Reflections on the U.S. Capitol mob siege by Samaa Khullar


Do not say “this isn’t America."

This is absolutely America. This is a culmination of the rhetoric Americans have said in their homes and on their streets for centuries. America was founded on the blood of Black and Indigenous people.

You watered your grasses with it.

Don't compare America to Iran and Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, Palestine and Yemen.

Your leaders sought to destroy each and every one. Leave our homelands out of your mess.

In 2001, my people became the enemy.

It didn’t matter that we were your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. We were attacked simply for looking non-white. Whether you were Arab or Muslim made no difference. We were suddenly responsible for the deaths of 200+ people, our younger generation would be forced to shoulder the blame, apologize as soon as they learned to speak.

Hate crimes against muslims by year:

—This wasn’t enough.

They had to make sure the entire region was destabilized. Launching drone attacks on kindergartens. Proxy war upon proxy war. Dislocating entire populations of people. All in the name of the fight against terror.

And as we, those children and grandchildren, grew up, we were expected to show our patriotism for a country that has never wanted us here.

We were taught to stand for the anthem. To put our hands on our hearts during the pledge of allegiance. To honor the very same troops that killed our people.

When you compare the U.S. to the Middle East, you ignore the role America played in destabilizing the region.

You dismiss America’s gross, racist history. You pretend white supremacy and white nationalism don’t exist. You turn your eye to the hate crimes against my people. And you act as though this wasn’t Trump’s agenda all along.

You forget about all the silent benefactors of racism: the people who are comfortable in their silence.

They are not the ones wearing MAGA hats.

They are the apolitical classmates. The people who pretend to be allies until it comes to calling out their own families.

The friend who claims they “haven’t caught up on the news.” The person who posted a black square last summer, and then lifted their feet up in exhaustion for their “activism.”

If you are white, you need to understand something: what happened in The Capitol on Jan 6th isn’t a stain on America’s history; there was nothing clean about it from the start. The willful ignorance stops now.

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