The first thing we can do to reduce violent terror in America is to control our cultural bigotry. We must stop blaming Muslims for acts they have absolutely nothing to do with. We are making enemies out of fellow Americans who otherwise would love to celebrate our mutual patriotism. Islamophobia is just as detrimental to our national security as racism.
I speak on this as a black man, whose own sense of patriotism was constantly tested against the hateful racism of white Americans who tried to treat me like as a hostile. Profiling me as a worthless nigger doesn’t do much to inspire any sense of patriotism to the flag they wave. The more they waved it as they marginalized my existence, the more I hated them back and their flag. However, not all white people treated me that way. I am smart enough and wise enough, to know better.
Angry white people may have the Constitutional right to tell me to go back to Africa (even though I’m from Japan), but they do not have the Constitutional authority. It’s my duty as a fellow citizen to stand up to threats like those, both foreign and domestic.
Muslim Americans are no different. They may be Muslim, but they are also our fellow Americans. Those that hate us, don’t hate us for no reason. They hate us for how we treat them, objectify and antagonize them.
If we want to reduce terror, if we want to cap the Islamic State, the Taliban, Boko Haram and Al Queda at their knees, more guns aren’t the solution. Exercising diplomatic citizenship is. Treat every American as a fellow Americans. Give them reasons to love America the way WE love America. We should embrace them as friends instead of enemies. If we can do that, the propaganda of radical extremists will fall upon deaf ears. We must inspire patriotism among ALL US citizens, and we must foster better alliances with our compatriots overseas. Right now, we are doing more to create terrorism than we are to eradicate it.