All things post-September 11 are new again


After building a party’s political brand (and several of its presidential hopefuls’brands) on whipping up anti-immigrant fervor, here we are, the once and future empire, standing by with our thumbs up our animus as a refugee crisis sweeps across Europe. If the people were Russian tanks, well, hot damn, CNN and Fox News would already have branded the news event with crawlers worthy of a summer blockbuster trailer and they’d have commissioned James Horner to write the score.

Patrick L. Smith writes bitterly of the crisis at Salon, “Washington’s fingerprints are all over the tragedy unfolding across the Atlantic.” But with Trumpism rising along with world sea levels, it is hard to see how America can move to resettle fleeing Syrians here in any more than a grudging manner that would put a scowl on the Statue of Liberty’s serene face. We make the messes. Other people have to clean them up.

There will be tensions in Europe among locals, to be sure, as refugees attempt to assimilate. If they were to come here in this atmosphere, you can bet those tensions would be immediately palpable. Maybe in Chicago:

“Terrorist!” “Bin Laden!” “Go back to your country!” came the shouts from the other car.

Inderjit Singh Mukker, a father of two on his way to the grocery store in his Chicago suburb, pulled over when the vehicle in front kept tailgating him, according to the Sikh Coalition. The 53-year-old Sikh man, who wears a beard and turban, expected that the person in the other car would just drive past.

Mukker wound up in the hospital after a severe beating. For all we know, his assailant was home earlier on Tuesday cheering as Kim Davis left her Kentucky jail cell to the applause of supporters of “religious freedom.”

Mukker is lucky, I guess. He could have been killed like Balbir Singh Sodhi in the aftermath of 9/11. He was the first of many Sikhs killed in the wake of the 2001 attacks. Americans mistook them for Muslims in a country that went on to precipitate the 2015 refugee crisis because we mistook Iraq for a country that had something to do with 9/11.

The Syrian refugees might actually be better off elsewhere. Perhaps that was the nativists’ plan all along.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

Categories : National, News, Religion

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