One thing about having Netroots Nation in New Orleans: I was reminded how friendly, tolerant, and open people can be. Now I’m back home, and have to deal with a$$hats like this.
Directly from Joel Greenberg’s Facebook page:
Joel Greenberg is the elected Seminole County Tax Collector, and an established bigot. Muslim activist Rasha Mubarak said that this isn’t even the first time he’s posted bigoted memes or statements. (Here’s a sampling.)
He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, either. Just last year, he impersonated a police officer by turning on a strobe light in his car to pull a woman over for speeding. He scolded her while wearing a badge around his neck. It was his tax collector badge. How did he keep his job? This is Florida and Pam Bondi’s office is as corrupt as they come. The state attorney said he made a “bad decision” but his “intentions were pure”. (Ironically, Greenberg also tried to use his tax collector position to get out of paying a speeding ticket given to him by a real police officer.)
This particular “question” about Muslims that Greenberg asked was taken almost verbatim from a tweet courtesy of right-wing extremist Neil Bortz, who compares Muslims to cockroaches. Joel defended himself by saying he was just asking a “legitimate” question…oh, and one of his “best friends” is Muslim.
If he was truly curious about Muslim contributions, as he is arguing, then he could have just asked his mythical friend, or done a simple Google search. Many inventions we take for granted in our modern society stem from Islamic history, such as public libraries, algebra, chess, optical science, coffee—too many to count. Yet if I did count them, I’d use our Arabic numerals known as “numbers”. (As DisNoir36 suggests, maybe I should use Roman numerals when I send a check to his office, since Muslims developed the concept of fractions and cents.)
If he’d like to know individual people who made America better, I could point him to numerous examples: Fazlur Rahman Khan, the man who created the modern concept of skyscrapers; Ayub Ommaya, who revolutionized chemotherapy; Mohammad Ali; and Ernest Hamwij.
That last one invented the ice cream cone.
If you want modern Muslims, fine. Several commenters pointed out that Muslim doctors are giving away free healthcare to those crippled by Trump’s quest to make it unaffordable in red America. If Joel bothered to look, he’d see one of these Muslim clinics is in his own damn backyard:
“Our goal is to serve humanity — no strings attached. Everyone is welcome,” Atif Fareed, AMCC chairman, told the Orlando Sentinel. “We have over 40 physicians who come to our mosque, and we have 11 of them signed up to volunteer here. So we are very, very blessed.”
I would also invite him to call Mohamed Bzeek, who has made it his life mission to foster numerous children with severe disabilities and terminal illness.
Just contrast his love and compassion with the hateful bigots like Joel who don’t contribute anything:
Oh, I forgot to mention Joel’s political party, or whether he was a Trump supporter.
What do you think?
The tax office has always been a pretty unpleasant experience for me here in Seminole county. I have to wait in line while Fox News is blaring, and I’ve rarely encountered friendly people. Now imagine being a Muslim, Sikh, or having a Middle Eastern name and having to do business here. It’s probably downright frightening—Joel allows his staff to openly carry arms.
The good news is that even here in ruby red Seminole, people are disgusted. Local Jewish leaders have called him out on his shameful bigotry, and the local media actually didn’t ignore his hate this time. Although Joel still refuses to apologize, and he certainly won’t resign.
This is Trump’s America until we take it back this November. In the meantime, here’s some contact info. Please feel free to share how Muslims contribute, or-as Kolob suggests-ask what benefit does having more republicans offer society:
- Seminole County Tax Collector website or call 14076651000
- Seminole County Tax Collector Facebook
- Joel Greenberg Twitter
- Seminole County GOP chair email
If you are a patient with his family’s dental practice, (especially if you belong to a group that Greenberg looks down upon), I strongly suggest going elsewhere. I’d let them know exactly why at www.greenbergdental.com or their Twitter.