Re " 'Muslim' shouldn't be a slur," Opinion, Oct. 15
Thanks to Constance L. Rice for pointing out a glaring double standard when it comes to acceptance of hate speech and racism directed at Muslims and Arabs.
Yes, the McCain campaign is guilty of fomenting bigotry through harsh rhetoric and coded personal attacks on Barack Obama. But the media must also share the blame for legitimizing the use of bigoted language by providing a platform for right-wing pundits and organizations to spread their racist message.
Serious attention and an honest debate are needed concerning this growing racism and xenophobia directed at Arabs and Muslims.
John McCain's faux pas in replying to the statement, "He's an Arab," has its roots in the way impromptu discourse works. One interlocutor is cornered with a comment or question for which he or she has not prepared, forcing a reply that, because of its immediacy, is found to be insensitive or inappropriate. In McCain's case, his reply fed directly into what we all know his questioner implied: the association of Arabs and Muslims with fundamentalism, terrorism and the events of 9/11.