Vive La USA.


[final edit]

Call me misinformed, but I thought France was one of the first European countries to welcome those of all nationalities with open borders. Paris, as far back as my visit in 1984, was already a veritable stew of Arabs, Africans, and those of every Euro persuasion. In fact, this may have been the first city since the inception of the new Toronto in the ’70s to become such a potpourri of peoples. I, the daughter of a white Anglo Saxon Protestant and a vagabond, second generation Italian, think I saw my very first black bearded male wearing a religious head covering in person that year, in Paris.

I remember those among my friends and associates whose parents, like mine, were of the World War II generation. There’d be the occasional slur against the French; were they poor soldiers, back then? Had they failed to fight?

A moment ago, I saw news footage of a fleet of air power hitting ISIS targets – coming from France. I felt the surge. Was it pride, now, for the French — or, my own residual patriotism, from deep in my own nucleic soup?

We speculate. Was Saturday’s horror provoked by the Charlie cartoonists? Yet, the slaughter against Paris feels, to me, like an attack against asylum, itself.

This event, above all else, will likely change the immigration debate in one big hurry. How infected our world has become – with fake passports, false IDs and, now, refugee cards, played off for access. Worms, all.

Last week, I was trolled by an online impostor. He’d infiltrated the dating website for the oldest among us, the aging market, OurTime.com. My unsuccessful search for any verification of his identity led me to the phone number he’d recklessly offered just two days before the attack, his having claimed the need to meet in New York with a Client from South Africa about a Contract and the desire that I text him at that number so he could reply before he headed my way. That phone number, a landline for starters, had an online history of reports against it; the person claiming that number was not only using a fake ID, but a fake location, and attempting to sell high end firearms that he did not own.

After Saturday, I couldn’t help but smell the gun metal as I viewed the news footage coming out of France. I could not escape the taste of burning flesh vaporizing into the air around my computer.  I could not avoid wonder, and a chill, every time I recalled the photos of one self-described Slovakian-American hybrid and the things he had said, about studying in France (!), about his travels to Egypt, Russia, Qatar, Austria, his references to building a relationship with me that would be “PERFECT.”

How close are any of us to this evil? Perhaps just one gesture, one click away?

I recall telling my educational methods instructor in college, in 1980, that I considered our society sick. How more prophetic could this have possibly been? Now, I finally get these nationalists, with their war cry of civil liberties and their determination to save our Constitution. We had better get our political act together yesterday, and fortify ourselves with non-partisanship and a commitment to unity on all fronts. The globe is infested; this oasis we call home is getting more precious by the hour.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  11/15/16

All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. No copies, extractions, or selective quotes permitted without written request and full, printed acknowledgement of the source. Thank you.

littlebarefeetblog.com

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