When they came for me, I wasn’t expecting it. Every day since the election, I’ve felt just a little less safe, but I never thought they’d actually round us up. Even after the ban, I still had hope. I’m an American citizen, an attorney who knows what they’re doing is unconstitutional. There’s a red sticker on my front door resembling a stop sign; it reads “GET A WARRANT.”
But they had no warrant when they busted in the front door of my home. “Hands up! Down on the ground!” I wasn’t sure how to do both simultaneously, but I tried, frozen in a humiliating yoga pose. Downward Muslimah.
Two uniformed men searched my home, found nothing, and arrested me in the living room. “What’s the charge,” I kept asking, but no answer. Finally, one of the men said, “Just think of it as summer camp. All your terrorist scum buddies will be there.”
“But what is the charge?” I asked again, enunciating every syllable as though it mattered.
“Bitch, we don’t gotta charge your Mozlem ass with shit. Your time is up!”
“You can’t do this. I’m an American citizen. I have rights!”
“Rights? You sand niggers ain’t got no rights no more. Haven’t you heard?” the man replied as he cuffed and pulled me up to my feet in a single motion.
I hadn’t heard. The thing about genocide is that there’s never sufficient notice. I knew things were getting bad. I read the same state-run newspapers as everyone else. But they hadn’t repealed the Constitution yet. I thought there was still time.
“I invoke my right to counsel,” I said from the back of the van as we pulled up to a toxic waste treatment plant.
“Good luck with that,” the man in the passenger seat replied.
Photo by Melody Moezzi