the ignorant child

Family and friends:

I think we’re all overloaded. I am, I know. I still haven’t finished processing what’s happened, and what this means for the country and the world. Others in the Bay Area are done grieving and are ready for war.

Of course, there are the signs blanketing San Francisco proclaiming it a “Hate-Free Zone” (complete with large block-letter HATE with the international “NO” symbol striking through it) in response to the consequent backlash to Muslim Americans and Afghan-Americans. Practically every place of worship and public meeting place has held a candlelight vigil for the victims of the attack. And in general, there has been a gently tense mood, as if the way everyone says hello is tempered with the tones of, “are you okay? please be okay.” Let us all be okay.

However, one of my coworkers, a Canadian by birth and a practicing Buddhist, is the only one I’ve heard who is willing to consider a nonviolent reaction to the attack. Most everyone else, when they speak at all, is behind the President’s wish to bomb whomever, whenever, however he likes. Granted, some of them see this as “inevitable” but very few are willing to listen to me when I start to talk about the pre-existing situation and how America is hardly innocent.

At the risk of sounding preachy at a mere 28 years old, how can we possibly sponsor a course of action without realizing how we got to this point?

I am saddened to note that no one has come into our library and asked for any information on the situation in the Middle East, or U.S. foreign policy. But they have all been to Target to stock up on their American flags. The little plastic souvenirs are waving from many car antennae, flapping wildly as the wind hits them, as we drive fast and faster to war.

We are not the country, the fresh slate, that was fought for and won centuries ago; we have changed and yet our sense of patriotism has not. America the beautiful child, the ignorant child.

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.