Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.In effect -- once a negative stereotype about a group is demonstrated to have some truth to it, any individual or subset that wishes to be regarded differently must take the burden of proving that they do not conform to the stereotype upon themselves. This is a pernicious idea that releases the rest of us of a requirement of understanding the people around us. To be blunt, a kernel of truth sanctions a level of bigotry. (One of these days, I think, I am going to have to sit down and deal with the topic of bigotry.) We have become too accepting of this idea that the loudest, most violent or most present members of a group form the default picture, and that it's up to others to paint a new picture. Where in this understanding is the idea that the rest of us have some sort of responsibility to understand the people we interact with? Why should people always have to explain that they aren't "that kind" of Skinhead? Is it REALLY that hard to drop in on Wikipedia for a moment and do some quick reading? And if you, like me, are leery of using Wikipedia as a source, the good articles have lots of references, since the site frowns on original research and unverified claims.
At the same time, fatigue is setting in. [American Muslim leaders] wonder: How many more times will they have to condemn violent extremism before non-Muslim Americans believe them?
Fellow Americans' suspicions frustrate US Muslims
People assume most Christians are heavy-handed, pushy, intolerant bigots bent of dominating any other culture or idea and supplanting it with their own whims because, for the most part, the ones who speak up the most ARE heavy-handed, pushy, intolerant bigots bent on dominating any other culture or idea and supplanting it with their own whims. It sucks. It's horrible. And it's the what everyone of any faith, political idea, or lifestyle has to deal with. People always focus on the loud minority who ruins everything. And like any other group, the only way you can combat this is making your views and, in this case, your kindness and actual testimony louder than the hateful prattle of those hurting your beliefs.
The modern world is not a game for the passive. We're better off when we actively seek out information on other people, rather than shifting to them a burden of proof that they aren't who it might be convenient for us that they be at the time.