I had hoped we had moved beyond this.
Some time this afternoon, several hours after the Fort Hood shooter's name was released, I saw this message on a friend's status update on Facebook. It really disturbed me.
As a nation at war with fanatical Muslims, why is there an Army officer named Nidal Malik Hasan? I know I sounds non-PC but we are at war. We have to be more careful in regards to letting such people in positions where they can harm us from within. Complacency has no place in our society.
This sentiment came from someone I've known since high school, an otherwise rational person whom I've not known to be prejudiced. And it surprised and disappointed me no end.
THIS IS INSANE.
What I pointed out to him, in my response, was the fact that we had fought not one, but TWO wars against Germany in the past century, and one of our greatest officers was this guy:
That's right. Dwight D. Eisenhower. EISENHOWER. Whose family, once upon a time, carried the name "Eisenhauer," meaning ironworker... in German.
So I pointed that out to my friend. And also noted that four of my own uncles - all of whom carried my distinctly Germanic surname - were officers in the US forces in Europe and Asia during World War II. So, I asked, was it unwise to allow German-American citizens into our military in WW2?
Times are not what they used to be now. Our current situation is vastly different from WW II. We face a clever and resourceful enemy who has, with the help of an overly sensitive government, been allowed to bring upon us the threat of violence[.]
Not even kidding. That's exactly what he wrote.
Now, haven't we heard something like that before? Maybe in connection with something called the "yellow peril"? Those people who aren't "like us"... even though they're just as much Americans as "we" are? A "clever and resourceful enemy" that lined our West Coast, just waiting for a secret message from their maniacal Japanese overlords back in the homeland? The only logical thing to do, of course, was to throw them into concentration camps, without any trial, any evidence, any proof of being a threat. Because after all, those Japanese are some crafty bastards, dammit!
This is exactly the type of thinking that caused Japanese-Americans to be thrown into internment camps. I know some of them. I know some of their children. People who were teachers, businessmen, neighbors, office workers. And they got pulled from their homes with no more than a few bags, and ordered to leave their communities and live in barracks in the desert. Just because of where their ancestors were from, and because of the irrational fears of their fellow Americans.
And I can't believe it's still going on today, with otherwise sane Americans. No, actually, I can. And perhaps that's what saddens - and angers - me the most.
UPDATE #1 (and hopefully the only one): I defriended him. His comments got worse and worse overnight. He is in full-on Freeper mode. Ugh.