Allen Stoner’s Response to Alabama LawmakerPosted: December 3, 2015
The legislator from Aliceville is wrong on this! The owners and operators of many convenience stores (and small neighborhood groceries) today are first-generation US citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card holders) from the Middle East (Yemen, Palestinian, Iraq, etc.) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.) 100+ years ago many new immigrants from South Europe (Italy, Greece, etc.) owned and operated small grocery stores and shops throughout America where there were large immigrant populations. That was the changing face of America then and this is the changing face of America now. Customs and traditions change with time including the faces of the local merchants from whom we buy. I have noticed the changes too and accepted it for what it is – the “face of America” depends on the perspective of the beholder. I’m sure the Dutch thought America was fine without the English who thought it was fine without the French who thought it was fine without the Germans who thought it was fine without the Poles, Russians, etc. who thought it was fine without the folks from the Far East (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, etc.) and so on.
Now it is the people from the Middle East and South Asia whose faces we typically see behind the counter of these stores in many parts of rural Alabama/America. They generally represent Islamic and Hindu religious and cultural traditions which are vastly different from the Judeo-Christian traditions of us who are from European backgrounds. The only requirements of all people living in the USA: (1) accept the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land; (2) learn English b/c it is the common uniting language of this nation; and (3) assimilate into the American culture (we can do that while still honoring our ancestral heritage.) There is genuine concern by Americans about radical Islamic fundamentalism in the form of ISIS, Al Queda, etc., its infiltration into America (vis-a-vis immigrants unwilling to accept the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land versus Sharia law), domestic funding of such terrorist organizations, and destabilizing the American way of life.
Suggesting patrons of convenience stores look for the sign of the cross, fish or some other sign the owner/operator is a “God-fearing Christian” before shopping there is wrong. At best the legislator from Aliceville is misguided. At worst he is a demagogue trolling for votes. The 1st amendment to the US Constitution protects our freedom of speech. People in leadership positions are held to a higher standard when using that position to broadcast their opinions. Words can have consequences. Remember George Wallace?