Eighteen years ago, on September 11th, 2001, America was changed.
Now, years after President Obama gave the order to assassinate the figurehead behind the September 11th attacks – we hear on the news that Trump was moments away from having negotiations with the Taliban at Camp David.
This group worked for Osama Bin Laden.
This was the group our troops fought for all these years.
This was the group that tried to assassinate Malala Youvsafsai and failed.
This same group of people declared war on the United States along with Osama Bin Laden back in 1993 before the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muhammed Yousef – the nephew of Khalid Sheik Muhammed, the mastermind of 9/11.
For the next 18 years, Americans – mostly white, older Americans have slowly become afraid of ‘other’. Sure, there have been other terror attacks, plenty of dead bodies – in London, in Paris at the Bataclan, at a gay nightclub in Orlando – but in the world of terror, these attacks by ‘other’ have been few and far between.
We’ve seen, however, a massive spike in white, male, terrorism throughout the country. Mass shootings have taken place in shopping malls, in churches, in schools across the country and while I still mourn those that died on 9/11 – I mourn the loss of the American identity that said, “This shit, this shit like this, that doesn’t happen here because regardless of whether or not we agree with each other – we protect our own.”
Some say Western-style democracy is slipping and I agree with that sentiment. Sure, we can blame it on Russians, we can blame it on The GOP, we can blame it on a lot of other things to avoid putting the blame where it needs to go. Ourselves.
We’ve gotten lazy.
We think milk is bad.
We share fake news about ADHD.
We share articles written by no one of importance – no one with any sort of degree or expertise in the field they’ve chosen to write about and disseminate false, and probable propaganda to keep people from doing things that protect the entire population like getting vaccinations.
Worse yet, we get into these social media groups where we bounce these conspiracy theories off each other while we’re neck-deep in confirmation bias and become emotionally dedicated to our ignorance.
There is ZERO difference in that – and believing black people are less than due to some obscure Bible passage about the Sin of Ham and staying dedicated to hatred because your momma said so.
I grew up in a Fundamentalist household – and I understand how organizations like the Taliban happen. When you’re poor, stupid, and have feelings of utter powerlessness in your life, some jackass can come along and promise you heaven and get you to do anything he wants.
Beat your kids. Beat your wife. Stay poor. Stay disconnected from the world. View the world itself as an enemy of God. Fly an airplane into a building. Shoot an abortion doctor.
It’s. All. The. Same.
It’s so similar it can be scripted and memorized. It’s formulaic.
Here in this country, we have millions dedicated to ending abortion, they’ll pass laws to stop a woman, other women, from having bodily autonomy even when the removal of those rights diminishes their rights and all rights.
We’ll pass laws to keep a pervert from fucking a kid but we won’t move a muscle to keep a madman from shooting their little heads off.
Because somewhere, somehow, some group of people has fallen under the belief system of some fundamentalist yahoo playing with fear as a means to control.
So, this 9/11 Anniversary, I beg you, promote education. Not the crazy bullshit blog of some glue huffer or some crystal viewing airhead who believes essential oils cure cancer, or some right-wing clown with a youtube channel – I’m talking classical education. Directed readings. Study in a field or a major.
Malala Yousavsia said of the Taliban, “They’re not afraid of bullets and bombs, they’re afraid of little girls with books.”
Because an education liberates you from your own ignorance. It liberates you from the charismatic control of some would-be dictator whether they’re in the government, the Islamic Faith or from the Baptist church down the road.
Ignorance is a prison.
They can NEVER take your education away from you. Ever.
Tonight, I remember 9/11.