Sunday, August 24, 2014

The new n-word

I grew up in Danville. I heard the n-word a lot. To me my parents were my parents. I only later realized how unique they were for their time. My best playmate from as far back as I remember was Cynthia Gayle Ingram, a black girl. And when my brother died I remember a fight my mother had with the minister over whether black people were going to be allowed in his Church. It goes without saying my mother won.

But today is not about that N-word. It's about another N-word. A short while back I started seeing the Arabic Letter N appearing on Facebook pages (Just FYI it was a Persian who actually created the alphabet). The letter is nun ن. It is short for نصرابي ، an older Arabic word that literally means Nazarene, but used to just be the word for Christian. The word has now become in Iraq a derogatory term for Christians. In Mosul it was spray painted on houses and the people who lived in those house had to leave convert or die. And some who converted were killed any way.

In the south there used to be signs that said "Nigger don't let the sun set on you here" and black people were hanged just for being somewhere. Today in Iraq Christians and other religious minorities are being driven from their homes or killed just for being there.

But let us also not confuse ourselves. They are not being driven out by Moslems. They are being drive out by terrorist. ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) aka ISIL (Islamic State in Syria and the Levant) want power and control. Religion is a thin veil of an excuse and recruiting tool. Even other Moslems who get in their way are being killed as well.

I would urge everyone reading this to follow the link to Catholic Relief Services and help support the work being done to protect those who are left. Or find some other charity you trust. But let us not abandon out brothers and sisters.