In the fifties sixties and seventies, it was such a great and honorable achievement to come to America. My cousins would travel here by steamers and were welcomed by Universities. They became heads of the various departments and made their names. Some of them are gone now, but the universities have scholarships and chairs in their honor. It was such a prestigious and distinguished accomplishment. And this was the general rule of professionals who came here and became expatriates. They were respected, and were in august company of other learned people.
People respected each other. If there was prejudice, it was never obvious. No one felt threatened. If the foreigners were physicians, people were extremely good, patients were happy that they were taken good care of, and always they admired the humility of the expats and the integrity with which the lives were carried on.
The evening news consisted mainly of some inner city problems, a murder here and a murder there. No news about police brutality or obvious racial prejudice. And then gradually came the dawn of hatred. 9/11, ISIS, Boka Haram and the media ate all that up. Muslims and madrasas were the Headline News. A paradigm shift in the attention of Muslims was taking place from the late nineties and the beginning of the twenties.
Every time there was an attack by ISIS, the Muslims were targeted. We were the terrorists. Islamic terrorists. The New Zealand massacre was never considered as Christian terrorist plot. It was just a terrorist plot. The massacre of the people praying in Masjid Al Aqsa in the nineties by a Jew, was not considered an act of Jewish terrorism. All Muslims wore the stigma of ‘potential terrorist’ as they walked around on this land. Of course there were people who had stellar education and defended the Muslims, but they were few and far between.
We didn’t hear of white supremacist or Nazi workings of red necked Americans for decades. We thought this was a “civilized” nation and that’s the reason why we came here to have better education, experiences and be recognized. The fuel that was thrown on the dying embers of hatred created the inferno of racism and divisiveness in this great country. The uneducated and some educated people came out of their holes like varmints with slogans of white supremacy, and the leaders fanned these inflammatory flames. The decency of the nation was swept under the rugs, and the world watched in surprise at the demise of a great and civilized nation. We, I personally, began to ignore news and the media in general, because the blood boiled at the atrocities of the so called “Pure Race”, and people couldn’t show their rage in reciprocity because they didn’t want to appear just as uncivilized as the junglees and destructive citizens of this nation whose main aim was to divide and corrode the basic tapestry of a good nation. I am not talking about prejudice of people– God knows all of us have seen and suffered some of that throughout our lives here. I am talking about divisiveness; about hatred, about the injustices and about ignoring these injustices.
This week the plot to kidnap a governor of a state was aborted. If she were kidnapped, I am sure she would have been killed. The media had that as a headline the first couple of days and then it went on the back burner. Just imagine if a bunch of Muslims had tried to kidnap a governor or a leader of the state!!
Think about it.
The president and the vice president would have told their cronies to go shed blood of all Muslims and wage a regular war on all the Islamic communities of the country. The Muslims again would have been the Islamic Terrorists to be condemned and ridiculed and targeted for weeks to come. But these terrorists who planned to kidnap the governor were just called the “Militia Group!” Notice how the media and the leaders do not use the words “Christian terrorists?” The President has repeatedly ignored to blame or condemn the far right groups. And the hostility prevails. A young seventeen year old kid shot two protestors, and waved his gun around while the police and the military looked on. No one bothered to stop him or arrest him at that time. Imagine a young Muslim boy out on the streets with a gun waving at the people on the street.
Is this the civilized country we all came to? Where were these thugs in the fifties and sixties and seventies? And also eighties? Did their parents instill this unholy patriotism in their hearts and souls?
For being a so called civilized society, America is ridiculed around the world. I know, because I hear the words every time I call overseas to talk to friends and relatives. It is an extremely unflattering picture of the achievements and the directions that she has taken in the past four years. America has fallen behind, way behind, on the social mobility, criminal justice and bringing security of the democratic government. There is no responsibility nor is there accountability.
I should stop here. I should be civil and not berate the land that feeds me and my family, even though it is not a civilized nation anymore!