Society and Culture

Everything’s Bigger in Texas: Even Islamophobia

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There’s a new Texas state representative named Molly White. She’s a Republican, represents District 55 in Central Texas, and is a huge bigot.

Why is she a huge bigot? Well, this is a Facebook post from her page a few days ago on Muslim Capitol Day in Texas.

There are so, so many things wrong with that post. First of all, White is a representative of the U.S. government. Here in the United States, we have something called “Freedom of Religion.” Obviously White isn’t trying to make a law that prohibits the free practice of religion or anything overtly illegal, but I think we can all agree that this pretty fundamentally stands against the expressed values of the nation she purports to represent. Freedom of Religion is just that. Not “Freedom of Religion only if I like your religion.” Or “Freedom of Religion if you do what I say.” Or “Freedom of Religion only if you prove it.”

White apparently has never imagined how demeaning it would be to prove her “loyalty” to the United States just because she’s in the minority. This myth, conspiracy theory, and thought of pure lunacy that Islam is synonymous with terrorism needs to end. Right Now. As does this habit of asking Muslims to denounce the actions of terrorist groups. It’s demeaning on so many levels, beginning with the fact that it takes almost one quarter of the world’s population and boils every single, diverse, individual member of a major religion down to no more than their religious beliefs. And not only that, it assumes that a quarter of the world’s population supports horrible violent actions in the name of said religion. That’s just insane. That would be like asking all Christians to condemn Timothy McVeigh (the man responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings), or Wade Michael Page (the man responsible for the Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting), or Jared Lee Loughner (the man who shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, as well as others).

White’s post also makes an odd, seemingly random mention of the Israeli flag. Seriously? Does she think that Israeli flags are what, kryptonite to Muslims? Is that some weird superstition I’ve never heard of? Does she think that it’s like vampires with garlic? Seriously, Ms. White, what the hell does that even mean?

I don’t even think that White is a bad person. She’s behaving the way that she truly believes is right. She genuinely thinks these horrible things, borne out of misinformation and fear. In some ways that’s worse–I truly don’t think she believes what she did was wrong.

What sparked this disgusting display of bigotry? According to the Texas Tribune:

Texas Muslim Capitol Day, which began in 2003, is organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and brings members of Muslim communities in Houston, Dallas and other areas of the state to the Capitol to learn about the political process and meet state lawmakers.

Sounds nefarious, truly. So nefarious that White wasn’t the only one who flexed her offensive muscles that day. The day was met with protests, shouts of “go home,” and harassment.

There are so many more things that I could say about this. So many times that I could lament the rampant bigotry, Islamophobia, prejudice, and miseducation in this country. So many times I could be sad, so many times I could be angry, so many times I could get into this argument. But I’m going to go one step further. As a white American woman who was raised a Christian, I’m going to go ahead ad renounce State Rep. Molly White and all who think like her, and pledge my allegiance to America and our laws. After all, she and I share some thoughts, so unless I renounce her, everyone will assume that I support her disgusting behavior, right?

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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