Americans are reacting with shock about the events in Charlottesville a few days ago. A young woman murdered by a neo-Nazi during a large demonstration by Far Right extremists, white supremacists, and militia groups. But the people of the United States cannot sit there and act like they never saw this coming or that they were not warned. In fact, I've been discussing this here on Muslim Press for nearly a year. Muslims in the United States have been targeted by these hate groups for years now. Far Right extremists have been brandishing guns outside of mosques for some two years now that I am aware of. No, America, you don't get to sit there and act like this is all news to you.
When we cannot come to an understanding that it is wrong to carry guns at public demonstrations which has been happening since 2009, why are we shocked? When we've seen anti-Muslim demonstrations with guns carried in front of mosques which has been going on for at least two years now, why are we shocked? No, America, you don't get to act like you didn't see Charlottesville coming. But now that it is right in front of your face and can no longer be brushed away, what will you do?
Obviously you cannot count on your insane and incompetent President Trump to do anything. He can't even condemn Nazis without condemning those who protest the Nazis in the same breath. In fact, those Nazis voted for him and admit to it. If you don't see the treacherous waters you are in right now, America, you will certainly drown in them. But I think something else, too. The violence is now on your streets and not just in Yemen and Syria where you can conveniently ignore it and assure yourself it will not affect you. But don't tell me you didn't see this coming.
Don't tell me you didn't know Trump would set into motion a machine of hatred that has long existed in the United States. Excuse me, but who truck bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995? It was those Far Right extremists. But do you commemorate the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil before September 11, 2001 as you do the 9/11 attack? No, you do not. Because it was easier to blame Muslims than one of your "own", despite the fact that the Muslims you targeted here were and always have been Americans. Thus, the problems remain and manifest over and over again because you do not see the terrorism that was birthed right here on American soil long before the 20th century began.
Muslims have been targeted publicly, called upon to condemn the acts of terrorists, shamed, hectored, badgered, and persecuted. Trump kept right on demanding all Muslims apologize for the actions of a handful among billions. But when the terrorist is one of the same ilk who bombed a building in 1995, killing women and children, what does Trump do? He can't bring himself to condemn them without apologetics for the terrorists themselves! At last, American hypocrisy is on the world stage for all to see, with bare buttocks uncovered to its own shame.
Charlottesville. And Far Right terrorists were there, visibly armed. We must ask ourselves what would have happened had a group of Muslims appeared at a demonstration like this? I would say they would be in Guantanamo right now, without lawyers or civil rights. America, the phone is ringing off the hook for your wake up call. Will you now go back to sleep and assume this will never affect you? Oh, but it does! This is exactly how tyranny begins! And you know this, because the scenes of armed demonstrations outside of mosques are exactly the same as what the Nazis did to Jews in Germany before they finally got the authority to cart them off to concentration camps. And you sit there and mumble things like "Never again" and here it is in America beginning again, and again, and again.
See, we seem to think it'll all just blow over and go away. Yeah, and they said that when Trump was running for president. Oh, this will blow over. He won't get elected. Well, he did. But now people want to act like this all began with him. Pardon me, but how do you think he got elected in the first place? It didn't begin with him. Muslims could have told you that, America, if you weren't so busy boycotting Halal turkeys and refusing to condemn all the other publicly acceptable forms of bigotry that have, once again, blown up in your faces finally.
I don't know what to tell you. I don't know what it takes to wake you up. America plays these games with who is and is not a terrorist and entire nations blow up into maelstroms of violence as has been seen in Syria and Yemen. Hundreds of thousands die and America sits there smug and consoles itself that it's on the side of democracy. Then when such terrorism and violence manifests here, it does not see that it reaps exactly what it has sown: hatred, ignorance, and death.
I said it here before. People say things like, "We were good before Trump was elected..." Oh, no we weren't! You know better than that. We're a long way from being good before Trump and we'll be a long way from being good after he's gone. Being good means you don't let people carry guns in front of mosques, synagogues, churches, or any other houses of God. Being good means you don't let people carry guns to a public demonstration and call that "free speech". Guns are not speech. Guns are what people grab and use when they want to silence free speech. And being good means you don't bomb several countries, killing women and children, and call that "good".
When a man tells you he hates Muslims, and wants to build a Berlin Wall on the border, he should be believed. When a man tells you to rough up and attack protestors, he should be believed. And maybe that's why you elected him. But now it has manifested in all its ugliness and horror and you seem shocked. Shocked? Why? No, you don't get to pin it all on him, America. He did not elect himself. You did. Own it.
Jack Perry is a writer who lives with his wife in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. When talking about the ambitions and goals of the United States government, Jack warns: "Always Assume It's A Scam." Jack writes, bakes bread, and is a Path pilgrim and wayfarer of this world.