(5 September 2014)
When are white moderates going to stop white extremists from threatening to behead people?
I’m starting to think there are no white moderates. They’re all violent extremists who want to destroy the world.
It must be their religion.
As stories about the brutal, heinous terrorist group ISIS fill the media, with particular emphasis on its barbaric inclination to decapitate people it doesn’t like, Islamophobia and more general racism directed against people from Muslim-majority cultures (or those who “appear” to be from Muslim-majority cultures) are spreading like wildfire. Anti-Muslim bigots are seizing the opportunity to openly espouse equally barbaric ideas, calling for genocide of entire peoples. This extremism is nary reported; it doesn’t fit in the Western media’s Islamophobic and racist narrative about Arabs, Iranians, and Desis.
A prime example of this despicable behavior right here at home, in the US, nevertheless, reared its ugly head just yesterday, 4 September 2014, when a racist white man chased a leading Arab-American civil rights activist down the street, shouting racist and Islamophobic slurs and threatening to behead her.
The civil rights activist was executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, Linda Sarsour, along with Kayla Santosuosso, the organization’s deputy director. They were in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in Brooklyn. Sarsour said she was leaving her office when she noticed a man leaning against the building. He had been standing out there, waiting. She reports “the guy just gets up with tons of energy and starts chasing us down the street. He’s like, ‘I’m going to cut your head off, so I want to see how your people feel about that.'”
“Your people.” Always a sign that you’re dealing with a racist. For the racists who insist
Islamophobia “isn’t racist,” keep in mind that Sarsour recalls that the bigot also called her “Arab b-tch.”
The racist didn’t just threaten them either; he “also lobbed a heavy city trash can at” them.
The two managed to escape by hiding in a nearby business. “I called like any person who called 911 would,” Sarsour explained. Police were nowhere to be seen. After thirty minutes, there were still no cops. Sarsour went looking for police, and, the Huff Post reports, “came upon two officers in a nearby bagel store who said they had been dispatched to her address.”
Yes, you read that correctly. This is not satire; this is not a stereotypical cartoon about police. The cops who were dispatched to “help” the Arab-Americans being attacked by a violent racist went to go sit in a bagel shop, and the victims had to come to them to ask for help.
Yet wait, there’s more. The Huff Post reports that “Sarsour said the pair [of cops] gave her a ‘lecture’ about what she should have said to the dispatcher. The officers finally came to talk to Santosuosso at the association office after waiting 17 more minutes.”
So, a brief summary here: Two leading civil rights activists were running for their lives down the street of Brooklyn as a violent racist white man threatened to behead them, yelled racist slurs at them, and even threw a garbage can at them. Meanwhile, the useless, racist cops these innocent Americans called, who are supposed to “protect” them, were sitting in a bagel shop. After patronizingly lecturing the victim, they finally managed to show up, after 45 minutes.
Perhaps the worst irony of all is that, at the time of the hate crime, Sarsour was on her way to a Manhattan forum on police relations with the NYC Arab community.
This hate crime is certainly not alone. The Huff Post notes that “Bay Ridge, where the association is located, has been roiled by a spate of anti-Muslim outbursts this summer,” linking to a 22 July 2014 New York Times article “Eyes on Gaza, Tensions Flare in Brooklyn,” detailing harassment Muslim residents of Brooklyn endured during Israel’s July-August 2014 genocidal slaughter in Gaza, also known as “Operation ‘Protective’ Edge.”
The Huffington Post also noted the irony that a “few years ago [and still today], the New York City Police Department was eager to infiltrate Brooklyn’s Arab American Association. Leaked department files even proved that the police sought to place an informant on the board of the community group, which has been active in opposing NYPD surveillance.”
That is because police don’t exist to protect average citizens; they exist to protect the interests of wealthy, powerful, and privileged citizens and of the State. They will waste gobs and gobs of tax dollars on illegally and unconstitutionally spying on hapless, innocent Muslim Americans, claiming they are acting in the interest of the “national security” of the “American people” (by “American people” they mean white Americans), but don’t do a thing when those Muslim Americans themselves are actually in clear and present danger.
On social media and in internet comments, White extremists threaten to behead Muslims all the time. And in multiple Western countries, not just the United States of Amerikkka.
Fortunately, however, this doesn’t always translate into real life. When it does, it’s beyond abhorrent.
Fight racism. Stand in solidarity with our oppressed Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings.