Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rep. Ellison speaks up: It's time for a "politics of generosity & inclusion"

By Diane Silver

Much attention has been focused on Rep.-Elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to Congress. In today's Washington Post he finally speaks up for himself and does so most eloquently. The entire piece is worth reading for what it says about who we should be as a country.

Here's an excerpt.
Recently, I have become the focus of some criticism for my use of the Qu'ran for my ceremonial swearing in. Let me be clear, I am going to be sworn into office like all members of Congress. I am going to swear to uphold the United States Constitution. We seem to have lost the political vision of our founding document -- a vision of inclusion, tolerance and generosity.

I do not blame my critics for subscribing to a politics of scarcity and intolerance. However, I believe we all must project a new politics of generosity and inclusion This is the vision of the diverse coalition in my Congressional district. My constituents in Minnesota elected me to fight for a new politics in which a loving nation guarantees health care for all of its people; a new politics in which executive pay may not skyrocket while workers do not have enough to care for their families. I was elected to articulate a new politics in which no one is cut out of the American dream, not immigrants, not gays, not poor people, not even a Muslim committed to serve his nation.
Pamela K. Taylor and Nancy Jane Moore have posted about Ellison on In This Moment.

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