Monday, June 2, 2008

Dunkin Donuts and the kefiyah

The recent yanking by Dunkin Donuts of an ad featuring Rachel Ray wearing a fringed scarf similar to a kefiyah should give pause to fair-minded people across our country. There is something terribly wrong when the hysteria of a few small minded pundits and their ilk is taken so seriously by a major corporation that the simple act of wearing what appears to be a common middle eastern garment is associated with some kind of endorsement of terrorism. Why is this important? Because it illustrates the truth, so long denied by the perpetrators of the so-called "War on Terror" that the true threat to our cherished freedoms, indeed our democracy itself is not some shadowy group of foreign fanatics as real as they are, it is our own fear made manifest in policies that sacrifice not only our founding principles of fairness and equality before the law, but our own national moral compass in favor of an "us against them" total war mentality. Over the last seven years just such a mentality has made our beloved country known not for the freedom and opportunity for all that have always made us a beacon of hope for struggling people everywhere, but for pre-emptive war, secret dungeons, torture, wire-tapping of our own citizens and a fear and even hatred of all things Muslim, apparently even a simple article of clothing.
These past seven years have proven beyond any doubt that our greatest enemy does not come from the elsewhere. As Pogo said almost half a century ago: "We have met the enemy and they is us." This nation has stood tall against some of the most powerful enemies in the history of the world and kept its national integrity and its people's freedom intact.It is not some motley crew of extremists we need to fear, it is fear itself- the kind of fear that makes the mere wearing of a kefiyah reason enough to pull an ad on national TV.