Thursday, July 10, 2008


"Come with me," ordered a serious-looking uniformed man in a deep threatening voice.
"Why?" replied John.
"You know what you did. Trying to sneak a weapon onto a plane. Come with me." The uniformed man grabbed John's wrists.
"But I'm not an A-rab! I'm not a Moslem!" John screamed. "What weapon? What the hell are you talking about?"
"This weapon."
"That's not a weapon; it's my cross. It's a necklace. I'm a Christian!" John begged, looking down at the over-sized jewelry still dangling from his neck.

John was thrown into a small dark room. Another uniformed man entered and glared at John with disgust. The two uniformed men whispered to each other. The second man asked indignantly, "Think you can sneak a weapon onto a plane, eh? Think we would let you hijack a plane, you bastard?"
"There must be some mistake," John replied calm and confident.
"Oh, there's no mistake," said the second man as he ripped the cross off of John's neck and slammed it down onto the musty wooden table.
"Shut up!" yelled the first uniformed man as he slapped John across the face. John struggled to respond, but his arms were cuffed behind the back of his chair. For the first time in his life, John's ego was wounded. He was seething.

The two men took turns berating John, mocking his necklace, and spouting unthinkable threats that forced John into a state of fearful humility. Another uniformed man came into the room in a rush of excitement. "We've attacked! Our military is bombing the hell out of New York on our way to Washington. This is so great. Finally, we'll end their tyranny and save the American people."
The second uniformed man smirked. Nonchalantly, he remarked, "Eh, who cares about them. I say nuke'em all and let Jesus sort'em out." The three uniformed men laughed hysterically and high-fives went around the room. John felt helplessly invisible. He tried to convince himself that he was in the grasp of a terrible nightmare. After all, he was American. He was Christian. He was White. How could this be happening to someone like him?

The uniformed man who brought the news left the room and the two original uniformed men demanded that John reveal his plans for hijacking the plane. John claimed ignorance. "You are an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. Talk and you could live." John stuck to his story. "I can't tell you about a plan that never existed. This is ridiculous!" The first uniformed man grabbed the back of John's chair and tilted it until John was facing the ceiling. Then the second uniformed man poured bucket after bucket of water down John's nose and throat, insisting that John tell him what he wanted to hear.

When John woke up he was locked in a tiny dank jail cell. A guard appeared. John became excited. "Excuse me, sir. There's been a huge misunderstanding. I don't belong here..."
The guard ignored John's words, "Do you want your Bible?"
"Oh, yes. Please. But..."
"Well, here it is!" The guard smacked John in the face with the Bible. Both John and the hard-cover holy book fell to the cold concrete floor. "Pray to your shitty little god and we'll see if he helps you." The guard laughed boisterously as he turned to walk out of the cell.

John realized that his family had no idea where he was. He had no way of contacting them. Or anybody for that matter. He spent his days reading the Bible, sitting in a pot of rage about to boil over. 'These people want to save us? They are the barbarians. They have no regard for human life,' John thought.

Five years later, John is still sitting in his cell.

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