TOP RECRUITER

1. It’s Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

2. I used to call this National Clothespin Day. It really isn’t. One year, there was a drug store calendar distributed by Plough Inc. that was selling a cold remedy, and there was a picture of someone with a clothespin on their nose (they’re congested, get it) on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was seven at the time and thought it was hysterical. So I celebrated Clothespin Day until my mid-20s.

3. The reason I would want to put a clothespin on my nose on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 2015 is to block the stench from the Republican presidential candidates.

It is, frankly, becoming a little too much to stand. Particularly from the mass of odor known as Donny Trump. It seems as though he’s doing a social experiment to see how outrageous he can be before people start boiling tar and plucking feathers.

Alas, he continues to find new lows for some of our populace. His comments that there were American Muslims cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed are despicable. They reek of a man so enamored with the sound of his own voice and a sense that there are people who would actually vote for him that he will say or do anything.

It’s not unlike what kids do when they’re three and first discover that when they say something adults will laugh. So they’ll say something more and more silly until Mom or Dad says “OK, let’s stop now.”

Apparently, the Trump parents were too busy for that.

4. I, and a lot of other people, thought Trump was a joke last summer. He’s not a joke any more.

Here’s what he really is: ISIS’ top recruiter.

Teenagers are caught in the awful social whirl of those stupid years. Added to the mix for teens in Muslim families is, on occasion, the trauma of being the outsider. Many communities are good about not exacerbating those problems by trying to be inclusive. But some aren’t, and being picked on — having your looks or your clothing or your hijab get derided by the ignorant — leads to alienation.

Now you have this billionaire buffoon who people actually believe should run the country railing. He’s going to put you on some register because someone he thinks you must sympathize with struck terror in Paris, or hallucinates that you and everyone in your family and faith clapped when the planes hit the Trade Center. He’s signaling that it’s OK for the other 300 million Americans to hold you in contempt.

And then the other meatballs running for president with him chime in. One says you have no business even thinking about being president because of your faith. Others want to block anyone fleeing the oppression in Syria from entering the country — unless, of course, they can prove they’re not Muslims like you.

God, why wouldn’t you be interested in hearing out some screaming imam? A guy who’ll say that while you’re loathed in America, you’re cherished on the training grounds of Mesopotamia, that learning to use AK-47s and detonating bombs strapped to your body is nobler than being picked on by some bully in Texas or New Jersey.

Sure as I’m sitting here, Trump and this anti-Islamic crusade launched by the right is luring Muslim kids to ISIS. They’ll go because with all the pressures that teenagers face, this added pressure of being on society’s outs will push some of them over the edge. The ability to resist will be a powerful test for the Muslim parents I know, men and women strong in their faith, in their family and in their love of this country — despite Trump and the other jackasses.

If ISIS somehow wins a state of its own in the Middle East, I wonder if Trump is going to get a condo or golf course contract. He would have earned it.

5. One more thought. I was looking for news stories from sources outside the mainstream and went to the Amsterdam News Web site. For those outside New York, Amsterdam News is the city’s best-known African-American newspaper. This story, about a new New York City firefighter, caught my attention. 

The young man’s family and his mosque celebrated his graduation from the Fire Academy. Here’s a young man willing to put his life on the line for eight million New Yorkers. He’s not exclusive – he had 294 classmates equally as brave. But the fact that he’s willing to go out and protect a city with a prominent resident ready to put him in some alien database makes me hopeful and sad at the same time.

“I could never thank Allah (God) enough for all that he has done for my family,” the new firefighter’s mom said. We can’t thank her enough for raising a son whose bravery and dedication make America proud.

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