When leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested that we respond to the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., by barring Muslims from entering the U.S., most Americans, even many in the Republican Party, were rightly appalled if not completely surprised. Trump’s preposterous and shocking pronouncements are, at this point, predictable. But what is truly disturbing is his boisterous refusal to be accountable to facts and the significant percentage of Republican voters who, despite this, declare him worthy of leading this nation. Yet again, we seemed doomed to repeat a scapegoating history we know all too well.
We’ve been down this road as a nation before, and as LGBTQ Americans we have been in the role of scapegoat, political wedge, or demeaned minority so we have common cause with our Muslim sisters and brothers generally and with LGBTQ Muslims specifically. So now it’s a new political moment and there is a new target. This never ends well, and yet we seem incapable of learning from our past missteps.