On September 11, many of us paused to remember the lives lost and the heroes that rose to the occasion. Sometime around the first of September, I always send a package to Operation Gratitude to thank all those still in harm’s way, 18 years later.
Others, like Representative Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.), want us to forget the 2,996 lives lost and remember only how terribly inconvenient it was for them.
Of course Omar is lying. No sooner had the first plane hit the North Tower than the media and politicians were pumping out hysteria about reprisals aimed at Muslims. President Bush pleaded with his people to not attack Muslim Americans. Never was there a better demonstration of Bush’s complete lack of understanding of the country he was leading.
I know my fellow Americans. I know once you get away from the Beltway, they are still a nation that values truth and justice. I knew my fellow Americans were not going to attack innocent Muslims. My biggest fear was that we weren’t going to attack the guilty ones.
I knew those reprisals were not going to happen even before I discovered the terror attacks had made my neighborhood the safest street in America. Starting within hours of the disintegration of the Twin Towers, a police car would slowly drive up and around our street.
Why? Because we had a mosque directly across the street from us. A lot of people were afraid of reprisals against Muslims, including the Santa Clara Police Department.
To protect the mosque we got regular police patrols by car and foot. Until about a year after 9/11 the patrols were daily. Police officers walked the blocks around the mosque, passing by our house while my son drove toy trucks through his sandbox. I had never seen a beat cop before. I thought they only existed in black and white movies about the Dead End Kids.
My son was 2. The strange phenomenon of the beat cop, which his parents had never known, became a natural part of his life. Like many small boys he was fascinated by police cars and policemen. When police officers went by on foot patrols he walked down to the sidewalk shook their hands and showed them his toy police cars. When officers drove by he would wave. The police were driving so slowly they had time to wave back.
I chatted with the officers. Nothing serious. No religion, no politics. Just nice day, yep my son loves cars with sirens, small talk. I didn’t have to ask why they were there, everyone knew. Contrary to Omar’s lies, the citizens of the country quietly, and without thought of expense, stepped up to protect Muslim Americans. Of course I never mentioned to the officers that none of this was necessary.
Americans weren’t going to be attacking Muslims. We were going to be doing everything in our power to protect them from the mere idea of an attack. Nothing ever happened. Long after the police patrols vanished, nothing untoward happened at that mosque. No one shouted at Muslims as they went by for services. No one desecrated the building. No one vandalized cars. There was not a single insult or even a dirty look, let alone violent moment at that mosque in Santa Clara.
Twenty miles away from Santa Clara, hate crimes weren’t imagined; they were real. A synagogue and a Jewish community center in San Francisco were vandalized. Thus was set in motion the constant refrain since 9/11. We are more worried about imaginary hate crimes than we are about real ones. We are more afraid of hurting the feelings of Muslims than of dying in a terror attack. Our political correctness will be the death of us.