NEW YORK, April 17, 2013 - We’re a happy people. We’re a friendly people. We’re a generous people. We love our country. Our doors are open. We can’t understand why anybody would hate us – hate us with such violence as to come here with bombs as they did, once again, this time in Boston. What can we do to make them stop hating us? What can we fix?
Do they want our land? It’s here for the taking. Work hard enough and it’s yours, as many acres as you can afford.
Do they want our religion? Anyone can build a church, a synagogue, a mosque. Feel free to follow the god of your choice.
You are free to attend any house of worship. So what’s the problem?
Is there too much sex from our television? So don’t watch television. Are the lyrics to our music too vulgar? So don’t listen.
We rejoice in the fact that here in America we can do whatever we want as long as nobody gets hurt.
Whoever you are, what do you want?
Tell us what hurts. Those men, women and children you murdered and maimed in Boston, tell us exactly how they wronged you. Do you know them? Did you talk to them? What was your grievance against them? If you had a specific complaint, why not just do what we do – we talk about it and more often than not, after we’ve aired it all out, we shake hands.
We do not keep a grudge. Boston is famous for hating New York and New York is famous for hating Boston – but that only goes for baseball, and we glory in the rivalry, a rivalry we settle within nine innings of play. Otherwise Boston loves New York and New York loves Boston. We are and we remain one nation under God from sea to shining sea.
We are a competitive people. That’s what makes us great, the greatest nation on earth. We choose sides, but we do not shed blood.
That 8-year-old boy you murdered, how did he offend you? What hatred within you caused you to shed his blood? Remember his name – Martin Richard. His blood cries out to the heavens for all the generations that will never follow him. You murdered the thousands of children of his who will never be born.
Is it death you worship and is it death your god demands? What sort of god is this? In America we celebrate life. That you can never kill.
We are a playful people. But watch out when we get serious.
Are you an American dissatisfied for being an American? You are free to leave — and don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
This also makes us great. People can come and go as they please.
Are you a foreigner unhappy with our freedoms, our way of life? What business do you have with us? Why should you care how we conduct ourselves?
Stay home and worry about your own backyard. We do not need you to judge us. We do not need you to straighten us out.
We’ve done all right for more than 200 years. Our liberties and our creative genius have been the envy of the entire world.
So is it jealousy that prompts your hatred? We have what you can’t have? We have our own jealousies, so we rush to build a better telephone, we hasten to produce better science for the betterment of all men and women here and around the world, and we quicken to create medicines that probably saved your sorry life.
We build. Our God demands this. We do not destroy. Our God forbids this.
Whoever you are, we do not ask for your blessings and if it is curses you wish to deliver, stay home and whisper your blasphemies.
For we are a patient people. We keep taking it on the chin and although we do not keep a grudge, be warned.
We will find you. Ask around. Once you rouse us up there is no end to our wrath and our fury.
Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.
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