This won’t be a revelation to most readers of Advance Indiana, but Gary Welsh has inescapably confirmed himself as an anti-Muslim bigot.
Miriam Webster’s defines a “bigot” as “one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred or intolerance." Using this definition, isn't the clearest way to engage in bigotry to insinuate group culpability for the evil deeds of a member of a group, as if all share the offender's flawed moral compass?
If so, Welsh engaged in a completely indefensible example of bigotry on Monday, June 15, 2009, in his report about Brima Kemokai, a Marion County Community Corrections technician charged with raping at least one woman on home detention.
Murray’s report says Kemokai is a citizen of Sierra Leone, a predominantly Muslim county (sic) on Africa’s west coast.
Welsh was referring to Indianapolis Star reporter Jon Murray.
My first thought was, "What possible news purpose could Murray have for stating that Sierra Leone is "predominantly Muslim"?!?
Then I read Murray's story, and here's ALL it said:
(Kemokai) is a citizen of Sierra Leone who has permanent resident status, Brizzi said.
In other words, Welsh added the Muslim reference.
Why would Welsh do that, except to insinuate that Muslims are rapists who need to be kept out of America?
Welsh certainly cannot say he was satisfying his readers' craving for information about Sierra Leone, or he could have written that Sierra Leone is "the home of the world's largest natural harbor," "the home of the 7th lowest Human Poverty Index, or even "the country that gained notoriety for exporting blood diamonds."
Instead, Welsh chooses to emphasize Sierra Leone's "predominant" Muslim faith. (As an aside, estimates are that Sierra Leone is 60% Muslim, 30% Christian, and 10% native African faiths).
What makes Welsh's comment worse is that nobody has even reported that Kemokai self-identifies as a Muslim. Of course, if he did, that fact wouldn't indict other Muslims (except with bigoted readers) anymore than me pointing out the astonishing number of LEADERS of Christian churches who have been charged with molest and sexual harrassment indicts all Christians. (By the way, there are many anti-Christian bigots out there).
Is this confrontational of me? Sure. But Dr. King said time is neutral. It can either be used destructively or constructively. If we don't call out those who inflame bigotry, we let those with malignant objectives swing the pendulum toward their unjust ends.
I have previously suggested to Welsh privately that his coverage suggests an anti-Muslim and sometimes an anti-African-American bent in an effort to get him to think before he posts, but he apparently hasn't "gotten it." (Maybe the fact Islam is "predominantly" practiced in America by people who aren't white is more food for thought). Of course, since Welsh never posts any suggestion he might be using his blogging bully pulpit to whip up our worst human instincts, I feel compelled to say it here.
However, I'll extend to him a courtesy he never offers me.
Gary Welsh, respond here. I will post your entire defense, word-for-word, if you can offer one.
The tragedy is that Mr. Welsh frequently bests the mainstream media with his investigative reporting in this city. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of checking his inner demon - his unstoppable drive to tarnish Islam. As a Christian man, I can't let him do it any more. And neither should you.