Discrimination: Dwindling or on the Rise?

Discrimination: Dwindling or on the Rise?

September 11th, 2010 marked 9th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Events included 9th Commemoration ceremony and the Emergency Mobilization Against Racism and Anti-Muslim Bigotry rally.

Once again, my eyes roamed over the scrunched up page that sat on the cold wooden desk before me.

Tattered and torn pieces of it were the only things that remained. “Friendless!” It screamed loudly from one corner. “Terrorist….” It screamed from another. “Dark skin” said the word that sat on my far right, carving deep scars into my already bleeding heart with its sharp claws.

“Alone” whispered the word that was scratched into the paper so deep that I was sure it went through the surface below it as well. I sunk myself further into my chair and wrapped my arms around me in the hopes that they could save me and patch up every spot of my vulnerability. Save me from the deluge of hatred that was comingat me at the speed of rapid flood water, moving quickly; dangerously. It had me neck deep already, I could feel it’s strong hold on my neck tightening painfully, killing me leisurely.

I lowered my arms and allowed them to rest on the wooden school table, trashed with explicit words and carvings left by the students who had come and gone over the years. The table felt cool against my hot skin; the type of cool that stung you at first but then felt relieving. I tried to block out their voices and focus my gaze on anyone and anything but them and their torturous figures fixed with their piercing gazes, much like that of a hungry falcon staring intently on its prey. Their eyes; void of any emotion and filled with no remorse. Their eyes; much like dark abysses of blackness that caused you to get lost every time you looked into them. Their eyes; deep crevices much like those that lay at the bottom of the ocean, never ending and dangerous. 

I could feel it; their razor- sharp gazes scratching away at the remaining sanity I had within me. Although this wasn’t anything new, my mind registered it as a foreign feeling. Something that I had never experienced before. They looked at me with such hatred that it sent shivers down my spine. They wanted me out, lifeless. Where was the love that we were taught to have for one another?

Every letter, word, sentence and phrase that I had ever known was taken out of me and thrown carelessly across the floor. Tears pooled into my once luminous orbs, threatening to fall out. I lowered my gaze unto my lap, forcing it to stay there. Retreating steps was all I heard and that’s when I looked up. Their structures filled my line of vision and at that moment the tranquil that followed their exit was my only acquaintance.

It seemed peaceful from the outside but on the inside, it was just a constant reminder of my loneliness.

Along with the loneliness came the whirlpool of thoughts, circling in my mind before slowly dispersing. The presence of discrimination in society seemed to be shunned and pushed away in a corner where no one could see it. And the people that could see it, seemed to keep themselves away from it. Just like how I was shunned, my voice stolen away from me and handed over to the higher opposition.

They pushed me down every time a word made its way to the tip of my tongue, causing me to have a another loss in my confidence and my wanting to speak up slowly fading away.

Again, I had been shifted back to the present where I sat on that same wooden table, reminiscing on the event that I wouldn’t be able to forget. It hung like an ominous grey cloud looming above my head. Not the light grey ones that drizzled tiny droplets of water in the hopes that it’d help human life but the great big dark clouds that stormed and threw its thick droplets to the ground at momentous speeds. With every word, it got larger and larger and larger.

“ Discrimination was as existent as climate change but the only difference was that no one seemed to be doing anything about it.”

My mind shifted back to the statistical evidence that I had scrolled upon during the last few days. “1 in 5 school students experiences racial discrimination” the article read out to me. Discrimination was as existent as climate change but the only difference was that no one seemed to be doing anything about it. I mean, they talked about tackling discrimination but actions spoke louder than words. Humans seem to be terribly selfish, and self- centered. As some of us grow older, we are fed the absurd policy that a lighter pigmentation has superiority over darker pigmentation. We grew accustomed to the ridiculous belief that a race or a religion had dominance over another.

The words of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sprung a new train of thought in my mind. “O people! Your God is one and your Forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non- Arab and a non- Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.

Every part of me wished that everyone could live by this. That every human had this in their heart before they said anything and that if only closed minds came with closed mouths too.

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