National Unity

DIscussion of our perfect national unity on 9/11 make me crazy. I was at work on 9/11 and at work every day or just about thereafter, and while the TV news was covering heroic efforts to save the dying and recover the dead or sweet stuff about schoolkids writing letters to firefighters, all we were writing about wasthis kind of stuff:

On the afternoon of Saturday, 2001-SEP-15, a gunman killed the 49 year old owner of a gas station in Mesa, AZ. He was a Sikh. His family believes that he was killed because he “looked Middle Eastern.” Additional shots were fired at a Lebanese clerk and at the home of an Afghan family.

On the evening of Saturday, 2001-SEP-15, a gunman killed a Pakistani Muslim store owner in Dallas, TX.

Adel Karas, 48, an Egyptian-American grocer was shot and killed near his International Market store in San Gabriel, CA. He was a Copt — neither Muslim nor Arab. No money was taken. Police are investigating the murder as a possible hate crime.

A man drove his car through the front entrance of Parma Mosque in Cleveland OH.

Also on Saturday, a Christian of Egyptian origin was shot dead in California.

Near Chicago, IL, there was a march in which about 300 anti-Arab youths waved flags, shouted “USA, USA,” and attempted to march on a mosque in Bridgeview, IL — a suburb southwest of Chicago. Colin Zaremba, 19, said: “I’m proud to be American and I hate Arabs and I always have.” Three demonstrators were arrested.

In Chicago, a Molotov cocktail was thrown t an Arab-American community center. There were no injuries and little damage.

In Huntington, NY, Adam Lang, reportedly a drunken driver, 75, allegedly tried to kill a Pakistani woman with his car. He later followed the woman into a store and threatened to kill her for “destroying my country.”

In Gary, IN, a man wearing a mask pumped over 20 bullets from a high-powered assault rifle at a Muslim, Hassan Awdah. He survived. Hassan is a U.S. citizen, born in Yemen.

In Lynnwood, WA, a mosque was vandalized.

In Suffolk County, NY, a man allegedly made anti-Arab threats and pointed a handgun at the employee of a gas station. He was arrested.

In a prison in Washington state, two inmates fought over an anti-Muslim slur.

A gasoline bomb was thrown into the home of a Sikh family in California.

Two mosques were firebombed with Molotov cocktails during the weekend of OCT-20-21. They are located in Burlington and Mississauga, near Toronto ON Canada. Kendrich House, 35, from Oakville ON has allegedly been charged.

Yeah, Glenn Beck, let’s totally go back to the people we were immediately after 9/11. Let’s paint our bare chests red, white and blue and go beat the shit out of some brown people. Which ones? Doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we’re united as a country.


9 thoughts on “National Unity

  1. In Columbia County, NY, a man allegedly made anti-Arab threats and pointed a handgun at the employees of a gas station. He was not arrested.
    Makes ya proud, it does.

  2. A., those of us who live in New York just sat tight, watched the endless plume of black smoke rise from lower Manhattan (it rose for days and blew right into my Brooklyn windows), watched the burnt pieces of office paper fall like snow, marveled at the sky empty of planes, and wondered in which direction our country was going to turn, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.
    We had no idea what the worst could really be. We knew some people rose to greatness in times of calamity and vainly hoped that Bush might be one of those people. Instead he and his smirking cronies seized on the murders of thousands of people from all over the globe and gleefully turned it into an excuse for the cheapest, slimiest kind of mindless chest-thumping, dick-waving xenophobic nationalist hysteria; they forced their fascistic UnPATRIOTic Act through Congress, and prepared to kill, to kill anyone, anywhere, so long as they got to kill.
    The hundreds of billions of dollars Dick Cheney and his friends pocketed because of all this was just a happy coincidence, of course. Their failed bid to remake the Middle East in their own twisted, perverted image was justified a dozen different ways, each new lie replacing the last as fast as they were shown to be untrue.
    Oh, sure, for a little while the so-called heartland which hates New York and everything it stands for — tolerance, opportunity, risk-taking, fun — pretended to care about us; they patted us on the head and said, “there, there,” but when every poll showed that those who had suffered the brunt of the attacks were against war, we were ignored, mocked, and finally despised.
    I guess that was the sign that the country was back to “normal.”
    And here we are 8 years later, a country broken in every possible way: financially, politically, ethically, spiritually. I hope for Dick “Penguin” Cheney and Eric Prince and all their friends, it was worth it. I really do. Because otherwise it was the most pointless, nihilistic exercise in the history of nations.
    BTW: around that time my Pakistani neighbors affixed a huge, red-white-and-blue decal on the back of their car that said, “Proud to Be An American.” I hope it helped.

  3. Too many fucking ‘happy’ co-incidences on that day.
    They knew what was coming and did nothing.

  4. I remember being in Columbia and watching that. We had a coffee shop called “Osama’s” and the guy had to call the newspapers and tell them his name was Osama, but he wasn’t related to that “Osama.” Good grief…

  5. Yeah, Glenn Beck, let’s totally go back to the people we were immediately after 9/11. Let’s paint our bare chests red, white and blue and go beat the shit out of some brown people. Which ones? Doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we’re united as a country.
    and the president is still white and republican. That’s what they want.

  6. I almost never met one of my very good friends because of the September 11th attacks. My friend Rustin used to live in Manhattan, and was supposed to be in a meeting high up somewhere in the WTC (above where the planes hit), and would have been killed had he not been late for work that day.
    As it was, he came up out of the subway and went immediately to the nearest emergency relief centre and, using his skills as an operations and logistics whiz, took over running the place for four or five days straight.
    I met him in December of 2001.
    As for myself, I was unemployed, broke, and crashing at my parents’ house, and, as it turned out, sick as a dog with mono. Just as well, since I was at least able to keep my mom company when my pilot dad disappeared for four hours or so, somewhere in the vicinity of Pearson Airport.
    I spent most of the day asleep, dragged myself to the doctor’s at 4:30, and had to explain to the kindly lab vampires (who’d been at work since 8:15 and had no idea what was going on) exactly why they couldn’t find a vein on me. “Because terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Centre, my dad was missing for hours and my mom was turning green, and I feel like hell and really haven’t felt much like eating” somehow seemed kind of far-fetched to them.
    The next day, I wrote a long essay and e-mailed it to a bunch of my friends saying that war was inevitable, and it was probably going to be in Iraq. I knew that from the instant (sometime around 10AM on 11.9.01 when I was watching CNN) I screamed at Orrin Hatch on the tv, “That wasn’t an act ofwar, you asshole, that was an international crime!” I’d been in “All Signs Point to Bad” mode about the Bush Administration since the moment I first encountered George W. Bush…

  7. Very good post, A. I still try to avoid thinking about that day – too painful. In the weeks that followed we had many interfaith gatherings to demonstrate that we were all Americans. I hate going to big “religious” gatherings, but I managed to be at every single one I heard about.

  8. There is an excellent documentary about the aftermath of 9/11 America told from the perspective of a Sikh-American called ‘Divided We Fall’. I lived in a neighborhood in Queens, NY on 9/11/01 with a lot of Sikh residents and there was arson in my neighborhood, beatings, it was just awful.
    I can’t recommend this film enough for people who are learning/teaching about what it was like in America after 9/11/01.

  9. the rite grabbed the unity and ran naked into the crazee pit. not everybody was blind to it. the 10%ers can be proud now. just as ever is. wlll always be.

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