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So just who is divisive?
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Editor: Manteca Bulletin,
 I’m writing in response to Scott McComas’ letter which I found to be rambling, disjointed, and at times, contradictory. He complains that Republicans and “we conservatives” are being labeled as “divisive” and “mean-spirited” by the liberals, Democrats and the LGBT community for “pointing out the evil violence that Islam conducts”.
Ironically, that statement, with its us-against-them mentality, is in itself, divisive. He then proceeds to pit the Islamic community against transgender people by stating that Muslims are against gender non-specific restrooms in the workplace or shops and noting “there are more Muslims in the U.S. than transgender people in the U.S”. What exactly is his point — that the majority beliefs supersede the minority’s rights?  We are a nation that protects the rights of ALL Americans.
McComas further claims that “the majority of non-Islamic women also do not want males in in the female restrooms. Does the discomfort of the very few outweigh the discomfort of the many?” This reasoning is flawed on several levels. Firstly, where are his sources or statistics to support his assertion on the supposed majority of women’s attitudes? Regarding the discomfort issue, does McComas even know any transgender people? Several years ago, a transgender parent who had transitioned from male to female attended a Manteca Unified school board meeting, wearing full make-up, a dress, high heels, and long hair. I wouldn’t have known she was transgender without the self-identification. To me, it would have been more disturbing to see her use the men’s bathroom than the women’s, which, by the way, has stall doors that firmly lock.
At times I wonder what supposedly protective males think goes on in a women’s public restroom. We don’t strip naked or run around in our bras and underwear while we braid each other’s hair. We answer “nature’s call”, wash our hand, maybe reapply make-up and leave. No real need for a line of defense here. As for high school locker rooms, there should be privacy provisions made available (changing room curtains, etc.) to accommodate the feelings of all. Does anyone seriously believe that a student who was born male yet identifies as a female, but hasn’t yet had surgery, wants to publicly flaunt a penis around while trying to be accepted as female?
 McComas asks the dangerous question, “Does the discomfort of the very few outweigh the discomfort of the many?” Go back 60 or 70 years and you can hear the disquieting echoes of Jim Crow laws with their farcical “separate but equal” justifications for separate restrooms and drinking fountains, different seating areas for restaurants and transportation, and school segregation between blacks and whites, all for the “comfort” of some over others. Please let’s not return to that type of thinking.
 McComas mentions the tragic Orlando shooting and notes, “the media is reporting that the gunman became incensed after seeing two gay men kissing”. That is only one possible theory, suggested by the gunman’s father. Other possibilities to explore include his ex-wife’s recounting instances of his violence toward her and his mental instability, co-workers detailing his racial prejudices and anger issues, and the gunman himself claiming ties with three separate terrorist groups which are actually enemies of each other (The Manteca Bulletin page B-3 6-14-16). So as yet, we don’t know the real motive for the killings. McComas rightfully condemns the “cold blooded murder of 50 people”, but feels the need to qualify his compassion and preface his statement with his personal observation, “I think that homosexuality is disgusting”. Again, that is obviously a divisive comment. He doesn’t have to approve of homosexuality, but to publicly vilify it in such terms is hurtful and yes, “mean-spirited”. McComas sets up a straw man argument that Liberals and Democrats must “choose a side” between the Islamic and gay communities. He “suspects” the LGBT community “by and large will condemn Islam”. In contrast, I hope that the LGBT community will not judge a whole religion or culture on the actions of one demented individual.
McComas ends his letter on the same divisive note that he began it. He claims, “Democrats, liberals, Communists, Socialist and others, who do not like conservatism, persecute through violence and politically correct speech those who like liberty.” As both a liberal and a Democrat this assertion offends me. It is an over-simplification and unproven generalization, demonizing those who think differently than him. Although I dislike Donald Trump, I am appalled at the violence perpetrated by some extremist protesters at Trump rallies. Screaming matches, rock throwing, physical altercations or threats and intimidation are only worthy of contempt and are completely unacceptable. However, apparently overcome by outrage, McComas thoughtlessly crosses the line into hyperbole by stating, “whether you spat on someone, threw a punch, tossed a bottle, or pulled a trigger killing 50, you are one and the same”. What a ridiculous and incredibly tone-deaf assertion! How much would the family and friends of the Orlando victims rather their loved ones had been spat upon, rather than callously gunned down? Such exaggeration by McComas only fuels the hate and divisiveness in our country that emboldens deranged individuals to act upon their twisted fantasies. We need to come together and stop demonizing the other side with our words and actions. Politics has become toxic.
My rebuttal to McComas’s letter is to refute his points, not to attack all Republicans and conservatives by lumping them together with him. Our nation needs help and healing, derogatory stereotyping is not the answer.

Karen Pearsall