Bruce P. Corrie, PhD, Chai. News
Senator Klobuchar made a strong case for balance as the word “radical Islam” gets embedded in people and institutional memory in this country. In a statement before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, she made a bold statement beginning with, “We love the Somali community in Minnesota.” She acknowledged the recent indictments of Somali youth in Minnesota and at the same time stated that Somalis are contributing richly to life in Minnesota as entrepreneurs and citizens and provided the example of Siad Ali, her outreach director, who is also on the Minneapolis school board. Her statement showed leadership and courage: leadership to remind America of its identity as “the land of the free” and courage to say words that many people find hard to accept.
I just finished reviewing a recently published book for Choice Magazine, Matters of Testimony: Interpreting the Scrolls of Auschwitz” written by Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams. They analyze the Scrolls of Auschwitz, written by people who were forced to work in the Nazi death camps and who provided evidence and records of the horror they experienced that consumed the lives of millions. The book provides an archaeology of the documentation of human hate and domination taken to the extreme. Tooth fragments, paper, ink, and other items captured the gasping of innocent people’s last breath. In our current history we have plenty of similar examples from around the world.
Senator Klobuchar’s statement when taken in this context is also a plea to America – be careful how we act and speak about the “other.” Prominent leaders make statements that are not backed up by facts and help lazy and easy thinking lead to wrong or self-serving conclusions. Busy citizens caught up in the struggle for survival find in these statements easy and often wrong answers to their own predicaments.
Let us hear the prophetic voice of Senator Klobuchar calling for “balance” and go beyond that –Can we nourish each other’s faith as we grow in our own? Can we demand better from people who want to lead us? Yes we can!