The two faces of modern America
By YASMIN ALIBHAI-BROWN - THE INDEPENDENT
Added: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 13:17:04 UTC
Thanks to Michael for the link
Even before the attacks on the twin towers, millions of Americans despised and blamed Muslims unfairly, as they did after the Oklahoma bombings
It ain't over. The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has mercifully passed without a mass barbeque of flamed holy Korans planned by the florid Florida pastor Terry Jones. But he is still there, waiting to start another fire, to protect his America, patently not the America admired around the globe – refuge of the persecuted, land of opportunity for all. Jones, leader the Dove Outreach Centre (Dove? perhaps Americans do get irony after all) and his lot believe their leaders are now wusses and traitors who hand over the US to dark, sinister forces – migrant Hispanics of strange tongues, druggie blacks, unsexed feminists, the fecund poor, socialists, high-tax politicians, and worst of all "ragheads" – Muslims, outwardly loyal but all furtively fattening up terrorists in their garages.
Jones et al are not maddened desperados. They are part of a mainstream, resentful alliance with Sarah Palin's Tea Party, growing ranks of fundamentalist Christians and Zionists, bitter and racist frontiersmen and women, and some neocons, no-hopers who can only feel alive and worthy when drunk on hostility. This standoff reveals the complicated profile and the many contours of the US, the contradictions writhing beneath its well-spun national identity and revered constitution.
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