Halloween is still a few weeks away, but in New Jersey, the witch trials started early. It started on social media, our Salem of today: Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad took to Facebook to let fans know that evil was happening in the town of Maplewood.
âYesterday,â wrote Muhammad, a Muslim wearing the hijab and a figure so revered by our cultural commissioners that she was immortalized in her own Barbie doll, âTamar Herman, a teacher at Seth Boyden Elementary in Maplewood, NJ, was Forcibly removed a second-grader’s hijab. The young student resisted trying to hang on to her hijab, but the teacher took it off, exposing her hair to the class. Herman told the student that her hair was beautiful and that she no longer had to wear the hijab to school The child, Muhammad said, had suffered “trauma” and “abuse”.
Only, that’s probably not what happened at all: in a statement, Herman gave a perfectly plausible explanation. She had observed the student wearing a hooded sweatshirt, she said, and, in accordance with school policy, asked him to lower the hood, as it was blocking his eyes. After seeing that the student was wearing the balaclava “in place of, rather than over, her usual hijab”, Herman “immediately rescinded this request”.
In a functioning society ruled by adults, such a dispute would have been resolved quickly and calmly. But because this is Woke America, a nation that operates on a wave of outrage being broadcast online, and so it didn’t take long for Herman to be found guilty by a jury of his virtual peers. .
The local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – an organization named by the FBI as an unindicted accomplice in a terrorist financing case and recognized by a federal court as having substantial ties to Islamist terrorist organizations, including Hamas – has demanded the immediate dismissal of Herman. .
Some netizens were careful to note that Herman was Jewish, describing his alleged actions as a religiously motivated hate crime. Even New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy joined the fray, sharing the accusation with its 145,000 followers on Twitter.
The episode highlighted just how deeply the progressive squads wanting to strip America of all that resembles decency and civility have become deeply malicious. While speaking the language of civil rights, these so-called defenders of freedom engage only in the destruction of political enemies, real or perceived.
Get away from Facebook and visit the current town of Maplewood, and you’ll find a vibrant and diverse community, the kind of place where sidewalks are painted in rainbow colors to celebrate pride and where schools are filled with students and teachers reflecting a range of different ethnicities and religious beliefs.
To portray it, as Muhammad did in his breathless article, as yet another example of America’s essential systemic racism is an affront not only to this great nation, but to observable reality itself – a play by unpleasant performance that says everything about the performer and nothing else.
And as if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, Herman’s lawyer also revealed the following detail: his client actually knows Muhammad “in real life” as the children say, and contacted her and asked him. to withdraw the message, without receiving a reply.
Real people with real values ââand real concerns talk to each other, reason, argue, try to change minds and hearts. It takes a special kind of narcissist – and a special kind of solipsistic and sensationalistic culture – to encourage communication in 240 characters or less, all noise and fury and without empathy or passion for the truth.
If this is the way the famous people we celebrate behave, we have very good reason to be very, very afraid.
Liel Leibovitz is Editor-in-Chief at Tablet.