This photo, from theDaily Southtown, was taken in Bridgeview, Illinois, during a rally for America that turned into a march on the region’s largest Islamic center. It was taken on September 12, 2001.
Does it look familiar?
Here, watch this:
How about now? Now does it look familiar?
When Glenn Beck and his teatard followers first jumped on this idea of returning to the America we were on 9/12/01, all I could think of was that photo up there. Because that’s who we were, a lot of us, on 9/12/01 — assholes, painting our chests red, white and blue and high-fiving our drunken buddies while we beat up Sikh cabdrivers and yelled. That’s who a lot of us were, and boy, were we ever grateful, weren’t we, for Osama bin Laden giving us an excuse for a self-important hoedown.
That’s the kind of thing my colleagues and I were spending our days covering, and it’s why I have ZERO tolerance for hazy 9/11 unity nostalgia. Things were fucking scary for a large number of people, and not just Muslims and people who looked like Muslims, but people who wanted to go to the grocery store without running into a giant, angry mob of hopped-up aggro racists looking for some helpless Ay-rab ass to kick.
I know a lot of people have memories of examples of kindness and decency from those days; all I have is notes of phone calls from people talking about yet another container of pig’s blood smashed on a mosque doorstep (CLASSY) and some dipshit accosting me at a rally yammering about how the “dune coons” were taking all our jobs away. It was high-level horrific, because Lower Manhattan was still actually burning, the entire country pretty much hadn’t slept, andhere come these people.
And in Bridgeview, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, police stopped 300
marchers as they tried to march on a mosque. Marcher Colin Zaremba, 19,
told The Associated Press, “I’m proud to be American and I hate Arabs
and I always have.”
I used to think Beck and his wannabes like Geller were just remembering that period completely wrong. I used to think they were as deluded as every maker of every soul-stirringly horrid 9/11 Tribute You Tube is, and not recalling all the truly horrific things that were done. I mean, it wasn’t like that everywhere. In New York, for example, people actually were extraordinary and kind. So I used to think this whole 9/12 Project was just based on wanting to be something we never were, as a country.
Now, seeing that video, I think Beck and Geller and all the others actually remember this thing right. They want us to be exactly, EXACTLY, who we were the day after 9/11. And damn if we aren’t getting there.