Saturday afternoon two men were killed outside of a mosque in Queens, New York. Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin were the imam and assistant imam at the mosque, and they were simply walking down the sidewalk when a person ran up to them and simply shot them both dead. Officials are saying that the motivations for the killing are unclear at this time.

{cue blank, incredulous stare}

Now I suppose it’s possible they owed a loan shark too much money, or that they could have been the victim of a serial killer. But I suspect, as does most everyone else, that it might have something to do with how they looked. And considering the stuff that’s being said by certain orange politicians lately, it’s entirely possible that someone might have been trying to do Uncle Sam a favor and rid the country of a few more of them there Muslims.

Honestly this scares the shit out of me. Prejudice itself is a cancer. But outright murder because you don’t like the way someone dresses (and Trump says they’re all suspect until proven otherwise) that is some scary shit right there. That’s some 1940’s Japanese Internment Camp or Operation Wetback level, scary shit.

There is just no possible way that Trump has read the Constitution, and if he did he definitely doesn’t understand it. And if he did read it and does understand it, he certainly doesn’t like it and thinks it’s in the way of how he plans to make America Great Again.

Of course it will probably starts with Muslims from the Middle East, that’s all. But of course it won’t work because people will lie about their religion. And since your average Middle Eastern Muslim knows more about Christianity than your average American Christian, they’ll be able to pull off Eastern Orhtodoxy without a hitch. Then they’re in! And since 94% of all terrorist attacks in the United States are done by non-Muslims, we’re screwed! …I mean we’re just as screwed. …That is to say we’re statistically as screwed after they arrive as we were before they came… In other words, we are statistically certain to be attacked, but most likely not by a Muslim. 

So we can’t take the chance that someone can just lie to us, right?! We’ll need to make sure! So maybe we set a blanket denial of entrance for people from certain places in the world, or anyone who looks Middle Eastern. Of course they’ll be a lot of people from Italy, Spain, Greece, Israel, as well as a dozen other friendly countries, who’ll get caught up in this… but freedom has a price, right?!

And as for the remaining 3.3 million Muslims already in the country? Simple, we just round ’em up! They won’t come willingly so neighbor will have to turn in neighbor, you know, for the greater good.

Then we’ll move on to the American’s of Middle Eastern descent that aren’t Muslim. 

Okay, wait… There’s no way that people would react that unreasonably toward someone with a certain heritage for no reason whatsoever, right? It’s not at all possible that some guy with a Middle Eastern grandparent, who was raised in the Carholic church, grew up in the Boy Scouts, and never left the country, would ever be subjected to any sort of harassment because someone decided to associate him with radical Islamic terrorism by looks alone, right?! Except, you know, I was.

A few weeks after 9/11 I was at work when a partially educated redneck who drove a rusty, oversized pickup truck with American flags draped off the back, decided to get in my face and say “Hey look, there’s one of them now.” And when I asked one of what, he looked me dead in the eye and said, “One of those fucking sandni**ers.”

Yup, I was one of those fucking sandni**ers to this guy. We had gone from coworkers to mortal enemies because someone who came from roughly the same part of the globe as my grandmother had decided to attack and kill lots of people. I was not a Muslim, or even religious for that matter. I was born and raised in the United States. And the closest I ever came to sand was going to the beach for fried dough and some skeeball. 

So when Donald Trump gets people riled up enough to start hunting human beings in broad daylight in Queens, yes I am concerned. Not because I’m a Muslim, but because if I decide to let my beard grow in the winter I may look suspicious enough to some halfwit. But if I decide to be myself and maybe wear something from the Middle East, I am now a target! Now do I have to grow a beard and wear certain clothes? No. I can pretend I’m not me and be less of a target.

But what about the next time a Sikh gets harassed on the subway? Or someone beats up an Isreali on vacation because he looks like one of them? Or how about the young lady in her hijab who is bothers nobody but gets obscenities screamed at her? What about all of them? 

No, I plan to be me. And I would rather draw the attention away from someone who can’t, or won’t, fight back. I think we owe it to them. They came here believing that we meant it when we said:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It’s just simple hospitality, we invited them. Plus we can’t possibly banish everyone who isn’t good enough for Trump’s constantly shifting standards anyway. Besides, I’d rather be hated for who I am, than tolerated for who I pretend to be. 

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