Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Where is my G**Damn Prescription?
By Sami Mashney
For The Independent Monitor
Angrily banging his engorged fist on the powerless pharmacy counter, the irate customer boisterously blurted: “Where is my Goddamn prescription?” Such was a recurringly-familiar scene that I often encountered in my years working as a pharmacist before I took matters in my own hand, enrolled in law school and became an attorney.
Little did this irate customer know that I neither knew who he was, nor did I have a prescription for him and that his doctor never called me to give me his frickin’ prescription. However, in his own little—for lack of a better term—brain, I was supposed to be a psychic who should have figured out his identity and telepathically received his doctor’s supposed transmittal of his prescription to me!
Needless to say, this was one of the main reasons why I decided that the count-and-pour pharmacy environment was not for me. This also led me to think that I needed to find a career where fighting back, debating and engaging in stimulating verbal brawls with others, pays me rather than leads me to the office of the drug store manager, where I have to uncomfortably answer familiar, silly and nauseating questions as to why was I allegedly “rude” to such an irate customer.
Obviously, if that operationally-sloppy customer would have made the effort, did his homework, and respectfully introduced himself and inquired as to whether or not his doctor phoned in his prescription, the whole unpleasant encounter could have been avoided. I would have cheerfully welcomed him, gladly phoned his doctor to receive his prescription and accurately filed it to his satisfaction.
I am not writing here about pharmacy or career change. My point is that if people make the right and intelligent effort, they will get the right and desired result. This is my point about us—Arab Americans!
We are irate that our flippant President is deep in the side pocket of the Israeli Lobby, that our eviscerated congress is in its back pocket, our politically-biased judiciary is sitting on its lap, while our sinister so-called “mainstream” media is wrapped around its little finger. We are angry and expect that our anger alone is sufficient to change this daunting picture. We are acting like the proverbial irate customer who is quick to complain but wouldn’t make the effort, do his homework, and then wait to reap the reward—the fruit of his effort.
Even a cursory study of how Zionists were able to reach their Zenith of power in the USA will show that they deservedly earned their immense economic and political power. They did so by tirelessly pursuing education and professional excellence to the highest levels, achieving economic success at the largest and most ambitious scales, participating in civic and political involvement on all levels and inside all political parties, pursuing elected and appointed positions in congress and the judiciary, taking media pursuit to tycoonian levels, engaging in structured, collective and cohesive communal work—all this while never losing sight of who they are, and what is their overall collective long-term and strategic objective.
If we contrast the mediocre quality of our efforts with the preceding impressive example, it would be accurate to say that we lag behind considerably, that we have disjointed Bantustans of economic success, individualistic cases of academic success, handful of people in congress, another handful of others in appointed positions who are beholden to their political bosses and not to our community, we hardly donate to or work for political campaigns, discriminate against each other on the basis of religion and country of origin, scantily support our political and civil rights organizations, meagerly support our emerging media (such as The Independent Monitor), we don’t think big enough to become the Costcos and Wal-Marts of economy, politics and the media, we don’t systematically and collectively pursue careers in the judiciary and other influential positions in society. With all this, we have the unbelievable and unrealistic audacity to be irate, bang our collective fist on the political counter and complain that the system is biased towards Israel, that we are persecuted, mistreated, discriminated against … and so on and so forth. To this, I say: duh and double duh!
Do we expect that the powers that be, out of the goodness of their heart, will come to us and hand us our rights on a silver platter? If anyone really believes that, then I can sell that person the Brooklyn Bridge at a great discount.
The USA—and the globalized World now—is becoming more and more like a giant multi-tentacled corporation composed of shareholders, board of directors and customers. The shareholders are the very wealthy and influential individuals. The board of directors is the government from the president to the chief of police. The customers are the ordinary unsuspecting people who have no choice but to buy from, pay to, and be subject to this corporation which does not have any competitors within its geographic boundaries—where we, The People, live.
Needless to say, if we want to be treated equally, be included in the hierarchy of power, be respected, have our concerns satisfactorily addressed, etc., we have to roll up our sleeves, make the effort, and patiently pursue success in all fields and at all levels—while never losing our soul or forget who we are or where we came from. We must support and love one another and realize that our path to victory is paved with tireless effort and collective sense of community, as Arab Americans, as Americans and as fellow humans.