I have this friend who grew up with me in Jamaica (since I didn't get his permission to write about him, we will call him Fred) who happens to be what is known in Jamaica as a Coolie mon. Fred is proud of his Jamaican Indian heritage, and came to this country, settled in South Florida, and married a wonderful American woman. Life was good for my man Fred until that beautiful Tuesday morning in 2001, when a bunch of crazy ass Saudis dying to get to some virgins in paradise, flew some big ass planes into a bunch of buildings loaded with people.
Now life for Fred has changed. Oh, did I mention that my friend Fred with his Coolie looks, could easily be mistaken for a Middle Easterner? Now flying down to Jamaica (where he still maintains a business) is always torture for him. He calls me constantly about the serious profiling he gets in the airport, and the looks he gets from his fellow passengers. I tease him all the time, but that shit is not funny. He understands it, and he really can't blame the people on the plane. He just wishes they wouldn't stare so much sometimes. Still, they are just a bunch of folks on a plane. They have no real power over him or his freedom. Now the government; well, that's another story.
Fred is afraid that he will be walking down the street one day with his family, and some "Men in Black" looking mother f*****s will just approach him, snatch him up, and ship him off to some remote military jail somewhere. When he relates those fears, I don't dare laugh or make fun of him, because I know in my heart that the possibility of his nightmare becoming a reality is very very real.
See, I know the story of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri , [the man pictured above]and Jose Padilla, and some of these other "enemy combatants" at places like Guantanamo. Take Marri for instance; seems this poor schmuck has just spent the last four years of his life cooling his heals in a Naval brig in South Carolina. Oh, did I mention that he is an American citizen? And did I mention that he has not even been given the opportunity to defend himself against the charges that were brought against him, or to get a lawyer? Four years! "The President has made it clear that he intends to use all available tools at his disposal to protect Americans from al-Qaeda attack." Even circumvent the Constitution frat boy? Like what the f**k? I mean when those planes flew into those buildings on 911 did our constitution burn along with them? Did we lose our constitutional rights along with our fellow citizens that day? Because if we did, well then those crazy mother f*****s who happen to look like my friend Fred will have won. "The President cannot eliminate constitutional protections with the stroke of a pen." That was Judge Diane Gribbon Motz speaking for the majority when the fifth circuit court of appeals in Richmond Virginia shot down the frat boy's latest attempt to take away our rights. "I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people" Wrong again frat boy. Your most solemn duty as my leader is to uphold that little document called the Constitution. If you can't do that, al-Qaeda won't have to take us out, because we will have already destroyed our republic from within all by ourselves.
As for my friend Fred, he will just have to endure the stares and the intense profiling just a little longer. At least I hope that's all he will have to endure. I just hope I won't try to call him one day and his wife tells me that he left one day and never came home.