Remarkable, isn’t it, how many Anglos are fearful of a Muslim threat against America that doesn’t exist? At least not in this hemisphere. For this Americans of all hues and creeds can thank the civil rights movement.
All that marching, picketing, and boycotting we may now download and view in digitalized black & white equalized a lot of boats. The movement also brought into the mainstream a good number of immigrants whose origins sat outside what too many of our native born citizens saw as acceptable lands of heritage.
Southern and Eastern Europeans performed their obligations towards integration while assimilating, but having reassuring complexions and religious beliefs somewhere near the country’s predominant Christianity also eased their entry into society. The civil rights movement is the reason why the United States shouldn’t suffer Europe’s same level of random violence nor the polarization between Muslims and non-believers.
American society has yet to impose the same weight of frustration on the Muslim community. But Donald Trump and his gang are doing their damnedest to recoup lost time.
Only Anglo fright can snap the established compact America subtly demands and enforces upon every new group migrating here; to assimilate. Not erase their identities or deny their origins, though subsume their old values to our shared national characteristics.
Two masters cannot be served. Two allegiances cannot be honored.
In Europe, authorities and citizens mistakenly permitted Muslims to hold their own distinctions above whatever commonalities bound the respective country. Rather than bring the newcomers into the nation’s general fold, the immigrants and successive landed generations were left alone to form enclaves which the natives gradually found somewhat impenetrable. Across time these neighborhoods became “no-go zones” as far as the majorities were concerned.
Imagine being an American unable to walk through some areas here not because of legal strictures but from their alien natures.
On our side of the Atlantic, integration insisted Muslims add their tiles to our mosaic; to become “Americans.” While retaining heritages to which they could refer, in essence we saw them as part of our amalgamation. They quickly regarded themselves in the same manner.
Unlike the Old World, Muslims weren’t purely seen and treated as “strangers” in America. Well, not until the 2016 presidential campaign at least.
Even the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks failed unleashing the same level of anti-Muslim vitriol as has Der Trump’s crusade. Although Sikhs were targeted because of their turbans, these headpieces being mistaken for Arab kaffiyehs by trigger-happy, gun-nut ignoramuses, sane authority and a society which mostly overcame its anxieties of terrorism managed tamping down all but the most deplorable of us.
Unfortunately almost 16 years later the ignorant and intolerant now shakily hold the country’s reins. Der Trump’s political caravan and its joke’s on us ascension into the Oval Office has perverted reason and rational voices from above.
Why, hasn’t the short-fingered vulgarian’s ratbag administration given full-throated license to the already unhinged and always violence prone infesting our society to harass and discriminate against our Muslim fellow Americans? Indeed, it has.
That’s not leadership. It’s goading the mob. Once, Americans could depend on our leadership being correct and accountable. Not with Der Trump. There will be little, if any, of either under his baying, red-in-the-face, beer hall rule administration.
Despite the lingering stain of slavery, the countenancing of systemic discrimination in bondage’s aftermath, and the near extermination of the continent’s indigenous population, the United States retains one sterling virtue.
The Republic has never been convulsed by religious strife. At his most base, who can’t see Der Trump whipping up such calamity?
Until Der Trump’s spew of fear and discrimination, hadn’t Muslims fairly made themselves inconspicuous in America? It took the vile pig and his bund of anti-American reactionaries to “radicalize” Islam on these shores.
Not enough Americans realize Muslims have been part of what became the Republic since the Dutch colonized New Amsterdam. In fact those some irrationally despise and whose bona fides as true Americans they question have roots deeper than the ethnics who flooded the country during its much gloried migratory waves.
Perhaps if Muslims had drawn squeaky wheel attention to their insecurities that would’ve made them more accepted. Similar to the earliest arriving Europeans, maybe Muslims have little need to organize recognitions of their contributions to the United States. Having been present as Colonials, what would the reason have been? They have nothing to prove to themselves or others.
Not only surely Yankees, Muslims are securely Americans.
The last election illustrated a pronounced divide among our citizens. One popular thought has a gulf between elites and non-elites. Somehow today being an elite earns disparagement, while being common is an aspired status.
Not in the real world. And not ever.
Since the matter in question is outlook rather than social standing, shouldn’t the preferences swing between cosmopolitans and the uncomplicated? No surprise the latter infest the country’s less dynamic regions. That portion of our populace evolves grudgingly, if at all. They resist the new, the now, the unusual, with a vehemence suggesting life-and-death struggles. While new isn’t always better, habitual dismissal of it not only shows a closed mind, but one also hermetically sealed.
Most Americans who arbitrarily slot our Islam-following fellow citizens as religious Fifth Columnists might’ve benefited by having interactions with them. Of course that would’ve required proximity to where they resided and curiosity about the neighbors.
(To be continued)