Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Free Yourself: Conventionalism and Oppression

War. Terror. Anger. Conventional Belief. 

Societal views may improve or destroy the lives of innocent civilians. After nine eleven, Muslims were brought under great scrutiny. As terrorism was a huge fear of Americans, the blame was quickly placed as a means to have some “control
 over the situation. Once loved members of the community were ostracized. In reminiscing the past, it is said where is “the cinnamon-skinned woman for whose roti people lined up halfway down church, the falafel cousins who remembered how much hot pepper you preferred?”(Andrea Carter Brown). Innocent men and woman who were once a respected part of the community are rendered dangerous because of an irrational fear of all Middle-Eastern people. I saw the fear and hatred first hand. My best friend growing up was Israeli. She had the “cinnamon-skin” and long dark hair. I remember the day she came home crying. She was suppose to fly home to Israel to see her family for the first time in three years. Within minutes of waiting in line at Security, her family was asked to step out of line and follow two different, frightening men. Her family was then taken into a back room and questioned for hours. Her younger sister was a newborn and her mother was not allowed to leave the room to breastfeed. After hours of questions because of her father’s Moroccan background and arabic speaking mother, the family was asked to leave the airport. She was denied a seat on the plane because of her appearance and ethnic background at the age of eleven. I remember seeing the pain in her eyes. She mourned not only the loss of her family visit, but also the prejudice she faced. Andrea Carter Brown’s poem brought up many old memories I had suppressed. It is amazing the lessons we, as humans, learn at such a young age. We must learn from past mistakes in order to flourish in the future. Teach your children tolerance. Teacher your children love. Set the conventional beliefs free and rid yourself of the ability to oppress others. 

1 comment:

  1. I was sorry to hear of your friend's treatment at the airport but from what I conjecture it happened very close to the 911 tragedy. I think everyone over-reacted. I doubt today an 11 year old Israeli girl would attract that kind of attention. That doesn't make it right only explains the circumstances.