The Washington Post has a fascinating article about a Muslim doctor in rural Minnesota coming to terms with living in Trump country.
What's left out of the story that could shed light on our increasingly dysfunctional nation are the voices of the townspeople in Dawson, Minn., responding to Dr. Ayaz Virji.
Virji, who was corralled into giving talks about Islam by a Lutheran pastor, has spent much of the time since Trump's election feeling beset, angry, and confused. How could people be so stupid? Are they all bigots? Why should I stay here? Many of us have had similar responses to Trump's election, but perhaps not with the same intensity as Virji.
At one point, a co-worker tries to explain to Virji that it wasn't Trump's nutty anti-Muslim comments that sold Dawson voters, but high health care costs.
One wants to know more. The residents of Dawson welcomed Virji and his family, and the local butcher volunteered to provide halal meat. Local kids came to Virji's house to play. People didn't care that Virji's wife wore a hijab.
It's easy to think of Trump voters as representing the darkest and most xenophobic aspects of our national personality. But, clearly, Dawson residents were not thinking of Virji or his religion when they voted for Trump.
So what were they thinking? And has Trump affected tolerance among his supporters for our Muslim neighbors?
One hopes the Post will go back to Dawson to find out.
FWIW, I live in a town about the size of Dawson. Around Memorial Day, the handful of neighbors flying Confederate flags in their front yards took them down. I would give cash money to know if one of the local pastors remonstrated his flock about this. If so, I'd give that money to that pastor's church.