I fully admit that I am one of those black people who, when looking at the local news, prays that the latest crime being discussed does not have a black suspect. Yes, I am one of those people who cringes at the notion of yet another crime committed by a black person, thus adding one more reason law abiding black men like myself have to deal with the fears and suspicions of virtually everyone else.
In light of the horror that took place at the hands, allegedly, of a Muslim American at Fort Hood, I am sure that Muslims around the U.S. prayed that the suspects were not Muslims, and then likely cringed when it was revealed that Major Nidal Hasan was the named suspect. Over at Huffington Post, Jamal Dajani posted his reaction to all of the calls he was receiving from media types looking for a "Muslim perspective." Exhausting, I can imagine. Wajahat Ali, also at Huffington Post, stated the following: "Ultimately, this use -- or misuse -- of fear and rumors over Hasan's Islamic faith should be moot in light of the record of thousands of Muslim American soldiers who have served and made sacrifice...."
But in our post 9/11 world, that record that Ali references does not matter to a large swath of Americans. What they see are "Muzlims," and those are the people who want to kill all Americans and hate "our freedoms." We are a panic ridden society now, and it would not surprise me if calls for thorough checks and examinations, and even beginning thoughts of the internment of Muslim American communities didn't get louder. Yet, we have to make sure that we maintain who we are as Americans with an open society, while insisting on providing top tier national security protection to all of us, so that we do not have to experience tragedies like this one again.
The question is how will we do it?