America - After 9/1 1
If you were not at ground zero, if you did not make a harrowing escape for your life, having to leave co- workers and friends behind to die- then there is no possible way to comprehend the terror of the day’s events. Families who were expecting their loved one’s home by 6 o clock that day, would never here that person walk through their front door again.
“Those survivors and surviving family and friends were true victims – the rest of us were spectators”.
Survivors came together to manager their despair and shared experiences, many of them suffered from severe PTSD, Survivors Guilt, other troubles caused as a result of the Terrorist Attacks. Organizations like, World Trade Center Survivors' Network brought survivors together to find closure and pay tribute to those who did not survive that day.
“You know what else portrays Muslims as Terrorist? Terrorism.”
Spectators were gripped with terror. Soon came the severe hate for Muslims, one that would be sewn into the fabric of American Society. It was never wrong to be racist or prejudiced against Muslims. In fact, you were a traitor if you dared to speak up for them. Muslims were plainly seen as terrorists and nothing more. Because if their religion, the Muslim people were barely human in the eyes of an American Patriot. I recall a quip from a 2006 segment of “Weekend Update” with Seth Myers and Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live. Seth Myers stated that an episode of the TV series “24” involving a Muslim Terrorist planting a bomb in Las Angeles had sparked concern with Muslim groups who were concerned the episode portrayed Muslims as terrorists. Seth Myer’s punch line, “You know what else portrays Muslims as Terrorist? Terrorism.” The audience roared with laughter, not a tinge of guilt. Jokes and racism were the least of it. Just a few days after the attacks Balbir Singh Sodhi, an innocent small business owner in Arizona was murdered by a gunman and targeted based off his religion and ethnicity. He was the father of several young children. He was one of many victims of violent hate crimes following the days after the attack.
Since 9/11, approximately 6,967 U.S. servicemen and women have died during Overseas Contingency Operations and The Global War on Terrorism operations. An additional 52,802 have been wounded.
There is no way to have exact number without full Iraqi cooperation of how many people have been killed and wounded in Iraq since the 2003 United States invasion. But records show that over 182,000 civilians have died from direct war related violence caused by the US, its allies, the Iraqi military and police, and opposition forces from the time of the invasion through November 2018. Deaths of Iraqi civilians have occurred through aerial bombing, shelling, gunshots, suicide attacks, and fires started by bombing. The news was now flooded with constant coverage of the war, further heightening the fear and propaganda of middle eastern countries.
The United States has never looked or been the same 2001. Movies, Television, News Media, Social behaviors have all been influenced in some way by the tragedy. After 9/11 it was not acceptable to show scenes where there were major cities bing destroyed, or extreme violence being depicted. Comedy movies became more family oriented; it wasn’t until movies like Superbad in 2007 did funny movies finally start to become more creative, or crass. News stations became riddled with blatant propaganda and misinformation. It took years for the initial sting of the attacks to wear off. However, the scar left behind was one of disfigurement.
18 years later the continuous and systematic distain for Muslims has barely wavered. During Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign he claimed that Muslims were dancing on roof tops after 9/11 and that he believed there should be a data base keeping track of Muslim Americans. That put a fire under his supporters. Finally, someone who would give them the white redemption they had always wanted for 9/11 and any wrongdoing ever done by a brown person (citizen or non-citizen) in America. American Patrisim had morphed since 2001 into something monstrous, and toxic. These patriots wanted America back, “Making America Great Again” meant no more Muslim Black President. No more basic social politeness towards those who don’t share the same skin tone as you. Violence is now an appropriate measure to many extremists. Hate crime incidents have climbed 31% since 2014 to their highest level in nearly 10 years, according to FBI data that show a 17% jump to 7,175 incidents in 2017. The number of hate crime groups rose 30% from 2014 to 2018, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
What has always made America great was our ability as a country to always look to improvements, and even with a slow moving and possibly outdated federal government system- state governments have often showed the true colors of America with progressive legislation and blossoming school programs. Considering the upcoming Presidential election or whatever unforeseeable events may come, whether Donald Trump wins 2020 – Americans will continue to work within their communities to make the changes needed to move forward in a progressive direction.
2017 FBI Statistics:
Hate Crimes Explained, 2018