Virginia Congressman Didn’t Watch Spike Lee’s Malcolm X.?
I’d like Stephen Colbert to do a “Know a District” piece on Representative Virgil H. Goode (R-VA). Congressman Goode, in a letter to his constituents, used the election of the first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, as a launching point for xenophobia and bigotry:
The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.
As the NYT points out, however, not only is Congressman Goode a bit of a religious bigot, but he’s also pretty ill-informed about his colleague’s background. Representative Ellison was born in the U.S. and converted to Islam in college. The language and tone of his letter are also pretty scary because they echo past anti-immigrant movements.