The Two Way Street

Politics for a New Generation



The cover of the examiner from 9/12/01

Nine year ago today, the cover of the San Francisco examiner read in bold, capital letters BASTARDS! At the time, this seemed reasonable. People read the enormous letters as a collective speech bubble above the head of America. They were depressed, they were terrified, but most of all, they were furious. They were furious with Al Qaeda, furious with the middle east, furious with the TSA, furious with the CIA, and furious with God for letting something so tragic and horrific happen to America. As the smoke and debris from the burning symbol of American capitalism smothered the financial district, and anger previously unknown to the nation boiled under its skin. The subtitle, beneath the giant bold letters, beneath the plumes of fire and ash exploding from the building, nestled between thick black lines, sat the words they should have read, the words that, nine years later, commonly sit upon our tongues, the words, that at the time seemed insignificant but now stand as tall as the towers once did: “A Changed America”.

Today a common reference point for our lives, 9/11, stands as the day we lost our sense of security. It was the first attack to the homeland, aside from the distant Pearl Harbor since the war of 1812, since America became a world of power, since America transcended the status of “nation” to become an idea. And we, cowering in the proverbial corner, realized that this idea was being attacked, and, brought America to her feet to stand up for our ideals and way of life. But, rather than seeing the smaller red letters at the bottom of the page, we stood up, the big, black, bold anger running through us, and with the enormous insults and anger running through our bleeding red, white, and blue veins, we lost sight of what the terrorists were attacking: freedom.

9/11 is often referenced as the end to privacy. From the Patriot Act, to taking off your shoes, sweaters, bags, hats, and jewelry at the airport, to various 4th amendment violations for those accused of terror, we’ve allowed our privacy to be invaded to epic degrees to avoid a reprise of that horrific day. But beyond our privacy, beyond abandonment of 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendment rights for those suspected of terror, lies another, perhaps worse change that 9/11 has brought us: many of us live in fear and hatred of Muslims. While the cover of the examiner may have been referring to the select few radicals who planned and executed the hijackings, Far too many Americans took this to mean the entire religion, took the radical fringe to be the entire religion, and their anger at the injustice festered into a deep-seated hatred, scape-goating the entire Islamic religion for the actions of a few deeply disturbed, brainwashed lunatics, allowing them to transcend the entire religion’s history of peace, love, and tolerance. Among the graves of the many unfortunate victims from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash of heroes in Pennsylvania lays, with no headstone to mark it, with its loved ones in denial of its death, lays America’s tolerance.


Author: Julia

I'm a seventeen-year-old college student at Simon's Rock of Bard in Western Mass. I'm a writer and an aspiring journalist.

7 thoughts on “BASTARDS?

  1. Abbas–
    I apologize for the typos, and am sincerely sorry if I offended you. I will argue, however that my spelling and grammar errors were made on the basis of ignorance, not intolerance. You will notice that I didn’t capitalize any religions in my article; I overlooked the capitalizations, and as for the spelling of Al Qaeda, that was a dumb mistake on my part. I have nothing but respect for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (and Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Shinto, Confucianism, Taoism, etc.) I’m terribly sorry for my mistakes (you will notice that I’ve corrected them), and use this as an example of why Americans need to learn more about world religions such as Islam. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. You preach about tolerance, and yet you don’t even take the time to look up how to spell “Al Qaida,” as you put it, or capitalize Islamic. I have one word for you: سراء

    It means hypocrite.

    Sincerely offended,

  3. Mike, I wasn’t aware that being a hippie or a socialist was a bad thing. Socialism is vilified; it’s actually a common part of our day to day lives, which includes city water/sewage treatment (aka anything that’s not a well and a septic tank), public schooling, the US Postal service, the testing of food for bacteria and toxins, and and the maintenance of roads and highways. If you can honestly tell me that you would be willing to give up all of that for the ideal of downsizing government to the point of nonexistence, then great. But otherwise, socialism really isn’t an insult. For more information on the actual meaning of the term, I’d suggest reading the wikipedia article on the subject, or opening a dictionary. Here are 2 convenient links to give you a better idea.

  4. your website should have a javascipt statement of:

    alert(“Warning Socialistic and Hippy Views”)

  5. Dear Lord you have a big brain for a 15 year old. You never cease to amaze me. And you have a blog about the behind-the-scenes of your blog? What are you, a Sorkin show? 😉

    I’m in awe of you. I am linking your icon on the right side here to my sidebar.

    I left Facebook–my reasons are in my blog post, “Why I Broke Up With Facebook.” I also
    began writing about my adventures in screenwriting.

    I just wanted to check in and make sure you’re having normal teenager fun, not just
    blogging your brains out.

    😉 teasing.

  6. Jewish Americans are in fact a group who face a long-stanging prejudice, and while that has never gone away, the media has, for a while ignored it. We saw the guy a few years ago who shot a guard at the holocaust museum in a blatant show of Anti-Semetism and intolerance. I apologize if you feel I neglected Jewish Americans; I commonly use the misunderstanding of and anger against Islam as a gateway into the overall narrow-mindedness of our society and culture. I’m glad you overall liked it, and it’s nice to see some respectful disagreement around here instead of name-calling and such nonsense. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  7. I respectfully disagree with your conclusion that Americans are furious with Muslims they way you characterize them.

    The Jews still suffer some 65% of the crimes against ethnic groups while the same stats showed Muslims little more than 4%.

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that those stats are correct. People seem to genuflect these days when someone advocating a position support it with the words “studies show.”

    For more information to help you understand where I am coming from, check your recent NaNoWriMo site and its links to my bio.

    By the way, I think your blog here is outstanding in spite of my disagreement here.

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