We live at the dawn of the September 11th Generation, as the children born on 9/11/2001 become adults today. And what kind of America do they inherit? Is America a place where sectarian and religious intolerance is on its way out or the way in? Is America a place where our laws and politics reflect our highest virtues or our lowest bigotries?
On September 11th, 2001, 19 hijackers committed an act of terrorism that took the lives of thousands of Americans, 372 of whom were non-citizens but foreign immigrants. Why did the terrorists attack us? Because they thought that America was an imperial power using its economic and military advantage to the disadvantage of everyone else.
The hijackers believed that many Americans were hostile to Islam, not just their radical brand of Islam, and that hostility was resulting in American interference in their nations. And the hijackers believed America to be so pretentious, so nationalistic, so utterly insensitive to the rest of the world that we needed to be taken down a few pegs.
Seeing the naked bigotry of the garbage in the Republican Party’s “send them back” rhetoric, can it be truly said that the hijackers were mistaken about who we are? Sure, their act of terrorism was absolutely unjustifiable and demonstrates that they were no better than we are, but their accusation of who we are remains unanswered.
On this day, the 18th birthday of those children born on September 11th, 2001, having now attained their age of majority and become full citizens of this country, are we better or worse than what the 19 murderers thought us to be? Is “America First” consistent with the nation we claim to be, where Liberty and Justice is for all?
Liberty is For The Win!