Steven Gern, a Texan working in Iraq, discusses the reality of how Americans are treated there, in a video that has been shared over 1 million times and viewed by over 33 million people in 30 hours since he posted it.
I work currently in Iraq, which is one of the countries that’s on the list,” begins Gern. “Obviously, in the United States, a lot is going on – and over here, this is a lot going on, as well, just a lot of things y’all don’t see.”
“The other morning, we were having a discussion on the executive order, and a lot of the Iraqis showed their displeasure in this executive order, and why they feel like they’ve been betrayed by the United States.”
Gern clarifies that he is not presenting a partisan argument about his own feelings on Trump’s policies, but rather the contrast of how Iraqis view and treat Americans.
“So, I listened to what they had to say, and after they were done yelling and screaming about their opinion on things, I asked a simple question, and I got an answer to that simple question, and I got it without hesitation.” continues Gern. “My simple questions was, ‘As an American, if I went out in town right now, would I be welcome?’”
“They answered me, and said, ‘Absolutely not, you would not be welcome.’ And I said, ‘Okay, what would happen if I went in town?’”
“They said the locals would snatch me up and kill me within an hour. I would be tortured first, and after they were done torturing me, I would probably be beheaded. It would go on video for everybody to see as an example.”
Gern reveals that he already knew the answers to his question, but wanted to hear it directly from the mouths of Iraqis as confirmation regarding the danger posed by average Iraqis – not just trained terrorists – to Westerners.
“The point I’m trying to make is – this is the local populace that would do this. This isn’t ISIS. This isn’t al-Qaeda,” he explains. “So, my question to them was pretty simple after that.”
“‘If you would do this to me, in your country, why would I let you in my country? All this means to me is that if you had the opportunity to take the life of an American, you would do it.’”
Gern returns to addressing the viewers, specifically those who oppose Trump’s executive order and feel that all who wish to enter the United States should be allowed to do so without restriction.
“Maybe that’s something y’all need to think about back there. If this is the way some of these cultures feel… about Americans, why would you be so naive to believe that, if they came to the United States, they would do anything any different than what they would do right here in their own country?”
“I’m just trying to inform you about what’s actually happening on the ground in one of the ‘banned countries’ – something you should probably think about.”
“I can’t go out in town here. Why should they go out in town in my country?”