Would you please take a moment to look at my last name. What comes to your mind?
I’ll share with you some of the things people have asked me or simply accused me of.
“Are you related to Saddam?” Or better yet, for what seemed like endless months after the 9/11 attacks, I wasn’t allowed to answer the phone anymore because people would stoop so far as to open a phone book and look up every “terrorist” name to give them a call and give us a piece of their mind. I was 11 years old.
“You have to work to be an Indian these days, its not just blood. You have to work at it more than any other race in America.”
This is a quote I heard recently and unfortunately I wasn’t in the best position to negate that statement then, but now I am.
I am not racist and I would strongly disagree with anyone who tries to tell me otherwise.
I grew up in a household with a Muslim father and a Christian mother. I am half Pakistani. I have experienced multiple cultures and religions and I appreciate them all for their individual beliefs, ideas and ways.
Every race in the world has been attacked at one point or another, in one way or another.
It’s perfectly okay to be upset for what has happened in the past; no one should forget any part of the world’s history, but to take it as far as disliking Columbus because he was the start of illegal immigration, really? How long ago was that and you’re still holding a grudge?
The whole reason for studying history is to learn from previous errors or successes.
I know this unfortunately will never happen, but why must we look at people as Black, White, Asian, Indian, etc.? We are all human beings, when will that be enough? No one person or race is superior over any other.
aGoing through what I did when I was 11 made me a stronger person; it didn’t tear me down and dislike people. It made me feel sad for those people who felt the need to do something so low.
We have been through it all and we will go through more, together. We are not alone.