Not Like Us

Ali Rahimi was enjoying a warm Greek evening, chatting away with two friends, when a mob of 15 people approached and asked where they were from. "I told them that I am from Afghanistan and they said that it is time for me to go back to my country," the 28-year-old asylum-seeker told NBC News. Rahimi attempted to run away but was cornered, beaten, hit over the head with a bottle and stabbed in the chest and back by three assailants in the entryway of his Athens apartment building.

"When police arrived they called an ambulance, but then told me that they could not help me any further and left," Rahimi recalled, explaining how he only realized how serious his injuries were after spotting blood running out from under his T-shirt during the brutal attack on Sept. 17, 2011.

In this country, we have also seen a rise in hate crimes since 9/11. This has only gotten worse after the economy tanked in 2008. Maybe this is what Romney was talking about when he talked about people not wanting to take responsibility. It seems when times get bad, people want to find somebody to blame. Naturally, the first ones that come to mind are the people who are "not
like us".

This is somewhat reminiscent of the European concept of the divine right of kings. When Europe was ruled by royalty, the king was always crowned by the church. This sent the message that the king had God's blessing and any opposition to the king was opposition to God. Since you opposed God, you must be a witch. We all know how Europeans treated witches.

In this country, we saw the same philosophy give rise to the protestant ethic. Successful people were successful because they were good Christians. Their success was God's reward for their support of the church. So if you are not successful, you need to get right with Jesus so God will stop punishing you.

Maybe Romney had a point. Maybe we should stop blaming the Arabs, the African-Amerericans, the homosexuals or others who are "not like us" and start looking at our own lives. How many people have decided they are powerless and have given up trying? How many people have taken refuge in drugs, alcohol or other addictive behaviors? How many people have decided that voting is not worth the effort?

I am reminded of the old saying that all that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. If you give up, the bad guys win. If you decide to take out your frustrations on those who are "not like us", the bad guys win.

We're supposed to be the good guys. Good guys don't let bad guys win.

Best always
Brother Ron