911! Lady Liberty has fallen, and we need to stand her back up!
We lost more than 2,997 souls and some very large architecture twenty years ago. We also lost the ability to rely on our own culture to protect us. Tweet
In the smoke and ashes of the twin symbols of American optimism and hope...
we have emerged onto a desolate, littered plain beneath Liberty's gaze. It's hard to lift a lamp to so much anger, division and pessimism.
911 is not only a number you call in emergency. It’s a day in time, one that ought, like Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, to forever “live in infamy.”
On September 11, I was working in mid-town Manhattan in a building connected to Grand Central Station. The Twin Towers were miles away downtown. My eyes were fixated on the bellowing smoke coming from the first tower, wondering like everyone else, how a plane could accidentally hit the tower. When the second plane hit, it was clear what was going on: NYC—the capitol of capital, the safest city in the world, the HQ of modernity—was under attack!
On that day, my brother was in the air on a flight from Boston’s Logan—the airport from which weapons of war and mass causality had been hijacked. Talk about the luck of the Irish. My brother was running late to airport—which was his habit. I think he even ran out gas. Not thinking he was going to make it, his office got him a backup seat on another plane. When he showed up at the gate of the second flight, he was told that the door had not shut on the first, so he OJ’d it over there and just made it. Thank God he did. I watched the plane he could have been on hit the World Trade Center.
We are no longer a culture that that stands in defense of ourselves and others.
On that day, what seemed like millions of commuters made the slow, silent walk off Manhattan Island. As I was walking with a colleague, a fighter jet buzzed above our heads—and with it, a brave-heart smile came over my face and I said, “Multiculturalism dies today.”
And, in many ways, I was right. Multiculturalism did die — or was at least fatally wounded — that day. Multiculturalism is soft cultural nihilism. It celebrates the flat diversity of cultures outside the western world. While those who promote it do so less with the intention of truly celebrating a multitude of cultures than to criticize western, mostly American, hegemony.
Today, multiculturalism has devolved into identity politics. What the difference? That soft, relativistic center — the one that made Sting sing, “I hope the Russians love their children, too” — has been lost. We know the Taliban don’t care about children and certainly not ours. And to make matters worse, “identity” is not the ideology of our enemies. It’s just a name they put on a forged passport. It may be what we purport to believe, but we are no longer a culture that that stands in defense of ourselves and others. We have no principled way to defend ourselves from our enemies because we have given up our noble and much-needed sense of self.
This is a very sad day.