A young woman who works at a store that we frequent told of a recent experience that haunts my mind, as I hope it will yours.
She and her husband were homebound from a European vacation. As the aircraft waited on the tarmac at Amsterdam’s airport, an announcement told three named passengers to identify themselves to a flight attendant.
Every name, she noted, sounded Middle Eastern.
Each was asked to produce a passport, even though all the passengers had had theirs inspected at least twice before boarding.
A young man near her was one of those singled out. As he stood to retrieve his bag from the overhead bin, she saw that his hands were trembling. She wondered whether he would even be able to handle the bag.
A flight attendant checked the passport and left him alone.
He took his seat, still shaking.
“Are you all right?” she asked him.
“I am an American,” he said. “I was born here.”
So that is what we have come to in the time of Trump.
Concurrently, wire services reported that Khizr Khan, the Gold Star parent who denounced Donald Trump at the Republican convention and challenged him to read the U.S. Constitution, had canceled a speaking engagement in Canada after being told, or so it was said, that “his travel privileges are being reviewed.”
His son, Captain Humayun Khan, was protecting his troops in Iraq when he was killed by a suicide bomber.
“This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad. I have not been given any reason as to why,” Kahn said. The statement did not say who told him about it.
The cancellation was announced on the same day as Trump signed a new travel ban targeting Muslims abroad.
The speech Khan had been scheduled to