It was a rough week for people who remotely resembled the Boston bombers. Amateur sleuths on the social media site Reddit wrongly identified a Brown University student who was an American citizen from Pennsylvania. A flurry of tweets got his name trending on Twitter and Facebook sharing blew his identity into the mainstream. Meanwhile, The New York Post built upon the journalistic excellence its owner established at The News Of The World by posting a picture of an innocent kid on its front page. He was a Moroccan-American high school student who worked at Subway.
You can just picture the third-rate hacks dreaming of that Pulitzer as they prepped their follow-up story: Subway Bomber Exposed!!
The sad truth is that everyone runs the risk of being wrongly identified after an attack. In the heat of the moment, truth is irrelevant. You’re largely on your own given the quality of our media and the fanaticism of social media users who’ve watched one too many episodes of Homeland.
To protect yourself, you need an American Identity Kit. It needs to be stored in the house, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.
* Two large American flags.
* One charcoal grill
* One boombox
* One copy of Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits
* One pair of jeans shorts
* One mesh cowboy hat
* One six-pack of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon beer)
How to use the kit:
The media will swarm your house shortly after you’ve been wrongly identified. You need to be ready. When they arrive you’re standing next to the barbecue, under the American flags draped from the roof of your house. You are flipping hamburgers (even though you don’t eat meat) and swilling from a PBR (even though you don’t drink). You’re wearing nothing but the jeans shorts and are using the mesh cowboy hat to wave away the smoke. The Boss is blaring out of the boombox.
When the cameras start rolling, you crack another PBR, drink half of it in one gulp, and starting screaming “Hiiiiiding on the backstreets, hiiiiiding on the backstreets!!”
And when the boombox shifts to the next song, you toss the PBR can onto the ground and crack open a fresh one. You use that and the spatula in your other hand to air-drum the opening to the song. You air-drum with total enthusiasm through the first verse. And when the refrain arrives, you let it rip:
“Born in the USA, I was borrrrn in the USA!!!!”
“I was born in the USA, I was borrrrn in the USA!!!!”
Just keep going until they get it. It might take awhile. That’s why you’ll want to have six PBRs in your kit.