Saturday, July 26, 2008
Europeans Need not Come to the US
Because, as an American Muslim, I can tell you that I had one of the most atrocious and harrowing experiences, being treated like a second class citizen, while with and due to a Dutch citizen who wanted to go across the border to Ensenada for horse back riding on the beach and some of the best seafood one could possibly find.
This individual was subjugated to the most ignorant, incompetent and inhuman CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) agents. (They basically didn't know where Holland was) To make matters worse, they felt that we- the group of us- were coming to the US to "kill the President" in one agents own words.
Another agent suggested that things are not the same as "India" that this is the US. And another agent suggested that because we were "guests in the US" we should respect the laws of the land and not question their authority.
I am an American Citizen, proud to be one, I spent three weeks in Pakistan defending American values, I spent two hours talking to this Dutch friend of mine about how the "law of the land" and "American values" allow Muslims the capacity to be better Muslims and Americans at the same time.
Then to experience what I experienced, to be told that I am a guest in my own country, and to be treated with the most disrespect I have ever encountered in my 20 some years of being a US citizen (I am 25 years old by the way) leaves me angry, angry at this government and its policy, angry with the policy's ability to dehumanize and criminalize people for their religious, ethnic and political views.
It leaves me angry at what Bush and his hooligans have done to the United States, its values and it leaves me in sad reflection, as I sat three hours at the San Yasidero border check point thumping through some quotes in my American (Blue) passport I read the page with Dwight D. Eisenhower's quote- "Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the hear of America" and it saddens me that we aim to spread these grand ideals of democracy and western notions of humanism, yet when it comes to these very ideals and practices in our own country, we seem to have forgotten to apply it here.
This is me, a second class American citizen, saying that if things were so disturbing for me, then I can imagine how disturbing things are in Abu Gharab and Gitmo, I can see the duplicity and hypocrisy in this governments so called "terror trials"- we are so far away from the ideals we try to impose on Iraq and Afghanistan. Its no wonder we are failing there, we can't even win at home.
So Europeans, take your business, take your vacation time (your holiday's) else where, you need not be subjected to second class human status in the United States.