The facade of freedom

On election night, I fell asleep early. I was certain my candidate was not going to win. I knew that the world was not ready to address real national security threats like climate change and perpetual warfare. Yup, I voted for Jill Stein, because other than the Green Party, no one was offering any real change. Not sexy enough for the mainstream media (MSM). Instead, MSM became the narrator of a domestic war between white males and everyone else. This country has a history of declaring war over concepts such as drugs, terrorism, crime, poverty and communism. For clarification, wars occur between nations, it’s not meant to be a rhetorical metaphor.

Waking up in the middle of night with the television still on, I was less amazed that the Green Party lost, but in awe that the MSM was rapidly losing the war it created. Hilary Clinton was miles away from becoming the next president of the United States.

Donald Trump would soon become the 45th president of the United States. Though I vomited in my mouth a little when I heard, my disgust quickly dissipated. My inherent Palestinian optimism kicked in (it’s the only way I can wrap my head around the tenacity and perseverance of the Palestinian spirit).

I started flipping through the channels to watch the reaction of the MSM getting smacked in the face for distorting the truth-America did not drink the Kool-Aid. Then it came; we are “a nation of bigots,” and “a nation of xenophobes”, and “a nation of homophobes.” “What would the rest of the world say?”

The rest of the world is saying that the US is an ethnocentric arrogant nation, just like they have for decades. We’ve always been a nation of bigots and homophobes. We have homophobic bigots, we have black xenophobes, and Muslim bigots, and black misogynists, and Christian anti-Semites, (you name it we’ve got it!). From the MSM reaction, you would think that we all treated each other equally before all this.


Lets not pretend that we are some progressive nation that sprinkles democratic pixy dust on other nations for the sake of human rights, equality, and justice for all. Progression does not equate to wars in the name of peace, democracy in the name of force, and death in the name of life. Progression does not equate to FIVE simultaneous wars, drones destroying foreign cities indiscriminately, and it certainly does not equate to racial profiling and excessive force in our own towns and cities.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Trump is not the only person in the world, and we are not the only nation in the world, to call for the elimination of Islam. He just said it loud enough for everyone to hear. Conservative Americans were not the only people that stood by and agreed with him. Muslims have been persecuted all over the world for decades! He did not create sexism. We still argue over Roe v. Wade, which was settled by the Supreme Court over 40 years ago! There is still a pay disparity between men and women. Our prisons have been disproportionately filled with Black and Latino men for decades! Illegal migration is a crime! He’s not wrong when he calls illegal migrants criminals! Do you honestly believe that legalizing gay marriage has ended the brutality and discrimination against homosexuals? That’s just delusional.

It’s delusional to think that a country built on stealing the land of peaceful natives in order to colonize and enslave in the name of industrialization, without any adequate compensation or repercussion, can be anything more than a façade of freedom… and no I’m not talking about Israel… though it does sound eerily familiar.


About Shirin Zarqa-Lederman 16 Articles
Shirin Zarqa-Lederman was raised in NJ by her Palestinian Muslim parents and later married her Russian Jewish husband. Together they have five interethnic children who experience the traditional customs of both cultures with their extended interethnic relatives. Shirin is also Licensed Professional Counselor, focusing on Child & Adolescent Psychology, and has written her own children’s picture book series, "The Trotters of Tweeville," which is focused on demonstrating kindness to children. The series is available wherever books are sold.

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