I can see why so many people were turned off by the over-the-top "celebrations" surrounding the ten year anniversary of September 11. The American media can turn any event into an unseemly circus (see "Wedding, Royal", and "Diana, Princess") in an effort to chase ratings.
But the date seems to have turned into something much more sinister in the United States. At The Atlantic James Fallows writes about a series of false alarm arrests on Sunday. People spent too long in the bathroom, and were deemed suspicious in more than once instance. But by far the most alarming is the young woman who, along with two other passengers, was arrested simply because, well, she was dark skinned—the woman is Arab/Jewish and the men, unknown to her and to each other, were Indian.
Her account of what happened—including the tweets she initially sent, before she was separated from her phone and spreadeagled against a car—is appalling. It begins:
Silly me. I thought flying on 9/11 would be easy. I figured most people would choose not to fly that day so lines would be short, planes would be lightly filled and though security might be ratcheted up, we’d all feel safer knowing we had come a long way since that dreadful Tuesday morning 10 years ago.
But then armed officers stormed my plane, threw me in handcuffs and locked me up.
Read the rest. You'll be outraged.
This shouldn't happen in America. This shouldn't happen in a free country. This shouldn't happen, ever, because fear of terrorists has made us react in terror, and with terroristic methods, toward perfectly innocent people who did absolutely nothing wrong.
When the young woman, Shoshana Hebshi, was released, the FBI agent told her,
“It’s 9/11 and people are seeing ghosts. They are seeing things that aren’t there.” He said they had to act on a report of suspicious behavior, and this is what the reaction looks like.
He said there had been 50 other similar incidents across the country that day.
Someone on that plane thought he was doing the right thing. He probably imagined himself a hero, stopping three suspicious people from inflicting harm on his fellow Americans.
He was not a hero. He was an idiot. And there were plenty just like him on 9/11—at least 50 idiots flying that day, who thought they were heros because they noticed the color of someone's skin.
Is this what 9/11 means now? Is this the way America and Americans choose to remember the horrible day when 3000 people died, tragically, at the hands of a few terrorists?
I hope not. Otherwise, not only will the terrorists have won, but the idiots will have won too. The date will be remembered in infamy indeed.
Better the date be forgotten altogether.