I'm sure you already heard about the nincompoops over in Manchester, Tenn., who heckled a U.S. attorney and an FBI agent during a public discussion about Islam. From The Tennessean:
During the keynote speech given by Bill Killian, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee, audience members continually interrupted, making it difficult to understand what was said. Killian brought a PowerPoint presentation that covered the First and 14th amendments and what constitutes a hate crime, among other things. He read the First Amendment verbatim, between interruptions.
Former “Saturday Night Live” star Victoria Jackson was among the protesters.
“The Constitution and Sharia cannot coexist,” she said. “Islam is evil.”
Just let that sink in. Our state is now where Victoria Jackson has come to try to recapture some relevance. Why us, Lord, why? Why not Alabama? It's also beautiful and she could patrol the streets of Arab, watching for any actual Arabs. Can't we all get together and pitch her over the state line when Alabama isn't looking?
Anyway, yes, there were assholes. But no, they didn't ruin it for everyone. Remziya Suleyman tweeted, "We received countless apologies from sympathetic & embarrassed individuals who had attended to listen & learn, not hate."
But I'd like to direct you to this sentence from this Tennessean story: "Bill Hobbs, a conservative activist living in Middle Tennessee, has posted unedited video to YouTube of Tuesday night’s meeting in Manchester on Islam." (The video is embedded below.)
I am floored. Really? Bill Hobbs drove all the way to Manchester to hear about Islam? One stupid cartoon of Mohammed, a press release stressing President Obama's middle name and a misidentification of him as wearing "Muslim garb" later and Bill Hobbs has finally gotten around to listening to actual Muslims talk about Islam? Will wonders never cease?
People: Yes, this was an ugly, unfortunate incident, but it does mark a change. If it accomplished nothing else, it got Bill Hobbs out of the house and down to actually meet the people he's spent his political and blogging career using as scarey boogeymen. It's late, but it's better than never.