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May 02, 2011 06:18 PM UTC

Reporters should ask Palin and Boykin today: Can a good Muslim be a good American?

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Even more apropos today – promoted by Colorado Pols)

A wire service article in the print edition of today’s Denver Post informs us that Sarah Palin, in a speech yesterday, slammed the endangered-species act and called for more domestic oil drilling, but there was nothing more about her appearance tonight with Gen. William Boykin (U.S. Army, ret.).

An Associated Press story on The Post’s website, however, lets us know that, while in the Army, Boykin “disparaged” Islam but apologized later. The AP story was picked up by a handful of Colorado media outlets. AP reported:

Retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin said that America’s enemy was Satan and that one Muslim Somali warlord was an idol-worshipper. Boykin later apologized and said he did not mean to insult Islam. He retired in 2007.

It’s good to see that a drip of Boykin’s attacks on Islam have entered the vein of the Denver media, on the day Palin is scheduled to speak here. But there’s a river of hatred waiting to be aired, including Boykin’s condemnation of Islam and those who practice it. He writes that segments of Islam should not receive 1st Amendment protections like other religions, but his narrow and sweeping condemnations of the Koran and Islamic beliefs make his distinctions between one form of Islam and another meaningless.

At Palin’s event tonight, neither Palin nor Boykin is going to discuss Islam, according to the event’s organizer John Andrews. Reporters need to find the courage to ask Boykin and Palin about their views toward Islam anyway.

Boykin’s disparagement of Islam is not ancient history, and he’s not apologizing for it now.

And Boykin will be sharing a stage with a former vice presidential candidate who could possibly be the next president of the United States. The fact that these two people are standing together is significant to everyone who cares about tolerance in America.

She and Boykin should be asked the question that the organizer of tonight’s event posed but refused to answer, “Can a good Muslim be a good American?”

If you study Boykin, you’d think he’d answer that question with a no.

And Palin? Well, she’s ok with sharing a podium with Boykin. So it’s reasonable to ask what she thinks.

In fact, journalists wouldn’t be doing their job if they don’t question Palin about Islam. As for Boykin, I’m not saying journalists should condemn him. I can do that. Just tell us, in the course of covering the event, what he’s stood for in the past and what he thinks about Islam today.  


19 thoughts on “Reporters should ask Palin and Boykin today: Can a good Muslim be a good American?

  1. With all due respect 🙂

    Your suggestions are nice and lovely and relatively unrealistic. Palin RARELY speaks to the media, much less actually taking unscripted or questions that haven’t been pre-approved first.  

    1. Still, reporters should make the effort to ask Palin this question and others.

      If she won’t take questions, before or at the event, they should report that she (or her handlers) won’t take any questions. And efforts to ask them were futile.

      The unanswered questions might be reported, along with the background info on Boyin.

  2. Your diaries are loaded with “reporter should” and the “media should.”  And, they don’t.  SO?

    If not you, then who?  If not now, then when?

    KOA was reporting that tickets are still available at $25.  I think you SHOULD go to the event and ask the questions.

    1. I do some orignial reporting, when there’s a gap in coverage, and I should do more.

      In this case, it’s not a progressive journalist who’s gonna get to Palin. I try to be fair, but I’m a itsy bitsy blogger, and I might as well be a communist as far as Andrews and Palin’s people are concerned.

      I wish The Post, or Fox 31, or 9News would call the organizer of the event, John Andrews, and ask to speak with Palin.

      And they could report what happened with the request in advance, and efforts later to reach her at the event.

  3. But wouldn’t it be really nice, 50 years from now or something, if a declassified file revealed one of the Seals who took out Bin Laden was a Muslim?

        1. I’m only a guy from Western Colorado who just fell off the turnip truck.

          All I know is, once those guys qualify to be Navy Seals, they’re the best America has to offer.  I don’t care what religion they are.  I’ll bet they don’t either.

          At some point, we’re going to have to quit drawing stupid, artificial, religious distinctions and get used to the fact that we’re all Americans, and that together we can do great things.

        2. Actually, I look forward to the day when Ralphie’s vision comes true.  ‘No religious test’ should mean more than just public office (for which, obviously there is still a de facto ‘test’ if not a ‘de jure.’).  Rather it should be for our sense of Americanism.  

          I grew up in the 60s and 70s, as a military brat, on army and navy bases.  Unlike with the DADT issue, the military–as we know–was a decade or so ahead of its time with desegregation. For the first ten years of my life I was always in an integrated environment. It wasn’t until Dad was sent back stateside that we began living ‘off base’ (or rather out of military housing) that I really encountered racism (if I were not a white child it probably would have been earlier, but it was mostly unknown to me).  

          He was transferred to GA…where ‘white flight’ was just kicking in, after suits around the Fair Housing Act and all that, which allowed non-lily-white families to move into ‘white’ neighborhoods, and it was particularity brutal and overt. I got called the usual name for having a black friend.  Some of my white ‘friends’ could no longer play with me.  

          That was one of the things that offended me most about DADT–a total failure of leadership to do the right thing. Soldiers follow orders, leaders lead.  Eisenhower didn’t poll the troops–he integrated them.  Unit ‘cohesion’ etc. etc. were all arguments thrown about then too–against integrating the troops.  (Thank you President Obama–took a while, but thank you for the leadership).  That is also what’s so disturbing about the bigoted Palin-supporting Andrews-supported general (ret).  

          My own experience has given me a deep personal aversion to bigotry–which is what pisses me off the most about the manipulation of fears being perpetrated by the right: Muslims, gays, Mexicans…its all the same old tired shit.  

          The GOP is intentionally flaming these fears, which is despicable and I think (figuratively if not Constitutionally) treasonous. Read the comments on Politico or Faux News or The Hill about the OBL mission–not only a few are posted by thoroughly bottom feeder bigots.  

          Unlike the barely literate posters there, the GOP ‘leaders’ prefer to do their race- religion- other-baiting through more subtle dog whistles and suggestive (rather than explicit) language and rumors and smears.   Which is why (IMO) Trump freaks them out–he says what they are only trying to suggest and imply.  

          So I guess I also agree with PCG as well. Anything to tweak these idiots and crush their narrow minded bigoted perceptions of who is and isn’t an American is OK by me.  

          1. Real important historic fact.  Truman not only integrated the military, he did it in an election year, 1948.  I was an army brat ten years older than you.  My dad was stationed at Gordon in 1950.  We had one African American family living on post. The kids were baptist but went to a catholic school because they would accept them and the public schools in Augusta were god awful for blacks.

            I remember going into Augusta on Saturdays; the black and white facilities and black people stepping off the board sidewalks to let white kids go first.  horrible.

            It was Truman, not Eisenhower, who had the courage to integrate the military by Executive Order. Truman had a split in his party over his decision.  The Dixicrats bolted and Truman almost lost the election.

            I share your gratitude for having grown up in the military.

              1. Ten years later, integration was so smooth, that you knew that some one in charge was responsible..probably Eisenhower.  I was young enough when he was President to think that he was in charge of the whole world!

                It was only later that I came to appreciate Truman.

                1. But my first real political memory (I must have been 9) was Stars and Stripes: NIXON RESIGNS

                  I remember asking my dad about it–‘is this good?’ and he thought it was, because all the division that he had caused.  That was when my dad was still a registered Republican.  Like many of us, he has grown more sensible over the years–or the Republicans more nonsensical.

                  (Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, probably the real (rather than the imaginary sainted) Reagan would all be primaried–and lose–in today’s GOP).  

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