from Jillian C. York
date Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 3:27 PM
subject Shame on you for issuing an apology!
Dear Mr. Connor:
As a researcher of the media and its interplay with the Internet, I am ashamed of your paper’s actions in regard to the apology you issued after complaints arose from a photograph you published that showed Muslims peacefully praying.
The way I see it is this: Your paper did the right thing by marking the end of Ramadan for your local Muslim community. Kudos to that, but that’s where my praise ends. What follows is this: You got some letters from bigoted “real Americans” who took offense at the very existence of Muslims in your community, and rather than defend those Muslims–who are both American and a very real part of your community–you took a different route, apologizing for treating them as equal human beings.
Mr. Connor, it seems that you–like many Americans who claim to be well-meaning–have fallen prey to the latest, rather insipid form of racism (yes, I know Muslims aren’t a race, but that doesn’t matter) penetrating this country. By apologizing to your mostly white constituency, you are essentially stating that your version of “American” is in fact more American than your Muslim citizens.
Shame on you and the Portland Press Herald.
Jillian C. York