How’s Your Tuesday Going?
How’s your Tuesday going, in this beautiful land of the free? For one American, who happens to draw cartoons for a living, dawn came today with the knowledge that he’s targeted by men willing to die in the effort to murder him. How’s your Tuesday going, in this beautiful home of the brave? Listen keenly for a few moments to those likely innocent sounds outside. Was that a rake someone dropped? A package being delivered? The sudden firing up of a leaf blower. A car engine getting louder as it approaches but then doesn’t fade. A car door shutting, perhaps a little too quietly… The unidentified bump from somewhere beyond the side wall, the light scraping near the front door. The doorbell ringing. The shadow of what was probably just a bird across the closed curtains. How’s your Tuesday going?
You need to go shopping. You stop and listen carefully before opening the door. It has to be done. You can’t stay inside. You won’t. You scan the bushes, the street, each parked car, each pedestrian—as nonchalantly as you can. You’re brave. You won’t show fear. Outside the grocery store, a young man who might be Muslim stands, waiting for someone perhaps, watching as you approach, his hand in his pocket. You nod at him as you pass, to see if he nods back. How’s your Tuesday going? Back home, you turn on the TV. Most of the wagging heads are implying that it will be your own fault if you’re murdered—you’ll have had it coming to you, for having drawn a cartoon, for having put lines on paper, for having expressed your honest opinion about an ideology, for having stood up against that which you know to be wrong. And you realize that the wagging heads on TV want to be proven right. They’re waiting for it.
How’s your Tuesday going, in the land of the free, the home of the brave, in the United States of America, where you never imagined you would be left unprotected by those who swore to uphold the Constitution, where you never imagined you could be left exposed and abandoned to die on an altar to someone else’s vengeful god, awaiting only the priest with the knife to arrive. But there’s no schedule for the sacrifice. Only “soon,” they say. How’s your Tuesday going?
Separation of religion and state is no more, when the state looks away as one of its citizens is sacrificed to appease a god’s anger. Religion rules once more. How’s your Tuesday going? They came for the cartoonists, but I was not a cartoonist. We’ll go about the day as we did the day before. We’ll show solidarity, if and when it happens, by changing our profile pic for a few days to a black background with “I am XYZ” in solemn text. We’ll share a clever, poignant graphic or two. Life will go on. For some of us.
How’s your Tuesday going?