Monday, July 12, 2010

The racism of greed

I have no idea what's worse, the fact that these people might be hiding their racism behind the desire to maintain their property values, or the fact that they really are more concerned about the loss of value...

In case you haven't heard, the DuPage county zoning board met to discuss a request by the Islamic Center of Western Suburb to get a conditional use permit for a single family home. The permit would allow them to have services and add 30 parking spaces nearby. Many of the opponents of the permit do not want the property to be rezoned commercial because it would decrease property values.

Maybe I'm just not materialistic enough, but when did property value become so important? Is it a status symbol now? From where I'm sitting, all a high property value means is a high property tax bill. Personally, I feel that they are just using the property value to hide behind.

That's the rub. It would be easier to see the bigotry if they just came out and said that they didn't want the Muslims in their neighborhood. Not that I'm defending them by any stretch, but in this day and age, you can understand a bit why they would be nervous to have the center there. However, if these opponents want to keep their freedoms, they better be prepared to give them to others, even when the others are people that they don't agree with. That is the reason so many people have come to this country in the first place. The freedom to be who they want to be, wherever they want to be.

It's examples like these that make me wonder sometimes how we got on this path in this country. How did it become ok for one group of people's rights and freedoms to be suppressed because it infringes on another's? Why is it ok for me to try to stop you from enjoying your freedoms because they interfere with mine? We may never know the answers to those questions, but until we do, we will never be at peace with ourselves or others.

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