Saturday, September 18, 2010

Treat Others How You'd Like to be Treated: a Case for Islam

It’s funny how black and latino gangs reflect on the black and latino races as a whole… or how Muslim extremists can wreak havoc on American soil and it reflects on all Muslims (American Muslims included)… but when white kids shoot up schools, ushering in widespread paranoia, it reflects only on the individual. White kids don’t suddenly become deemed psychologically unstable. People aren’t suddenly calling to crack down on “these crazy white kids.” White youth aren’t being racially profiled. The number of white kids in jail doesn’t spike, either.

Many Americans are outraged by the Muslim community center being built near (not on) Ground Zero. And I can’t say there’s no reason for those who have lost loved ones in 9/11 to feel anxious or even initially disrespected by the new center. But I can say their ideas and opinions of Islam and Muslims are ridiculous, judgmental, prejudiced, destructive and unjustified. I ask this: would it be right for survivors of rape to hate men and have them stripped of their rights? Would it be right for Black-Americans who have experienced American terrorism (i.e., the KKK and other violent racists) to hate white people and have them stripped of their rights? If your answer is no, then why isn’t there more outrage for the hateful, hurtful things being said about Islam and Muslims across the country and in the media?

I love America, but its underbelly, excuse my French, is fucked up… to say the least. It hurts me that so much hate and discrimination still festers in America. That we Americans—those who aren’t white, heterosexual, able, middle-upper class males—are still blatantly undervalued, marginalized and mistrusted. I get exceedingly worried when I read stories about honest Americans like Mansoor Mirza being turned on by his own neighbors. It forces me to confront the fact that the laws have changed more than the people. It always baffles me when something undeniably racist happens to someone of color and then there’s that white person (who knew the victim… they have to know the victim) saying on national television, “I never thought something like this could happen in this day and age.” What? It’s like people have to be slapped in the damn face with a first-hand experience to see how destructive we are to one another! To see how much irrational hate still exists.

[I say “irrational hate.” But I suppose if love is irrational, then hate is equally irrational, meaning “irrational hate” is a redundant thing to say.]

The xenophobia in America is ironic (ahem, understatement). A country built by immigrants, on the backs of black bodies not native to the land, is xenophobic. It started pretty early on: we commit genocide on our native brothers and sisters, and in a half-ass apology we give them reservations and name places in their honor. And today, we’ve graduated to accusing our black Christian President of being a Muslim (I’d laugh so hard if he is). We distrust politicians of color as if these politicians have some racial score to settle as soon as they garner enough power. I’m fed up. I wish I were surprised! Look how far we HAVE NOT come!

This is a pretty negative post. And I don’t apologize for it. I’d just like someone to tell me what’s the point of history if we don’t learn from our fucking past?

1 comment:

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