You remember that section of The Corrections about the brother? “The More He Thought About It, The Angrier He Got”? I know, mediocre novel. But that’s the way I’ve been feeling about the Ft. Hood shooting. Here’s a portion of a statement from an Arab-American military organization:
In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, it is more important than ever that we not make the same scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes that were evident in the aftermath of previous tragedies. The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military urges the media, government officials and all of our fellow Americans to recognize that the actions of Hasan are those of a deranged gunman, and are in no way representative of the wider Arab American or American Muslim community.
A-fucking-men. While we’re at it, it disgusts me as well that the cable nets have jumped all over the “explanation” that Hasan, who has never been to war, was somehow driven to pick up those guns by combat stress. This has gotten as baroque as the theory of retrograde motion. I heard for hours on cable last night that even though Hasan isn’t a combat veteran, he had heard all about combat from his mental-health-counseling patients. That would make me about as much of a PTSD sufferer as Hasan.
PTSD is no fucking joke. It should not — should never — carry a stigma. Friends and family members of mine have experienced it, and they deserve our support. To have what they’ve gone through associated, through ignorance, with an armed madman, is an obscenity. In comments from the last post, Mikey bravely stated, “[A]s a PTSD sufferer, I’d like to point out that in forty years neither I nor anyone I know from group has shot up any goddam army bases. People do shit for their own reasons. To try to make their actions fit your narrative is not only stupid, it’s fucking transparent…”
The same reasoning applies to the inevitable and already-germinating slanders against the Arab- and Muslim-American communities. How many shootings across this country were committed by white men? What did they tell us about white men? I love how elements of the right who hector us about spreading freedom to those unwashed Arabs and Muslims as a pretext for invasion and occupation turn around and spread innuendo about Muslim rampages, as if Hasan’s religion can unlock some secret about his motivation or herald an emerging onslaught of “Muslim” attackers.
I repeat what Mikey said, because I can’t say it better: To try to make their actions fit your narrative is not only stupid, it’s fucking transparent.