Hello. Sit down. Have a tea. Make it herbal – chamomile would be a good choice. Now, let’s talk about what’s bothering you. Take a deep breath. OK, you’re scared about Islam. Because they are terrorists. And because they have an agenda to take over the world. Really? Who told you that? Your brother in law. And the news. Which news? The one on TV. Oh, and some websites. Fine. Drink your tea. Let’s clear up this little misunderstanding. How old are you? So you’re old enough to remember the IRA.Do Irish people make you nervous? What about Spanish Basques? No? Well, they used to be terrorists and blew up a bunch of planes and metro stations, trains and stuff – and once they blew up a parade and killed a bunch of horses too. They didn’t manage to take over the world, did they. And do you remember why they were blowing things up? I didn’t think so. It doesn’t matter anymore, because they aren’t the problem. Right. The problem, you say, is women running around with scarves on their heads. So, you want to take them away, is that it? That’s repression – you know that, don’t you? You’re OK with repression?

“A long, long time ago, Europeans came to America and committed genocide, and the people they could not kill, they repressed. Indian boarding schools were founded to eliminate traditional American Indian ways of life and replace them with mainstream American culture. The first boarding schools were set up either by the government or Christian missionaries. Initially, the government forced many Indian families to send their children to boarding schools. Later, Indian families chose to send their children because there were no other schools available. At boarding schools, Indian children were separated from their families and cultural ways for long periods, sometimes four or more years. The children were forced to cut their hair and give up their traditional clothing. They had to give up their meaningful Native names and take English ones. They were not only taught to speak English, but were punished for speaking their own languages. Their own traditional religious practices were forcibly replaced with Christianity. They were taught that their cultures were inferior. Some teachers ridiculed and made fun of the students’ traditions. These lessons humiliated the students and taught them to be ashamed of being American Indian. The boarding schools had a bad effect on the self-esteem of Indian students and on the well being of Native languages and cultures.”

Well, yes, I copied that from a book. The article is here, if you want to see it. I just used it to illustrate what we white people like to do with those folks who scare us. We crush them. We make up stories about them. We take away their traditions and language and replace them with things we’re more comfortable with, like slavery and abject poverty. Now, back to Islam. You don’t have to worry about it, I promise. For one thing, the Muslims are not bombing our cities, they’re too busy running away from the bombs we’re dropping on theirs. Did you know, that since the beginning of March, the white people have killed over a hundred Muslims, supposedly including a whole bunch who were worshipping in a church. You can call it a mosque, if you want, but the truth is, it was a place of worship and Trump bombed it. And you claim to be scared? How do you think Muslims feel about us? They must be pretty scared too, don’t you think? Have some more tea.

Why am I pouring tea down your throat and trying to get you to calm down? Mostly because I’m tired of right-wing nutcases posting their paranoia online, while we moderates seem to be incapable of being as shrill or as hysterical. We don’t want to represss anyone. We want to stop bombing people. We want women to be able to wear whatever makes them feel attractive and comfortable, without anyone forcing them what to do or not to do. We want women to be able to go to an abortion clinic in peace. We want poor people to be able to feed, clothe and house themselves in decency. We want everyone to be able to get along. So, drink your tea some more. Yes, I know you’re a rabid conservative who thinks Muslims are out to get you, who thinks women should stay at home, and that poor people deserve what they get. And yes, that strange taste in your tea is strychnine. Just kidding. I’m a nice liberal. I only wish the rapture really had happened. It would be so much better here on earth without all those extremists.