In re Riddle

Debbie Riddle, the conservative State Rep from Tomball, is in the news again. She posted a rant on her facebook page about sensitivity training for our soldiers in Afghanistan. Thereafter, a Pakistani-American law student at U of H commented challenging her views. Rep. Riddle responded with a xenophobic rant where she personally attack this man and instructed the American citizen to “go to Afghanistan”. Let me post the exchange below.

Full exchange may be found here.

Riddle:Our soldiers do NOT need to be taught how to be sensitive to radical Muslims. They do not need to be worried about blowing their nose wrong or using their left hand and offending someone. They need to just be focused on winning wars & protecting our country. Our soldiers are willing to fight and die for our freedoms – they should not be concerned with being PR agents or community organizers. They should not be bothered with being sensitive to people who want us all dead! We need a true leader in the White House – a vote for Obama is a vote to destroy our country. We can no longer afford to be politically correct or politically polite to people who choose to kill our citizens & disrespect our flag. Mr. President – if folks kill our citizens and trash our flag they don’t need our money – they need to see our full military strength and force.

Abdul Pasha:I would rather have Robert Poppenhusen be given sensitivity training on not sounding like a bigot. It might make this thread a bit more civil…but probably not.

Go educated yourself, if yall have real guts.

Riddle:Abdul, if you are so offended by our soldiers then you don’t need us or our money in Afghanistan. As an American I am greatly offended that we have had American soldiers killed by the very ones we were attempting to train and help – Afghanistan soldiers. Get a grip fellow – if you want to be an American act like one and be proud of our country and stand up for our military. If you can’t do that then go where people are sensative enough for you – I guess that would be Afghanistan – where they still live like they are in the Stone Age – but still very sensative.

Pasha:Im not offended by our soldiers. They are the most underpaid and unappreciated members of our society. With that being said, there is nothing wrong with being critical of our policies and military industrial complex. Furthermore, Im offend by yall, who are so close minded that, its your way or get the hell out of here. The amount of xenophobia is incredible! A society does NOT work that way. All this does is alienate people. I would go to Afghanistan but only if all of yall come with me and see the truth rather than relay on what Fox News feeds yall. And, I don’t have to “act” like an American. I am an American and I’m not going anywhere.

Riddle: OK – Abdul – I guess it is OK that the Muslims kill and torture people when they get their feelings hurt. I guess we should not have 1st Amendment rights – we might hurt your feelings. I guess we should all bow and scrape to Muslims because we don’t want to be politically incorrect. Well, I suggest that you step out of your easily offended world and appreciate those of us who pay the taxes and provide your education and your freedom. We provide benefits for you and you call us names because we are angry at the Muslim world for killing our citizens. So, be proud of your country and stand against people that murder our people. I would also advise you that it is not nice to insult those of us who are old enough to be your parents or grandparents because we have lived more life and know a little more about the real world than you do. It is called respect and you will do far better in life appreciating what others have done for you. I won’t burn a building or kill someone because you are insulting – I just consider it ignorance on your part and you will growup someday.

Notice the egregious misspelling of “sensitivity” on the part of Riddle. The Houston Chronicle broke this story and evidently followed up with a phone call to Pasha. He remarked was not offended personally but rather amused. I also noticed how Riddle’s immediate reaction was that because Pasha was vaguely Middle-Eastern, that he was Afghani and responsible for the taliban or what not. However, I want to highlight what I feel is a growing trend.

Riddle is a bigot; I think that is abundantly clear. But did she grow up learning to hate Muslims? Probably not. Riddle, 63, is a baby boomer, which is not a generation that grew up learning anything about Muslims besides “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Aladdin”. Riddle’s hatred of Muslims is what I predict is because of a void far too many Americans have, to hold prejudice and hate against a group of people. Since 9/11 it has become acceptable to hate Muslims in many circles, which is quite unfortunate. In fact, now a days, you can openly hate three groups of people in conservative circles: Atheists, Homosexuals, and Muslims. There was not very much hate towards these groups a long time ago (there was some, yes), so it can’t be just because it is learned to hate these people.

What happens, I feel, is that one learns to hate on people in particular. When Riddle grew up, there was plenty of hate, but it was directed towards Blacks and Jews. If Facebook existed back when Riddle was my age, I can almost assure you that the she would have plenty of racist and anti-Semitic remarks if such people ever confronted her views. You see, it is no longer acceptable to publicly mock someone for being Black, Latino, Jewish, or Catholic. So the people like Riddle, the closet klansmen of society, have learned to hate on new people.

This hatred is a disease that permeates deep into one. It can only be cured through education, which may be why people like Riddle have always been in favor of cutting education funding and in favor of privatization.

The Klan strikes again

So in northwest Austin, a bigot decided to lynch an empty chair, an obvious allegory to the President. If you are still not convinced, when reporters from BOR (who broke the story) contacted him, he said  “I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you.” Essentially a tacit admission of the metaphorical lynching.

Evidently this follows a larger trend, with other incidents reported in Virginia and possibly Beaumont. It seems to me that this is a threat against the President, eg something the Secret Service should investigate, but maybe that’s just me. I intentionally have such a “shock appeal” title because I feel that it is necessary. This guy, Bud Johnson I think is his name, may not have ever donned a hood and burned a cross en masse, but I can guarantee you that he had some affiliation with some white power/white supremacy cause. I certainly do not feel that all criticism of the President is motivated by race, but A LOT is. There seems to be a good quarter of the country that simply cannot get over the fact that we have elected an African-American President. They just can’t, just as there were southern bigots who could never get over the fact that Kennedy was Roman Catholic.