Teaching stupidity

A whole new industry has sprung up in the US that peddles bigotry. Worse yet, it does so with government funding and teaches government agents to fear and hate part of the population they’re supposed to serve. It’s the anti-terrorism training industry, which is full of hucksters and frauds.

I’m sure there are some good people doing good work teaching federal employees and maybe even cops about Islam, terrorism, and so forth. But this article points out that the system of government funding for this “training” is ripe for abuse and is clearly contributing to cops being taught arrant nonsense about Islam and Muslims, arrant nonsense that ensures those cops will view Muslims as their enemies and a constant threat: How We Train Our Cops To Fear Islam.

A similar piece of utter incompetence comes with graphics. Slacktivist and the original poster point out that this isn’t even a good graphic with a bad message – it’s a crappy graphic, too.

ETA: What this really reminds me of is self-proclaimed experts who came out of the woodwork to profit from the Satanic Panic in the ’80s and ’90s. These guys would slap together some photocopies of metal album covers and a couple of pentagrams and declare that they would teach police to recognize the signs of ritual killings and/or child abuse. Dead animal in the woods? Devil worship! Skulls in artwork? Devil worship! And so on.

They, too, got rave reviews and lots of attendees at their seminars. The results? False arrests, incorrect convictions, and wrongful imprisonment. Just ask the West Memphis 3. Let’s not let that happen to Muslims.

I’m probably going to write to my elected officials about this issue. You might want to, too. If you don’t, or if we can’t effect change that way, then do what you can: stand up to this kind of bigotry when you see it. Call it out for what it is.

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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