Five years later, I look back, for the first time ever.
Honestly, I thought the dude was high on coke.
I know he looked at me like he was insane, with that stupid grin on his face that addicts give you when that old feeling has kicked in. I had just arrived at the bus stop down the hill from my apartment, en route to my second class, having missed the first one due to my occasional tardiness. He was sitting on the bus stop bench when I arrived, a brown brotha, somewhere between his late twenties or early thirties. He was dressed in a fast food uniform and work cap of some kind—I think it was Subway—but I donâ€™t quite remember. As soon as I arrived, he stared at me with that crazy grin, and his words were: â€œTwo planes just slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.â€ Like that. That fucking smirk-grin was on his face the whole damn time.
Fool, youâ€™re high as hell, I thought. I got on the bus and made my way to school.
I went to class as normal. The professor and all my classmates were there. The classroomâ€™s lights were turned off, and the TV was on. I wasnâ€™t hallucinating, and neither was that brotha at the bus stop.
There would be no class that day.
Five years later. My mother has died, albeit the day before the second anniversary of the massacre, and two days before her fifty-second birthday. West Asia has been on fire in three different spots since late 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan in the hunt to find the superevil infernal mastermind Osama bin Laden and bring him to US justice (the oxymoron of all time). Another prick actor has been elected governor of California. George W. Bush has been â€œreelectedâ€ to a second term; as to how this happened, the world may never know. The number of American kids killed in Iraq alone surpasses the 2,000 mark. The US military has been hit with scandal after scandal, from Abu Ghraib to various massacres to the sadistic slaughtering of a teenage girl and her family. Bush and the federal govâ€™ment allowed New Orleans to drown without so much as tossing a lifesaver. My ancestral homeland is gripped in the throes of an AIDS pandemic, with no end in sight. The decade anniversary of Kurt Cobainâ€™s death has passed, with the decade mark for Tupac Shakur only a couple days away. Cuba and the revolution are still holding strong after five decades, and Fidel Castro has just celebrated his 80th year on Earth. China has gone capitalist, which I struggle to understand.
And they still havenâ€™t found Osama bin Laden.
Today, people remembered the victims, the people who worked in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the people on those four planes, the courage and determination of rescue workers who risked their own lives to save others, health care workers who tended the injured, and survivors who were caught up in the thick of all that mess that day. People are also mindful of the family, friends, and communities that the victims of September 11th left behind. We know that five years is not enough time to get over a trauma that huge, if there is ever enough time. For many Americans, September 11th was the worst act of violence that they remember, the first and the worst violent act that has even taken place on US soil.
But this isnâ€™t true. 9/11 was not the first, nor was it the worst. When it comes to the most violent acts in US history, 9/11 isnâ€™t even in the same room with them.
You may know this already, as do I, and some of our peers may know, but this fact never gets said enough: The United States of America sits on stolen land. Human beings were murdered in cold blood in order for this FULL COMMENTARY