How long can you be angry? How far is far enough? Those questions seem to have few answers when it comes to 51 Park Place, former Burlington Coat Factory store, and future Islamic Cultural Center.Clyde Haberman, intrepid NYTimes columnists, went on Sunday to observe the protest by opponents of the ICC. He asked a simple question: How far should the ICC be from the WTC site? He got varying answers from a few more blocks to ....This response says it all for the Center's most ardent opponents:"Even those locations are too close for Debra Burlingame, who has been a voice of rage since her brother, an airline pilot, was killed on Sept. 11. Ive been angry for nine years, she told the crowd at the rally. She urged it to stay angry."Ms. Burlingame had no use for the imam behind Park51, who she said was not the moderate he passes himself off as. To the question of how far is far enough away from ground zero, Ms. Burlingames answer was blunt. When it comes to this imam, she said, there isnt a place far enough.What are we to make of someone who has been angry for nine years? Obviously intends to stay angry? And urges us to be as angry as she is?Here's Haberman's column: "Ground Zero: Its Boundaries Are Elastic" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/nyregion/24nyc.html?ref=clydehaberman
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.