Where is the line between patriotism and hatred, between pride and cockiness? I am, right now, in fear that the American flag, the symbol of freedom, equality, and liberty, will come to represent white supremacy against Arab-Americans the way that in some contexts the confederate flag represents white supremacy against African-Americans. I fear that shots will be fired at mosques under the American flag and out of what feels like patriotism to the guilty party. Wait, shots HAVE been fired at mosques in the city where I work. I don't know if they were under the flag, if it was used as an anti-Arab-American symbol in that case, but I am truly afraid of it. My family and I have a flag. We have raised it every day since the terrorism. But every day I worry that it will make us look racist. I'm afraid that not everyone living in this One Nation remembers the last line of the Pledge of Allegiance: "With Liberty and Justice for ALL." Not some. Not white people. Not Christians. ALL. And I'm afraid that people will forget that, in the term "Arab-American", "Arab" is the adjective, and AMERICAN is the noun. I weep for all the victims of this tragedy - those aboard the hijacked aircraft, those inside the Trade Center and Pentagon, those killed in rescue efforts - and for those who are now afraid to step outside their door because they wear traditional clothing and are afraid of being targeted, and for the mosques that cannot open their doors for fear of their congregations' safety.


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