I have been trying to stay away from current events but I can’t. Too much is happening and the more we speak out, the more we are heard by the rest of the world, or so I hope.
There are people in this country who equate ISIS with Islam. That’s like equating the KKK with Christianity.
Let me tell you a story.
I taught a memoir writing class a while ago and in walked an 80-year-old who wrote a story she had not shared with anyone– not even her children. She grew up in the 1920s South and her dad was a sheriff. When black conductors were allowed on the train, not everyone was happy with that but the sheriff enforced the law of the land, promoting progress essentially and being a true Mensch, and… was killed in his office (in her piece she was writing about remembering seeing the blood having stained the hard-wood floors– she was 3 years old at the time). The KKK claimed the murder and told her mom to get out of town. Her dad’s position at the time was contested within the family but her dad spoke the words (that have spoken by many since): If you don’t stand up for your neighbors, they’ll be knocking on your door next.
I have a similar story of a Muslim friend from Afghanistan– whose father was killed by the Taliban; her family was told the same thing: get out of town/the country or else… they made it to America and have honorable jobs, pay their taxes… and are now scared out of their wits by the Islamophobic agenda of this administration: they do not know what will happen next, as all of us do. If you think Islamic extremism is bad, take a good look at the extremism of the incoming Trump government… they’re not that different from the Taliban or any form of totalitarianism/religious fundamentalism…
My position? I have no tolerance for intolerance, and the America I fell in love with, the American Dream, American liberties, American noblesse oblige (the way this country put everything on the line liberating Europe from the Nazis) are being smashed to pieces by a white nationalist agenda of complete and total intolerance as well as a vicious intent to squash any form of opposition, not to mention fear mongering vis à vis Mexicans (the wall), “carnage” in our inner cities (supposedly perpetrated by blacks exclusively) and terrorists (Muslims) killing Americans– never mind that a Canadian Trump supporter just killed Muslims in a mosque in Canada.
The statistics show that the Trump fear cannot be justified by the numbers so we’re dealing with a false equivalency here that Trump’s base is not willing to engage with. I will be fighting this every day and so should you.
Finally, I’m with Madeline Albright (her grandparents perished in the Holocaust) who has vowed to sign up as a Muslim in the Muslim Registry if the Trumpeteers start that unconstitutional blacklisting. If we all sign up, the registry means nothing. Remember that.
I’m Muslim, I’m black, and I’m Mexican because I’m American.