In the 1960's a groups of eager first graders were told that if they worked hard enough, that anything was possible in the US, they could even become president! This mantra was repeated many times during the 60's maybe even the 70's, might have been in the 80's and I have no clue about the 90's and after.
What they should have said to us is that you have a chance of being president as long as you aren't African-American, Latino, Chinese-American, Japanese-American, Somali-American, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, Pagan, Buddhist, Sikh, female, transgendered, gay, etc. etc. etc.
Basically little first graders if your not white, male and Christian, you need not apply.
Well it's 2007 and it's gotten better, women and non-white born Americans have a better chance at being president. Many countries developed, western, and developing beat us at having a more diverse pantheon of leaders than we do. We now have Jews, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos, gays and women in the House and Senate (how Henry Ford and others must be spinning in their graves)
But the presidency and vice presidency are still prizes only for the white, Christian males.
But we are still making progress, or so we thought when Minnesota elected the first Muslim, Keith Ellison (D-MN), to congress. Apparently if Keith had been a "good quiet ni_ _ er" and just went along, everything would have been fine. But he had the audacity to want to have his ceremonial picture taken with the Qur'an instead of the Bible.
The right wing fear mongers have gone nuts. Of course they only needed an excuse and Keith probably gave them this to get it over with. But still, only days away till the new congress convenes, one wonders how http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/02/goode-ellison-911/ hysterical Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) will deal with his colleague.
Maybe Mr. "Goode" should go to the 10 Islamic schools in VA and look into the face of the children going to school and tell them that they may pay taxes, be good citizens of this country, contribute to society in a meaningful way, BUT because they are Muslim they may not participate in the government, except for voting (and we'll try and make sure your precinct doesn't get enough ballots).
Maybe he should do a tour of the mosques in VA too and tell those parents NOT to fill their children's heads with the idea of equality, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, etc. Those, after all, are only for Christians and Jews.
Keep in mind that Rep. Keith Ellison is risking more for this country than Mr. Goode is and probably ever will. It is not just his professional and political life on the line, but the lives of himself and his family. He has to watch himself from every direction. From those who honestly feel that Virgil Goode is a hero and that they need to protect the country from an "Islamic take over, " taking Keith out in their minds be the first step in protecting this country and its institutions.
Keith also is in danger from the very extremist who join Al-Qeada and in whom Goode is very afraid. They view Keith Ellison as at best and Uncle Tom and at worst an apostate worthy of termination with extreme prejudice.
He is laying a lot on the line for this great country. I wonder if this country, the people of this country are aware of what he is doing. We need to, in turn, help watch over him and his family so that nothing happens to them.