Bogalusa, Louisiana: Residents Protest “Ragheads”
Residents of Bogalusa, Louisiana were whipped up into a patriotic fervor based on a misunderstanding about a US military service member supposedly being denied service at a Texaco gas station (h/t: Al).
In fairness to Bogalusa residents the usage of “ragheads” was only uttered on camera by the video maker, whose anti-Muslim slurs are not only revolting but show an active connection with the rhetoric of the USA’s Islamophobia Movement. One does wonder how prevalent such sentiments are among other Bogalusa residents?
According to the website “Truth or Fiction” the whole incident was based on a false rumor that went viral on the internet.
The protest took place on June 7,2012 over what the owner claims to be a misunderstanding, according to an article written that day in the Bogalusa Daily News. The local paper said that the protest began after a Facebook message went viral from text forwarded from “a woman who sent a mobile phone message claiming that her husband was in line at the store and heard a uniformed member of the National Guard told ‘We don’t serve your kind.’” Click here for Bogalusa Daily News story.
The article also stated that the owner, an East Indian immigrant named Savi, “said she has never refused to serve anyone unless they did not have proper identification for a controlled item.”
At the time of our investigation, no members of the military have yet to come forward claiming discrimination of any kind from the Texaco truck stop.
This episode exposes how distrust and deep seated anxiety about the “other,” in this case Islam and Muslims can easily manifest itself and shatter communal harmony.
A remote news crew from local WSDU-TV was on scene to report on the settlement between the protesters and the Texaco station. The owner issued a public apology over the misunderstanding.