#NotMyAmerica: How the Arizona Rally Has Backfired

My social media feed erupted last night with news of the anti-Islam Phoenix mosque rally. Pictures of gun-toting white men, angry supremacists, and hate-filled bloggers encouraging them behind the scenes combined in a depressing cacophony of pointed fingers and misplaced rage. And what’s worse is the frightening media coverage that always seems to have the most ridiculous euphemisms for the bigots that line up with their guns pointed at innocent Muslims outside an American mosque: bikers, protestors, people. The mainstream media never fails its white terrorists.

However, something else has also come to life amidst the antagonistic tension: a refreshing hashtag. The Campaign to Take On Hate organized an online counter-protest to the Phoenix mosque rally using the hashtag #NotMyAmerica.

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And this hashtag has brought with it a flurry of beautiful hope amidst a Twitter feed of increasing animosity.

From Muslim sisters and brothers…

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To Jewish friends…

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To Sikh comrades…

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To fellow Americans everywhere…

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#NotMyAmerica has shown the true colors of freedom, justice, and compassion spattered all over the internet.

We are the digital generation. Acts of hate, acts of terror, acts of malice, and acts of inhumanity across all demographics only strengthen our solidarity. So, while the gun-weilding, hate-spewing, anti-Muslim protestors stand rallying outside the Phoenix mosque, we take to our computers in counter-protest. While hate stands at the steps of a mosque in Arizona, love spreads like wildfire across the internet. That is my America.

Photo courtesy of John Sheehan