John, this was a really great piece — well worded, and explained a lot to me in terms of how people think when it comes to issues of racism in the world today.
My only comment would be that comparing racism against black people to racism against Muslims is comparing apples and oranges. You can obviously disagree with my point, but here’s where it comes from. I’m Jewish and had a discussion similar to your article with a black football teammate of mine last year and we talked about the cultural side of racism — how black people are different in the most basic and simplest way: because of the color of their skin and yet people still hate them. However, fear or hatred of Muslims — whether justified or baseless — is rooted in past events. No, not all terrorism is from Muslims, and not all Muslim women wearing burkas are concealing weapons, but plenty of innocent people in this world have been injured or killed by people who are Muslim and who are proudly representing Islam when they commit terrorism. I don’t think it’s a cultural issue when people are afraid of Islamic terrorism — which, of course, is not simply Islam, but the sect within that religion looking to commit terrorism.
From my experience and following that discussion with my teammate, I believe (and please correct me if I’m wrong) people are racist against black people like you mentioned, due to cultural reasons, but also because people simply like to hate. It’s a shame but that seems to be a very harsh, yet very real reality in our world. However, people are afraid of / are racist against Muslim people because of fear and those are two completely different things — it’s not a cultural thing. People in my religion also dress modestly, why should I discriminate against a woman doing the same? I will however discriminate when myself and my countrymen have routinely checked these modestly dressed women at military outposts and discovered weaponry or had that weaponry used against us with the sole intention of committing terrorism.
I just don’t think the two can be compared. Looking forward to hearing your response.