More than 13,000 of the Arab and Muslim men who voluntarily came forward to register with immigration now face deportation
, government officials say. Yet, only 11 individuals out of those screened had any possible links to terrorism.
Perhaps you know some of these people. Many have been in this country for awhile, some may be skilled co-workers or neighbors, many have families and children to support (many who are citizens born in the USA...), others are teenage sons of legal immigrants.
These are fathers, sons, brothers, loving husbands. They're being targeted based on ethnicity and religion and gender --the kind of discrimination that we used to call unamerican. They'll leave behind families unable to survive as families. Families who will have to rely on government support to survive... and they will leave behind fatherless American children.
This is a great tragedy. These people are being deported for doing the right, legal, and patriotic thing, and now we're going to destroy their families and punish their communities. Some may call this payback for 9/11, but where's the connection? Why do we insist on compounding a great tragedy with one that is arguably just as terrible?!
Slavery, the destruction of the Indian Nations, the racist policies against the Irish, the policies that forbade generations of Chinese immigrants from bringing over wives, the internment of Japanese Americans... and now this.
Let's face the facts -- this great tragedy is supremely American in nature. It is the rule and not the exception, because when the chips are down and Americans feel threatened, they make the same old mistakes all over again. We're like Borg, destroying all that we cannot assimilate. Have no doubt that this was initially a white Anglo-Saxon diesease, but it's far from cured; we have infected others with our hatred, racism, and distrust too. We're so good at this cultural indoctrination that we've even taught our own citizens to hate themselves for not fitting some kind of societal and cultural ideal. Why else would you ever see a black lady with straightened hair or an Asian who has had an operation on their eyelids but to conform to our standards? America is a country that teaches Americans to fear and hate. Hate other minorities (i.e. Americans), fear that black guy on the elevator (and clutch your purse closer to your body, ladies...) and yes, hate ourselves unless and until we fit in the mold. It is a tragic flaw of Sophoclean proportions, and it will be our undoing, because we have never really learned to escape our past.
It's time to give up the pretense that America is a melting pot. The legacy that our generation will leave America is this --less freedom and more of the same-- because we cannot break out of our old patterns of racism, hatred, and violence. The free nations of the world used to envy us. Not anymore. Have no doubt, we will destroy the American Dream in the name of security. During dark times like this, it seems almost inevitable.
Part of me is thoroughly disgusted, and the rest feels very, very sad indeed.