I’ve been debating about this post for the last few days since overall I think it is a sensitive topic. Driving into work on Monday morning I happen to notice a bumper sticker on the back of a truck in the lane next to mine. It said, “I jump out of planes and shoot Muslims in the face for a living” and then the other side of his bumper had a Veterans of Foreign Wars sticker. I found this so offensive that I probably talked to 10 people about it that day because I was just so shocked that it was acceptable to have something like this on your car.
I don’t pretend to understand what our military service men and women experience in war, while I have seen quite a few ‘realistic’ movies, I don’t kid myself to know what they’ve gone through and how that must shape their world view going forward. I also want to raise our kids to respect military service and those who to choose to serve should be respected for it. I would never want Patrick, Kellen or eventually Baby Girl to see that bumper sticker. To me it represents cruelty, hatred and is a scary sign of what has become acceptable in public places. Why is it even OK to have a sticker saying you Muslims in the face? It obviously isn’t just this one guy who thinks that’s something worth printing and selling.
When does it become too offensive? “I jump out of planes and shoot ___ for a living” insert Jews/ Blacks/ Women/ Catholics/ Americans, are we more offended by any of those categories? It was my Dad that brought up a good point, had it been a Muslim man with a bumper sticker saying he shoots Americans he would have been arrested within blocks. More importantly what does this say to the Muslim Americans that live in our communities or really any non-Caucasian group? Watch out, should it become acceptable we will also make jokes about shooting you.
After thinking about it some more it isn’t this one guy, who is obviously some overcompensating macho jerk, who scares me. It really is our overall climate. I was out of the country for a few months when 9/11 happened and I remember talking to my Mom and her saying that it was unreal, even rational people where out for blood, ready for war, anything to avenge what had happened. Well now it’s 10 years later and while we’ve soured on the wars and political focus has shifted it seems we still feel that it’s acceptable to degrade and hate an entire group of people. I don’t know how you change that but I feel so disappointed by the fact that it’s even an issue.