of prominent Indian-American organizations and local Republican candidates from central New Jersey to denounce the hate-filled statements by Edison Democrat Planning Board Member and Chairman of the American Muslim Council Sam Khan.
“Sam Khan’s remarks at a recent American Muslim Council meeting calling for ‘jihad’ to force ‘white people’ to achieve political results have no place in civil discourse,” Singh said.
Singh’s comments at his recent press conference in Middlesex County came in the wake of an incendiary speech by Khan at an American Muslim Council meeting that had caused an uproar in the Indian-American community nationwide.
It is perfectly emblematic of the empty, hashtagging political era that the primary role of government after a mass murder would be as a semiotic interpreter for the nation.
As governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton celebrated his state’s Confederate heritage with a special star in his state’s flag. Now his wife is running for president as an ardent foe of Confederate remembrance. The GOP consensus of 20 years ago was that the display of the Confederate battle flag was up to the ones displaying it. Now they are falling over each other to denounce its public display.
None of it makes much difference in the lives of Americans or on the question of good governance.
These are things that politicians do not as part of leadership but of followership – public cues intended to show voters that a candidate is “one of them.” But they do not do much to shape outcomes. Quite the opposite. These are things you do when you can’t do anything real.
Is racism a problem in America? Not nearly what it was, but of course it is. Is it something that the federal government is going to be able to remedy? Not a chance. Are mass killings, regardless of the ideological fixation of the killer, an ongoing problem? America ranks fourth in the world for mass-shooting fatalities, so there’s certainly a problem. Is it likely to be fixed by legislation? Almost certainly not.
So what’s with all the focus on the flag?
We get an insight into the thinking of the president and his party from a WaPo piece on his many frustrations with his administration’s failures on gun control and race relations:
“‘If you are a white man in America, this country is changing dramatically. You have always been in charge,’ said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity [to] be candid. ‘So there is something to white men feeling like something has been taken away from them.’”
Not one in 1,000 white males cares about the presence of a Confederate war monument on the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse. Not one in 1 million would share the racist worldview of the Charleston killer. The overwhelming majority are focused on keeping themselves and their families afloat in the face of enormous challenges.
But focusing on them as villains is revealing and attributing the resistance to gun control and other issues as a personal response to Obama’s African heritage is an unintentionally damning revelation.
There’s nothing the president can do about the real issues, so finding and blaming a boogeyman becomes job one