WIS and the enlightened suburbanite

It must have been a slow news day for WIS last Tuesday. That’s when the Columbia television station ran a story that began:

A WIS News 10 viewer says she found a sign of religious intolerance in South Carolina near Alpine and Polo Roads a few days ago.

Susan Quinn says someone spray-painted a litter pick-up sign because it read “Islamic Academy SC.”

Apparently, a vandal with red spray paint covered over the academy’s name. Watching WIS’s segment on the incident, it would appear that whomever sprayed the sign specifically targeted just the name of the academy. Separate signage directly above and below the academy’s name was untouched.

However, it wasn’t enough for WIS to report on the vandalism; they needed to find a Cassandra (or, more likely, she sought out the station) for comment.

“I could say that it shocked me, but given the level of hatred and bigotry and intolerance that we see in our country today, I wasn’t surprised,” said Susan Quinn.

Really? Goodness knows we don’t live in a perfect society by any stretch of the imagination, but to effectively imply there’s rampant hatred, bigotry and intolerance nationwide is ridiculous.

Are there cretins out there who lie awake at night dreaming about the chance to “retake America” from the (take your pick) illegal immigrants, minorities, feminists, gays, Muslims, etc., etc.,? Sure. Are they a concern? Yes. Do they make up the majority of Americans? Not even close.

“I think a lot of it is fear,” Quinn told WIS. “A lot of people are fearful of a lot of groups different than we are.”

“It’s a fear Quinn worries will spread to the impressionable minds at nearby Polo Road Elementary,” WIS reported.

If that “fear” spreads to the “impressionable minds” and Polo Road Elementary, or any other school, it will most likely be through the words and actions of parents, not some two-bit miscreant who probably doesn’t know the difference between the Islamic prophet Muhammad and Muhammad Ali.

Meanwhile, Ms. Quinn would do well not to simplistically categorize the nation as being full of hateful, intolerant bigots. Just because one hasn’t attained Ms. Quinn’s level of “enlightenment” doesn’t mean one wishes evil on those who are different.

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