Read the MSNBC story here about the DC-area Muslim young men--all fitting the profile of middle-class, educated rather than goat farmers--arrested in Pakistan after bolting the country in pursuit of Jihad glory. Of course these guys were rebuffed as amateurs once they naively showed up, but what motivates young men with everything to lose? Look at US Army Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan--a trained MD and shrink. What is this inner voice that says I am somehow unworthy of my accomplishments in this world...this alien world that has given them so much? Why do they think it's robbed them of their souls as Muslims?
The mosque in Virginia where many were members has been outspoken in their opposition to radicalization, and is largely a congregation of families. Regular people. But the refrain's the same: "He/they were cool people, never giving an indication they would disappear, run to Pakistan, try to join al Qaida or other radical groups, or assist the Taliban in Afghanistan." So how well do they really know these fellows? There is a similar refrain in when folks are asked Did you know he was in a gang...a drug dealer...selling her body for meth/crack...did you know he was a serial killer? Sometimes it's not a lie or covering up. It's denial, disbelief. Willful blindness.
Then we come to Howard and other HBCUs. One of the Pakistani 5, Ramy Zamzam, is an honor student at Howard Dental School (I can see the campus from my window as I type this). At one time, the best and brightest of black America went to places like Howard and the suberb graduate/professional schools attached thereto. But in the last 20 years things have morphed from a brain drain to the UN. Medical school, law school, dental, school of pharmacy studies, engineering and even liberal arts/humanities related gread programs are full of well...Ramy Zamzam. Yes, white Americans have discovered these schools as lower cost, high profile, but the unstated truth is that they are filled with Iranians, Iraqis, Nigerians, Congolese, Syrians, Russians, Ukrainians, Albanians, Chinese, Indonesians, Pakistanis, Indians, Saudis, billionaire kiddies from that mega Disney fanstasy called Dubai, Tanzanians, South Africans etc etc. Many can pay in cash or cut a check that won't bounce, or that mom/dad didn't have take out a second mortgage to cover. Uncle Sam isn't going to sweat them for financial aid...Uncle Sam actually likes having them as much as the colleges' comptrollers do. Well, some parts of the government aren't as happy. Like the State Department, Homeland Security, etc. The African Americans there? Well, they are trying to carry the flag as minorities in an HBCU. Irony? Oxymoron? Nope. And most of these are females. Young men like Zamzam are welcomed with open arms (and deposit slips); young African American men? Ummm...
So what are you thoughts, fanboys & girls?