The Muslim thing the US has going is truly bizarre.
Only now I understand what happened to me and my ex-wife when we were hanging out at a Target in Oregon with one of her Muslim friends. We were going to buy her a Monopoly board game as a gift, since she always wanted to have one and to play it.
A white lady then approached me and asked, “excuse me, you guys are not really friends, are you?” And she stared at me, waiting for an answer, as if the question she asked really made sense. And I was completely stumped, at a total loss. Whatever context there was supposed to be there was completely absent from me. I did not know what to say. After a few moments, she “pfft”-waved at me and left, and I was wondering what the hell just happened.
Since I’m creative, my first model of the situation was that the lady was accusing us of being a polyamorous triad. That is, we were not “really friends,” but lovers. That was outlandish, but it was the only possible, valid explanation in my mind. There had to be an explanation other than the person operating completely outside of reality. I had read about and heard of overt, explicit racism, but I had never seen it first-hand, and I could simply not conceive of it, and not for a long time after that incident.
I have always lived in a bubble, assuming humanity had conquered the bulk of stupidity, or that at least the most outrageous of it was relegated to the ass ends of the world. Not something I would find a total stranger at a Target in Oregon trying to use as a valid basis to casually judge me and to shun me in public.
I could simply not conceive of the people of the US, the country that was supposed to be the shining beacon of intelligence in this world, falling for such an obviously false notion that Muslim people were automatically evil, bad people, etc. What a fucking idiotic heuristic. And of course, I also thought black-white racism had been solved in the US since MLK happened. Only much later someone told me there are no black people in Oregon because the KKK finds them and murders them. To this day. The same white hooded people we see in “historical racism” books and film are still active, despite USian propaganda that insinuated to the rest of the world that all that was a thing of the past.
In 2001, in the US, an entire new racism was manufactured by television spectacle, by corporate-state sponsored cultural institutions. That is incredible, extraordinary. We have all witnessed the birth of an entire category of racism — a collective mental disease — in our lifetimes.
Now I can better describe what happened. Since 2001, that woman at the Target store has been fed a propaganda universe where Muslims want to kill Americans and were somehow The Enemy; a treacherous, “lesser” people that have infiltrated her country — fooling all these weak, stupid “liberals” — looking all clean, polite and cute and stuff, but are actually scheming little demons that, in the desolate desert they came from, are fundamentalists who blow up Jews and mutilate little girls because they’re evil crazy. And so it was unconceivable for her that White People (I look European, I guess, even though I’m Brazilian) would casually mix up and actually befriend Muslim people. It is racism, or better, it is whatever “black-white” racism also is. There is an overall pattern, a superclass, a common deconstruction (that bypasses idiot objections like “Islam is not a race”)…
…and I think that’s what your are saying in your article, more or less? Thanks for writing it; it was really brave.