I had someone once tell me that I shouldn’t be upset. Because of 9/11, I should understand the fear and anger that Americans feel toward ‘my people’. I know that fear works well on the minds and hearts of people and I know that fear is often exploited and exaggerated to push an agenda. I don’t deny anyone the right to their worries and fear. We live in unstable times…
But then I wonder, why is YOUR fear automatically more valid than MY fear? I live in a world where I am despised by some for the mere fact that I exist and refuse to modify my existence for white American ‘patriots’. People who don’t know a single thing about me (not even my name or where I’m from, let alone what I believe in and live for), hate my guts. People who don’t know anything about anyone leave bombs outside mosques. They kill men in turbans for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They call for the destruction of the Middle East by nuclear weapons. How is that not scary? How does that not inspire fear? Believe me, I’m scared.
It’s not like one group of people has a monopoly on fear. I can’t think of one person I know who isn’t deeply concerned and worried about something going on today. But I’m supposed to be understanding and tolerant of the fear that drives prejudice and hatred against me SIMPLY BECAUSE I EXIST while remaining mute and silent about the fear that I carry around inside me due to the fact that people hate me simply because I exist.
I am not ‘allowed’ to feel fear. I am only allowed to be the object that inspires it.
”—excerpt from an email from one of my pen pals, who has given me permission to post this but who wants to remain unnamed. It was in response to an unpleasant encounter I had had in a grocery store with a woman who had an objection to the black scarf I was wearing over my hair. (via kissestokashmir) (via triangleeyes)(via thingsimreading)(via amandaw) (via robot-heart-politics)