Posted by panch from pool0434.cvx24-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, August 31, 2002 at 11:32AM :
While we dance our butts off again at our convention, 35,000 Muslims Americans gather at Washington DC for theirs. Only they don't dance. They've come to demand their rights be protected under the Constitution...to put a face on their religion...to teach the rest of America about what Islam can be at its best...not what the Bushies, and we, want America to believe it is.
You'd think that coming so close to the first year's anniversary of 9/11 they'd be more "cautious"...that they wouldn't want to 'attract attention" or "remind people". Like Assyrians were afraid to show up for our chance to defend and explain ourselves in public at the debate that wasn't in Los Angeles.
One Muslim said that their website used to get 300 to 400 hits a month...now they were getting over one million hits a month. What do you have to do to get noticed in America? Kiss ass, you think?
There they are...fighting back, explaining themselves, unafraid, willing to make some personal sacrifices...showing that they understand that being American is a lot more than getting a job and your first German car.
And what of us "proud" Assyrians? Whom do we teach? To whom do we explain ourselves...our history and culture? We don't provide a thing for our own children, let alone anyone else's. People still think I wanted to sell the Shumirum to Chicago. It was paid for years ago...all we tried to do was GIVE it...a gift on behalf of all Assyrians...a way for others to read about us and see what we did, and can do now. And although everyone in the Public Arts Council in Chicago wanted it, and has wanted it for seven years now...it's been stopped by John Nimrod, who threatened to sue the city if it installed it anywhere but in his backyard...so he can take the "credit" for it. And where are our proud Assyrians?
+++You think Muslims or Arabs in America would behave that way? Maybe before...but not now...now they realize that they HAVE to make their culture a part of American culture...something I've been trying to do with ours for 22 years...only to be stopped finally by "leaders" whose only desire is to use you to fluff themselves up..leaders who couldn't work their way through a wet paper bag...who keep us "partying" and dancing our lives away so we'll never expect more from them...cause they know they ain't got that much to offer...not if we ever want to do any serious work.
We are funny. Like Hanna said when I chided Assyrians for not coming to the debate in Los Angeles... he said in defense..."why should we come out and support YOU...what have you done for us?" Meaning I "attack" everyone and hurt their feelings. never mind the damage Ross and our continued silence does to us and our children and Heritage...they were not going to support ME!
The reason we all want to be generals and no one wants to do any grunt work is because we define a "general" in such a shoddy way, place hardly any requirements on him ,or any leader, that we ALL feel just as qualified...and we are right. If you expect no more from your surgeon than you would from a day laborer...why WOULDN'T every ditch digger want to operate on someone?
This is our problem...one of the biggest ones...we have absolutely no sense for "quality" or qualifications...it's part of that "love" thing...and the idea that we are all equal in some Jew god's eye. Well we ARE all equal..equally stupid and shortsighted. You really want your hostess flying your airplane? Why not? Aren't we all equal in HIS eyes? Only he wouldn't be so dumb as to sit on such a plane...he gets us to do it!
In the Mideast, according to all our pundits, we have been systematically tortured and robbed, murdered and kicked around. Okay. But...do we really MIND it? Let's say you are suffering from hunger...you haven't eaten in about five centuries...every time you try it some Muslim or Turk snatches the food away from your mouth...worse than that, he also takes the food out of your child's mouth. You are slowly starving to death, your ribs are showing through, gums bleeding...hair falling out...you can't sleep, can't walk etc.
then by some miracle you are snatched away, you and your starving children and parents, to a country where there is abundant food...where people come from all over the world to feed and eat and grow fat and sassy. And all of it is available to you...the tables are groaning under their load of pork chops and roasts and salads and fried eggs and ham and omlettes and cakes and cookies and drinks and more salads...food is falling off the tables and being wasted, trampled upon and washed down the gutters...and yet you still stand there, starving...refusing to eat...refusing to allow your children to grab even a slice of bread. Instead you are reliving the times past, when you weren't allowed to eat, when food was taken from you, when you had to endure your child's hunger pains and cries in the night...and all around people are urging you to fall to, to take your fill...as much as you can take, all you can handle..and STILL you want only to "Never Forget" the times when you were hungry...when you were kept from eating, when you were abused, when you were starved almost to death...and you can't see that the only person starving you now, the only one who has finally brought you to the brink of annihilation is YOU! And you lie to your children and say that the reason they are still hungry is because of what some Muslim did 600 years ago...instead of owning up to the fact that it is YOU who are holding them back because you wont allow themn either to eat their fill...because you want them to "Never Forget".
We are killing ourselves over here and in the rest of the "free" world because we will not leave our losses and pains and miseries behind...we've brought them with us...in Chicago they are behaving as if a Muslim somewhere is blocking them...in San Jose they tremble lest a Turk sues them...when all along it is just another Assyrian...one of "us" who is doing it.
You have any idea what a rich culture we COULD have...how fascinating our story is...ALL of it? I know. I've seen the reaction when I tell people...saw the look in the eyes of the white folk who looked over the photos of my other pieces...even saw them look at my Shakespeare characters with 'that look". A look that means "I understand, this is special".
But we don't FEEL special. We have been made to believe we are the despised of the earth...that we should find great COMFORT from being spat upon and stepped on and neglected. That is your church's gift to you...to be humiliated into Heaven, like 'your" Lord was. That's why you can't break free from the hunger and the starvation and the self-loathing, because you carry it INSIDE of you whjerever you go.
What stops you now from eating your fill...from feeding your children? Nothing...as not even 9/11 will stop Muslims and Arabs. But it stopped you...it scares you...as does everything else that could be positive for us...because we have been made to believe that we are UNWORTHY of anything more that that infamous King Sargon Block...or leaders such as Bejan and Nimrod and Golani.
In this country...surrounded by the greatest mechanisms ever invented for communicating with the world...we prefer to remain a secret. Why? because we are ashamed of ourselves...not proud. And so long as we have these kinds of leaders and this kind of church...we will continue to feel nothing but shame...though we WILL give it another name.
In our dictionary...shame is pride...and what should be our pride, we have turned into humiliation.
pss. I am NOT Muslim...I don't ever want to go live in Kabul...no one is paying me for thinking like this. If I was a Muslim or an Arab , I would say so proudly...with as much pride as I feel at being Assyrian. I love honorable people of goodwill...whoever and wherever they are. That was always the Assyrian way.
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