In Trump’s America, where knowing nothing about the world beyond the tip of your own nose is a compliment rather than an insult, I think about how we got here. While wallowing in the willful stupidity of this era’s heralds and princes, I often flashback to funny moments where my family exhibited the same confident ignorance that’s become an American cliche. For example, one time my brother asked me why I was wearing Arabic lettering around my neck. His voice disapproving, his toe tapping, waiting for an answer…. You know those slippery slope universities just pump out liberal-indoctrinated terrorist sympathizers. I guess he wanted to know why I supported ISIS?
It was an Om necklace I wear during yoga practice…. one of the most innocuous and well recognized symbols anywhere in the world (and Sanskrit to boot). The greatest part of this story? Years later, he works for the bureau. It’s a bumbling American sitcom in action. These are the people who can muster the nuance to discern carolina from memphis bbq but will insist that Sikhs blow up airplanes and casually suggest that African nations get over that whole colonization followed by power vacuum inter-tribal warfare thing and get those economies pumping in order to be respected on the global stage.