Straight out of the Book of Predictability (it’s the little-read 8th book after the Deathly Hallows), Americans the country over are up in arms about the proposed mosque to be built on Ground Zero.
It’s got people sending in angry emails and comments to places like Huffington Post, Slate.com and the Washington Post. Why even as I was perusing the khakis section on Gap.com, there was a comment in the customer review section (“these khakis fit as tight as my wedding ring; oh and F-CK THAT MOSQUE @ GRD ZERO WE CANT LET THEM WIN NEVER FORGET. Oh, and I suggest getting ur pants at Banana Republic”).
So, it’s everywhere.
While it’s not important to sweat the details, let’s sweat the details for a minute, ok?
For starters, the mosque isn’t even at Ground Zero—it’s about 2 blocks and around a corner, from the World Trade Center site, thereby making it about as “on Ground Zero” as I was “all up on Erykah Badu” when I was sitting in the 32 rows from her at her concert a couple months ago.
Secondly, the site isn’t fully a mosque, it’s a community/cultural center (something that clearly many of us could use a bit more of) with a prayer room set aside. Again, important—it’s not fair calling this place a “mosque” just because it has Muslim-related activities happening in there. I mean the local Catholic church has the occasional handjobs but we don’t call it a “whorehouse” just because they happen to collect offerings before they do it.
So if we’re going to get mad about landmarks in our good cities, I fear we’re a little behind the times.
Everywhere you look, we’ve erected statues, bridges, tunnels and holidays to tons of white guys who’s answer to ‘domestication’ was repeatedly Smurfing-up the lives of brown people every time they came across them. We’re talking generations, centuries. For some perspective, take a look at the long-running White Dudes Are F-cking This Place Up Show:
- White Dudes Are F-cking This Place Up Show(like, forever)
- Meet the Press (62 years)
- The Today Show (58 years)
- Black Eyed Peas (only about 15 years, but fuck, doesn’t it FEEL a lot longer?)
….but yet they get all the acclaim and prestige for doing things like “writing the country’s rules on a bar napkin” (my friends and I have had about a zillion great ideas about how to fix things: education, poverty, the Eagles, Seal’s face but just didn’t have the powdered wigs and wooden teeth to get the job done).
Anyway, these guys were slave owners—slave owners!—and we celebrate them like Superbowl champs.
I mean there’s Washington and his famous “wooden teeth”—which, historians have later discovered weren’t wooden teeth at all, but actually the teeth of his slaves fitted into his mouth.
First of all, I now understand that any white person that I see on TV kissing a dog, monkey or old person on the mouth is a clear descendant of Washington. Secondly, how the f-ck do you wear other people’s teeth? And how much must it suck if you’re the house slave serving old gum-bucks Washington some hot grits, fried chicken and okra, and have to watch him eat that food with your own teeth?
“Sweet Freedom of Speech, Erasmus! This chicken is to whip for*– I would say ‘I must have the recipe!’, but I have you! Why, if I had the intention of freeing you, which I will not because I need you and your family’s strong backs and teeth, I would suggest you start your own business. What I do need is for my good friend the Colonel to try some of this though. Colonel Sanders—come have some of fried chicken I made! It will change your life! I must say Erasmus, this ‘America’ idea is coming up roses!”
I mean, even Benny Franklin, beloved real-life Reed Richards of early America, had a couple of slaves too—oh you think it was Franklin holding that kite?
“Ben Franklin Test Slave #99; please go outside and hold this metal key on a kite string up to the stormy skies. I have a theory that the lightning of the attracted to that key will either hold great power or kill you. As I am a scientist and inventor I am fine with either outcome. I am now off to have my face sketched. We’re going to put it on money and use it here. I must say Ben Franklin Test Slave #99—this America idea is coming up roses!”
Fortunately, BF Test Slave #99 would later get revenge as Candy Man.
But yet, we don’t make a fuss about the blood, hypocrisy and Negro teeth that these guys started as a virtual legacy here in the United States; I mean ask the Native American population how it feels to have their cumulative land mass reduced to somewhere between Gilligan’s Island and Lost.
So start burning that money. Take down some tunnels. Cut the cables on the GW Bridge. Flip over that Lincoln Towncar.
We can’t let them win, right?
*this was before the assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, MLK and hip-hop, when the phrase was appropriately changed to “…to die for”.