The Civilized Country.

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!

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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12 Responses to The Civilized Country.

  1. America used to be the beacon of hope and freedom. Now, I worry that will never be the case anymore. We’re seeing similar issues here in Canada too. It will take ages to douse out these flames of hatred.

  2. slmret says:

    I still hold out hope (against hope?) that the divisiveness will be reduced after November 3 (or rather after January 20). We may have a rough ride until mid January, but hopefully all those early votes are reasoned and responsible!

  3. I agree with you ? Zakiah . We have to respect all of the religions . Christians and Muslims have to live together in peace.
    We have Muslim neighbours . She is a doctor and he is physiotherapist. They are good neighbours and we exchange the poducts of our gardens
    Love ❤
    Michel

  4. ps : Again a typing mistake! Please read:I agree with you,Zakiah.

  5. Rupali says:

    I feel sad after reading this. I am not happy with what’s happening in India either.

  6. mrswrangler says:

    This year we all have been attacked. Between differences in races, differences in political views, over the jobs we are doing, differences in beliefs in general. No matter what race or political side you are on there is going to be good people and bad people. Not everyone in this world is the same. The bad people are getting coverage and being good people never are recognized and there is a hate problem because of this.

  7. whyzat says:

    Every day, I see people from various places getting along just fine. We knew so many people in Texas who either came here from Asia or were second generation. I suppose some people who are racist hold it in until they are among others like themselves. Ugh. There is so much to be stressed out about right now that I have stopped watching live TV so I don’t have to see the political ads!
    I can only hope that sanity returns soon!

  8. kim says:

    There is a deep, powerful process happening. An alchemical process; dare I bring up the butterfly analogy? I can not and will not focus on the problems, but bless them for bringing to light the changes we all want. The transition period is hard, Dr. Z.; this I know. We’ve got this.

  9. I agree, SweetZ. I am so overwhelmed and saddened by what is going on. 😦
    Your last sentence…I’ve felt that way the past few months, too. 😦
    It’s like the country has taken many steps backwards…to places it should NOT go.
    There are some very good people, from past generations…now deceased…who gave their time and work to make things better…some even gave their lives…and it makes me sad to think how they would feel about how things are today. 😦
    I still believe those who are inciting hatred, racism, violence, etc, are in the minority…and we must stand up against them. There is still a way things can change for the better…the best. We must pray, work, model the correct way, and speak out to see this happen.
    (((HUGS))) and ❤
    PS…
    “The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
    "Listen with ears of tolerance. See through the eyes of compassion. Speak with the language of love. – Rumi (Oh, if only each and every person would do this!)

  10. murisopsis says:

    I have to agree. If there were people who harbored ill will and racism, they were held in check and kept their opinions hidden. This current president has given these same people/groups permission to act ugly. To be ugly. To make America ugly! I am holding out hope that the election will change things – for the better!!

  11. Yes, things certainly seem chaotic these days… 😦

  12. r_hsw says:

    I can’t blame you for your thoughts and feelings, for they are the same as mine. It is true, the great USA may no longer held as the most respected country in the world. However, I think it is partly because of the shock experienced by many, on how much about USA that they wish to have in their own nations have changed and crumbled, leaving little hope for them to have an accomplished nation to look up to and assimilate from.

    I guess we can only wait, as time heals all. I hope the rest of the world able to have an open mind and allow USA to press a restart button and live through a brand new journey to better herself. May this unfortunate phase be a lesson to all and open up our eyes to the realisation that in this globalised world we live in nowadays there is a need for ALL nations to support each other, as no single country will be able to survive for the long term by focusing on self-importance, discrimination, segregation, and war.

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