I know! I know! The news out there says that if you are Black, Arab, Latina(o), Asian, a Woman, LGBT, or ANY Minority in the US today, you should be petrified by the right-wing, conservative and neo-conservative political agenda that is slowly and surely chipping away at our civil rights and freedoms.
And, thank you, thank you to all of you my friends who have emailed and called asking me to move back to the Middle East during this appalling political atmosphere that totally obliterates many of the great things happening in this country!
So, you ask, how do I, or people of Arab origin like myself, feel about all this? I will echo many voices when I tell you that most of us have always felt “American,” hyphenated perhaps, but American in the sense that we are legal citizens, abiding by the laws of the country, tax-paying, bringing up our “American” kids and grandkids who hardly know Arabic anymore; who enjoy hot dogs more than koosa mahshi (stuffed zucchini); who stand up tall and straight with hands on hearts for the national anthem and who have no idea, or maybe a very faint one, of any Arabic anthems or even songs!
However, these dreadful days, we are aghast at the thousands who would take up weapons and come after us in a heartbeat given the chance (their numbers at those racist rallies are staggering!); of the outright hate and vindictiveness we feel surrounding us; of the hypocrisy of many politicians crying foul while they have been encouraging this sort of behavior ever since the people voted a Black President in; of the fear we have for our dark-skinned, dark-haired “American” kids; of our ethnicity; of our religions; of the silence of many “white” Americans as they allow this to continue. When they say things like: He’s not acting like an American, about a Black protester, or: Go back to Africa where you came from, and I hear the cheers rising from the crowd, my blood curdles!
However, the US in these post 9/11 days and, especially, during the past seven years is finally standing Naked in front of the whole world. And, we “immigrants” are not called “Paranoid,” or “Conspiracy Theorists” anymore for having seen that Nakedness from way back when! The word is out across the globe, written and talked about by intellectuals, as well as the commonest human on Any world street. White United States of America can talk about Democracy and Freedom until it gets hoarse, no one is buying this anymore. No One! The Idealism we once all believed in has been stripped of its glitzy hypocritical wrapping as we see that:
Most of our politicians are as corrupt as any so-called Third World Politicians!
Many of our police have become just as ruthless as the Israeli police that trained them!
Our military is bought and paid for by the arms manufacturers!
Our mainstream media are as bought and paid for as the corrupt politicians and corporations that give them access and finance them!
Our bridges across this nation are collapsing; our water in Flint, Michigan contains poisonous lead, and we know that Flint is only the tip of the iceberg; our foods contain GMOs and other stuff that is causing many illnesses thanks to the corporations that bribe our politicians and write the laws that they endorse; the same goes for our pharmaceutical and health services; some public servants become more slothful by the hour, and many languish from day to day just to get a paycheck; our rivers are contaminated; we have a militia of armed-to-the-teeth angry white men just like some of those renegade states in the world; we have legislated torture and continue to deny that; we support a massive for-profit prison system; we conduct surveillance and interrogations on our own citizens, as well as on our perceived enemies; we apply “the rule of law” only to the under-privileged, while the white collar criminals go free; our children and grandchildren go to school and we don’t know if some angry armed murderer will decide to off them on any given day; our despicable gun-owners are causing enormous amounts of senseless killings, and our government just laments while sticking to its inane gun laws; and, our skewed, gerrymandered election laws and voter suppressions cannot belie a democratic process any more than this!
Do you want more?
Affluence – or, Affluenza as it has been called – surrounds and envelops everything public. There is no doubt whatsoever that since that fateful 9/11 day the obvious material wealth across certain sectors of this nation has been steadily and conspicuously increasing for some people. Legal and illegal profiteering has always been the aim of all wars. It is nauseating and sickening for us Middle Easterners to think that some of this is Middle East blood money!
We, the immigrants (ALL non-European-white humans), have become the political piñata du jour! How utterly ridiculous, uncivilized and inhumane! If only the American people knew that most of us consider ourselves “exiles,” because “exile” is a lack of choice, and most of us had to flee our countries mainly due to the West’s desire to dominate, subjugate and intimidate our people; upturn elected governments and start wars in our countries in order to advance their sordid desires. This applies to most in the Asian, Latin, Arab and African communities!
Most of our US citizens stick their heads in the sand and pretend that the pristine America of the white picket fence still exists! They believe that as long as they are alright in their petty, superficial, artificial mundane world, then everything else is. They have chosen isolation plus entertainment rather than awareness and knowledge! It is by choice that they do so. Citizens of the so-called Third World are very aware that the only picket fences in their backyards are around the Western Embassies while they are left to wallow in occupations, neo-colonialist agendas, bombs, refugees, ammo-scorched earth, corruption and war-induced poverty. It is not by choice that they do so!
Will this change anytime soon? Not a bit! The genie has been coming out of the bottle since Woodrow Wilson, after all! It will take a miracle to change this fact. It will take politicians with integrity and honesty to do so. It will take a leadership that loves this nation more than they love their pockets. Incidentally, it is the same pathetic situation in the so-called Third World.
So welcome to Third World US of A, my dears! And, why would I move anywhere else? I would be enjoying the same damn corruption here or there! The only difference is that the packaging and the cosmetics are prettier over here. That’s all! And that’s why to all of you my friends inviting me to move back to Beirut, Amman, Dubai and Kuwait: Sorry, but I’m feeling right at home here these dismal devoid of reason days!
Who would ever have thought that this was even possible??!! No one, and certainly, not me!!
It is Quite Appalling!