CROWLEY SPEAKS OUT ON BIGOTRY TOWARDS CARSON. When Politico ran the headline, “Nancy Pelosi to name first Muslim lawmaker to House intelligence committee,” it was an obvious signal that, if you are of a certain faith, your individuality is lumped in to whatever 1.6 billion other people in the world who happen to be of the same faith may or may not be doing. In the case of Rep. Andre Carson being appointed to the House Intelligence Committee, the bigotry was glaring.
With all their laser-like focus on Carson’s Muslim faith, Politico happened to leave out that Carson was a law enforcement officer and that he’s already been serving on the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. One would think that those two resume items are more important than whether someone is Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Episcopalian or whatever. Apparently not.
Just as some people somehow wanted to believe, over 50 years ago, that John F. Kennedy’s election meant that the Vatican or the Pope would run the White House, there would appear to be many bigots who believe that being of the Muslim faith automatically makes you a terrorist. Don’t believe me: Go take a glance at twitter and other social media. Below is Crowley’s letter:
As you may know, our colleague André Carson (IN-07) has been named to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Carson is a talented, hard-working member who has dedicated his life’s work to public service-starting with his service in the Indianapolis City-County Council and work at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and continuing to his current role as a member of the U.S. Congress. I believe we should all be welcoming of this newest member to the Intelligence Committee.
It has, however, come to my attention that there have been a shocking amount of comments made in conservative publications and on social media to the effect that Rep. Carson’s integrity is somehow in question as a result of his religion. These comments deeply offend me, as I’m sure they offend all of you, which is why I hope all of us will take every opportunity to renounce these kinds of comments and discourage this kind of harmful talk.
Unfortunately, we’ve not only heard these kinds of comments made too often-for example, questioning the citizenship of the President of the United States-but we’ve seen far too many of them go without response. I have worked throughout my career to fight against racial intolerance, bias, and hate crimes, and it is what compels me to speak up now. One of the great strengths of our nation, and indeed the Congress as well, is the diversity of experiences and beliefs that we are able to draw from to inform our policy goals. It is a true tragedy if members are targeted for their religious beliefs as somehow weakening their ability to serve, as opposed to strengthening it.
We will never be able to grow as a society if we allow this kind of hatred and division to go unchecked. This is not just about Rep. Carson – it is about all of us and how we stand up to the voices of intolerance, wherever they may come from. Thank you, and I look forward to working together to ensure we create a platform for a productive dialogue both here in Congress and throughout the country.
Vice Chair, House Democratic Caucus