TANWEER MALLICK: I think. I guess, as I grow older, I think more. Now some have advised me not to, suggesting that my brain wasn’t so designed, and could suffer overload. I think anyway. Like most normal people, trying to maintain the shreds of sanity left in the world we live in, I do not try to understand what DJT (Donal J. Trump) does and why he does so. But I have tried to analyze the mindset behind DJT and the Trumpettes’ rallying cry of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). Individuals smarter than me have told me that it was a disguised (and thankfully futile) effort to make America “white” again (MAWA). And most of us (if not all) agree that it is WRONG. And this was countered with chants of “No Ban, No Wall” – symbolizing that this great land was open to all, not just those who had fled from Europe, a few hundred years ago, and their descendants: to all!. What a concept – a land for all. And that got me thinking about the Land of the Pure and my hometown Karachi and their population. Using the same argument, is it not wrong for the so called “sons-of-the-soil” to abhor the settlement of migrants from India, East Pakistan, Afghanistan – or wherever in God’s earth they came from. Or for the “high-and-mighty” Karachiites to look down upon people having come from other parts of the country. Just thinking,
Whats happening in the US?
The unfortunate fact is that DJT has done a number to racial relationship in the US. However, I want to point out that, the way I look at it, the tendency to “distance” oneself from another (who is not like him) is a base human trait. It is the degree of this mindset that exists in one that really defines who we are. On one hand, with exposure and/or education, we learn to “accept” diversity- that makes us “good” citizens; if we are unable to rein in the base sentiments, we are bigots, racists, etc. And unfortunately, there have been plenty of these (not just in the US, but all over the world – probably more so in the subcontinent, including our own Land of the Pure?). But in most situations in the US, the negativity has been hidden, or camouflaged at best. What DJT has done is, by condoning it from the most powerful position in the country (and the world), “legitimized” bigotry, brought it into the open – and made it a “free-for-all” for closet bigots, and “acceptable” in the minds of many who could be classified as “borderline racists”, and even some “neutral” ones. But, being the glass half-full kinda guy, I believe that the worst of the venom is out – it gets better from now on.
The writer is a Pakistani-American multilingual professional with flair for speaking and writing –living in Naperville (Chicago), Illinois