I come from a big family. My mother has 11 brothers and sisters, my father 7 or 8 or more. Each one of their siblings believed in populating the earth as well. My family is so big, in fact, that I am yet to meet some of the members. Every state Allen and I have ever been to contains at least an aunt, uncle or cousin. In Florida and Texas we populate several counties. In New York, all of the Burroughs. We are all over London, Munich, Switzerland, Malaysia, and France. Our living room bookshelves contain many picture frames of family members quite interesting.
I also come from a multi-racial family. Members of my family are Black, White, Asian, Native American and whatever other racial division one might try to conjure up. Members of my family tend to marry for “love” irregardless of race, color or creed. I have relatives who is Buddhist, Hindu, Atheists, Evangelical, Agnostic, Catholic, Rastafarian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Jewish and yes…… Muslim.
Each year I celebrate Easter AND Passover. My friends often hear me break into Yiddish as well as Jamaican phrases. Our family names range from Stein, O’Sullivan, Rodriguez, Nunez, Ffolkes, Graham, Hashimoto and Smith to Mohammed, Halaby and Hassan.
I was once asked by a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution to turn in my application and they would do a search. I should have, because as welcoming and gregarious as my family is, who knows if my inherent American patriotism was not passed down through the gene pool of one of the Founding Fathers. Given my racial make-up …… it might have been more than just a “little spicey” in the narrative … but who knows?
So, you say……Angela …… who cares?
I am trying to illustrate the ribbon that ties us, as a country and as human beings, together. In the wake of the attacks in Europe as well as the San Bernardino attacks, the feeling is that it is time for us to enact measures to “protect” ourselves against “them”. The “them” we are speaking of right now are members of the Muslim faith.
The approach to “them” in an election year will involve “appealing to the base” and the base on each side will want their version of “red meat”. On the Democrat side, the “red meat” will involve….. doing nothing. That is nothing different than the current leader of their party — President Obama. They make excuses regarding the “optics” of his “spring break” with the family while the victims of the terrorist’s attack lay broken and wounded in hospitals or missing — and I do mean Americans. We are treated to pictures of him doing the wave, giving interviews to ESPN and wearing some nice sunglasses with his family. Last night he attempted to do the Tango in Argentina. You see he wants you to believe that it is part of his “strategy” to “show the terrorists” that he is “not concerned” — they ain’t gonna mess up his vacay!
Dong nothing, BTW, is not an option.
Hillary, fearful that one wrong move might “release the hounds” and land her , if not in jail, in some real legal trouble will always mind her manners and “love all over” whatever Obama does……. Often screaming heretic lest someone does not proclaim their love for any and every policy he has ever enacted, or even thought of. Right now, he is her god. Or at least the “god” who pulls her strings.
The problem with the Democrats running for office is that they are elderly white people who have very little knowledge of “non-whites” beyond the pandering they perform before being elected to office. But you can not really blame them because most elderly white liberals have not mixed with people outside of their race …… they never had to. Don’t believe the hype nor the changing accents of Hillary Clinton…… Her husband (supposedly the first black president) said “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee,” — before the election of Barrack Obama.
On the Republican side, we have two men( well three but the third wants to open the gates in his first 100 days for amnesty so we won’t talk about him). Each of the other two are vying for the Presidency. One called for a “pause” in the importation of refugees or visitors to the US who are Muslims. The other calling for “patrols and surveillance” of Muslim “neighborhoods”.
It might be a very prudent measure to pause the immigration process and of course the refugee process until there is a way to provide background information about the people desiring to move here. This includes securing the border. Here is is reality, we really don’t know,unless we can check it out, who many of these people are. To allow the borders to be so porous that we endanger ourselves would be suicide. The further away from the border, the more generous people become regarding “open borders” because people generally don’t care that much unless the issue hits either them or their loved ones.
The other candidate calling for patrols and surveillance appears to lack the knowledge of the demographics of America. In Europe, the integration of “others” — meaning non-Europeans is not a normal thing. For example, in a Paris “suburb” of L’Ile Saint-Denis, north of Paris, you will find a fairly diverse population. French people, East Europeans, as well as blacks and Arabs live side by side in their lower income neighborhood. L’Ile St-Denis is among the “suburbs” around French cities where immigrants, notably from former North African colonies, have been housed since the 1960s.
Blighted by bad schools and endemic unemployment, the suburbs are hard to escape. This situation plays itself out throughout Europe. Multiple generations live in these “ghettos” or “suburbs” or “neighborhoods” as we call it. It would be in this type of situation that Senator Cruz’s “Muslim Patrols” would work. It might incite violence and resentment, but in general since the population is concentrated one could envision patrol cars, surveillance cameras and interrogation getting the most “bang for their buck”.
Integration is the problem in America for the concept of “Muslim Patrols”. Remember what I said about my family members? In America, through marriage and faith changes….. you might have a Baptist minister married to a Catholic man with a daughter who marries a Jew and a son who converts to Islam who in turn has children who are atheists. The “drag-net” might unwittingly ensnare the Baptist, Catholic, Jew and atheists.
My neighborhoods in Texas and Fort Lauderdale are quite diverse. In Florida I live close to a Chabad with plenty of Orthodox Jews and a couple of Puerto Ricans and Jamaicans. In Texas, the neighborhoods around one of the colleges near me seems to be highly Asian, but there are many Muslims in the area since the Korea market (their produce and spices are wonderful by the way) carries Halal meats. Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” In terms of food, it means food that is permissible according to Islamic law. For a meat to be certified “halal,” it cannot be a forbidden cut (such as meat from hindquarters) or animal (such as pork.) Question….. What streets would you patrol and who would the “Muslim Patrol” perform surveillance on? I suppose they might hang out in the parking lot of the Korea Market but I don’t think that would be effective.
Islam is the largest non-Christian group in 20 American states, mostly in the South and Midwest: Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming. Given the surface area of those regions and the fact that the populations outside of a couple of areas in Wisconsin and Michigan, the “Muslim Patrol” will have to become its own agency – probably larger than the Department of Homeland Security.
A final note, securing the borders and thorough background checks might serve to make us a bit safer. But remember, radicalization seems to occur in the heart and mind. it is a phenomenon of this generation that one can become so hardened that no amount of goodwill, friendship and work-place mobility can soften the resolve of people determined to annihilate a population because they believe something different as in the case of the San Bernardino couple. This might be the starting clock to discovering a real solution. But as usual, no one speaks of it anymore…. and they won’t until the next time. Until then….. forget the patrols.