When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, my mother and father were just settling into their new roles as husband and wife. Candles flickered on the table set for their second anniversary dinner, but not to set a romantic mood. They lived in San Francisco and all California coastal cities observed periods of mandatory blackouts. The radio was on, but not to entertain the young couple. Instead they listened intently for news updates and air raid instructions.
The term ‘household budget’ took on a new meaning with the advent of food and gasoline rationing. They hauled big pieces of furniture down to the basement to make room for extra beds, cots and chairs to accomodate displaced friends. A few months later my brother was born. Then my dad got his orders and was shipped off to parts unknown.
Neighbours were missing. Folks my mom would say hello to on the street or in the shops were suddenly not around. Bus drivers and mailmen all had different faces. The local cleaners was closed, as was a favoured restaurant. Some people left to stay with relatives further inland. Some, like my dad, had been called to active duty in the military.
Others had been discretely carted off to temporary internment camps in places like Los Angeles where authorities would sift through a mountain of paperwork and personal identification records to determine which U.S. citizen might also be a Japanese spy. It was not a good time to be of Asian descent in America.
Twenty-five years later my mother was preparing for the arrival of her first grandchild when news of the Watts riot flashed across the television screens. Over the next three years the racial unrest spread across the country like a brush fire that quickly devours an entire hillside before stopping, only to flare up again in another spot, predictably unpredictable.
It didn’t matter where you lived, really. It didn’t matter how long you’d been neighbours or friends with a person. If one of you was black and the other white, your relationship was fodder for the firestorm.
People died. Good people. Good Americans. And at the end of the day we all stood up and said no more. Black, white, brown, red, pink – we all stood up and cried out – no more.
In the summer of 2001 my mother was celebrating being a great grandmother. On 9/11 we spoke on the phone and cried together, her on one continent and me on another. But my mother wasn’t just sad for the horrifying, senseless deaths that occurred on that day. My mother was sad for what was to come. The inevitable choking fear that would cause otherwise rational people to become an enraged mob, taking their frustration out on a peaceul people. Unless we as a nation had grown up in the last fifty years, she knew the Muslims would become the next scapegoats of bigotry.
And we almost showed that as a nation we had matured. What little public hostility had been directed towards Muslims in the wake of 9/11 was truly fading and people of all nationalities and religions were coming together in harmony. We almost showed we learned tolerance.
[enter] Sarah Palin…
We’re all different. It is our differences that make us each unique. That’s the backbone of being an American and the first thing that brings us all together. We’re all different. In that we’re all the same.
A Muslim American is no more an enemy of the state than a Black American, a Japanese American, an Italian American or an Irish American. The radical groups in control of the news cycles today are working hard to divide our great nation into groups so small we will all but disappear.
Sarah Palin is a walking hate crime and there’s a prayer center in downtown Manhattan to prove it.
Email or write your local newspaper, television station and congressman and ask why Sarah Palin is not being investigated for treason. She is openly hostile to our elected President. She openly advocates the taking over of government by persons of her choosing. She openly incites and encourages racial and domestic violence. She is openly intolerant and critical of any religious or scientific belief not her own.
Anyone else would be in jail by now. Why isn’t she?
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title “Anyone Else Would Be in Jail By Now” and click on the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud