I'm going to try to write my letter of response to Shaun Moser's insensitive, racist, Islamophobic diatribe from Sept. 21 (online) and Sept. 22 in print using his original letter as a template. Wish me luck!
So ... an angry man writes a nationalistic letter in West Fargo, and The Forum runs the cold-hearted piece expressing concerns about Americans not being Islamophobic enough?! (It pains me to use the interrobang and unnecessary ellipses like a middle-schooler, but in the interest of representing Moser's original letter authentically, I must.)
If a person is a "dumpster fire," to use Moser's colorful language, they are a dumpster fire because of the intolerant attitudes and beliefs they hold. If they proclaim those beliefs in the newspaper, what are they doing beyond preventing themselves from evolving out of being a dumpster fire? People like Moser refuse to drop the hyper-nationalist act, refuse to adopt American beliefs (like acceptance and the right to freedom of religion). Moser's insistence that "Islam has no place in the West" is in direct opposition to the U.S. Constitution.
North Dakotans demand kindness, understanding, and a way forward in peace with new community members who may not look or think like they do, only to be told by their supercilious, self-righteous, letter-writing neighbors that they must be intolerant. Intolerance and cruelty are not North Dakotan values.
Moser has caused a social media firestorm and has undoubtedly hurt those who are trying to assimilate and make a home for their families in the state. Men penning racist screeds belong in a bygone era, not present-day North Dakota.
Moser has no place in The Forum ... nor does the vitriol that aids and abets him.
I did it! I used his template, swapped out a few words, and proved that any thoughts and beliefs-even the most hateful ones-can be changed for the better. Please, remember that. Do not listen to people like Moser.
Ellefson is from Mandan, N.D.