If you’re supposed to be the good guys, act like it.

So on Sunday there was a big demonstration at the pathetic hole in the ground where the World Trade Center used to be. The demonstration was to protest the proposed construction of a big mosque two blocks away, which a lot of people think is a deliberate slap in the face to Americans attacked by Islamic extremists you-know-when.

Maybe it is – I don’t know. That mosque has gotten huge press, and I can’t make up my mind whether the insult is deliberate or not. At best it’s certainly a damned tone-deaf place to build a mosque. But the one thing I do know is that it’s none of my business, and not what this post is about.

What the post is about is an incident that happened at the demonstration. Seems there were two Egyptian guys present…

At one point, a portion of the crowd menacingly surrounded two Egyptian men who were speaking Arabic and were thought to be Muslims.

“Go home,” several shouted from the crowd.

“Get out,” others shouted.

The protesters [became] so angry at what they thought were Muslims that New York City police officers had to rush in and pull Nassralla and El Masry to safety.

Problem is, those guys weren’t Muslims, and they were there for the same reason everybody else was…

In fact, the two men – Joseph Nassralla and Karam El Masry — were not Muslims at all. They turned out to be Egyptian Coptic Christians who work for a California-based Christian satellite TV station called “The Way.” Both said they had come to protest the mosque.

“I’m a Christian,” Nassralla shouted to the crowd, his eyes bulging and beads of sweat rolling down his face.

“I flew nine hours in an airplane to come here,” a frustrated Nassralla said afterward.

All of which reminds me that there were 9/11 victims who weren’t killed in the WTO, or the Pentagon, or UA Flight 93.

There was Balbir Singh Sodhi, killed on September 15, 2001, in Mesa, Arizona. Sodhi had the misfortune of being dark-complected, dressing in an odd manner, and getting in the way of a drunken shithead who bragged he was going to “kill the ragheads responsible for September 11.” Well, I guess you could call Sodhi a “raghead,” since he was wearing a turban. But not only didn’t he have anything to do with 9\11, he wasn’t even a Muslim. He was a Sikh, which…well, I’ve never exactly figured out what sort of religion Sikhism is, but it definitely isn’t Muslim.

The same day, a New Jersey guy named Waqar Hasan who was helping his brother with a new convenience store in Dallas was shot dead for being a Muslim. At least he actually was one, though again completely innocent of any involvement with 9\11. Since his wife and four kids were in the country on his business visa, they damned near got deported.

The same murderer who killed him also killed Waqar Hasan, an Indian guy. And in between the murders he claimed to have blinded a Bangladeshi. Very discriminating. If you’re brown, you must have been responsible for 9\11.

There were more, lots more. This lady made a list. And of course there were thousands of times more incidents of harassment and threats by people who didn’t really plan to kill anybody.

And believe it or not it still goes on. I know a guy in the town near where I live whose reason for not voting for Obama (In fact he hates the guy) is that “He’s a Muslim. Everybody knows that.” And he’s got signs up all over his store to the effect that if you’re a Muslim you should get out before he reaches his gun. And I’d be surprised if there are even any Muslims in that town. I think he just enjoys hating people.

Thing is, it’s okay to be mad about 9\11. Even I was mad about 9\11, and I’m the least nationalistic person I know. But it seems to segue so easily into mere racism.

When I was a little kid, I was taught that Americans were the Good Guys. Growing up, I believed it. We didn’t do shit like imperialism and institutional racism. (Well – we did, but not on a national level.) Now, okay, I’m all grown up and I’ve known for a long, long time that those exceptionalist myths weren’t true. I expect the people in my country’s government to act like a bunch of shitheads. But I like to think my fellow Americans who had the sense not to go into government jobs are better than that.

I really do like to think that.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to If you’re supposed to be the good guys, act like it.

  1. I look at this in a totally different manner. I see these people that have swallowed their programming well and hard. Governments and the media have worked in concert to make folks afraid of these “deadly brown Mohammad loving” folks. Fear them so much that folks are lining to have near pornographic photos taken of themselves before boarding a plane, lining up to hand over their water bottles,deodorant, toothpaste and all kinds of freedoms and liberties all in the name of safety to save themselves from these horrible “deadly Mohammad loving” folks.

    I get folks that have misplaced hate of the “dead-lies”, what I find to be a head scratcher are those that don’t. How can you be soooo freaking afraid that you are willing to give up your rights, yet at the same time not be afraid of the group that spawns the reasons (you have swallowed) to give up those same liberties and rights? It’s a puzzlement to me for sure.

To the stake with the heretic!