>So I was reading back posts of El 3atal’s blog when I noticed a commenter saying to El 3atal in a derogatory manner that he must get along well with “white people.” Hunh? What exactly is that supposed to mean? It also referred to the fact that we must live in apart of Amman where they have guards to protect “white people” and government people. How interesting… Does that mean that the commentor was defining him/herself as something other than white? And, how does the implication come that white = bad? How curious.
Now, I grew up in the American South. And, I know that racism is rampant there (although perhaps not as bad there as Philly, where I lived as well). I’m also aware that there is a form of reverse racism (all whites are bad) that has become somewhat prevalent. And, yet, I find that everyone is degraded by such sentiment. While the intention is to show that the “other” guy is bad, in reality the person who has and expresses these thoughts is just as bad. In reality, I suspect it is part of human nature to fear what is different than us. It is equally as ordinary and valid for someone who grew up in a small town in Jordan to fear a big, liberal American as it is for the American to fear someone who wears a long beard and hatta w/egal. But, embracing that fear and hatred rather than trying to understand the people behind it leads only to a degrading of yourself.
The most embarrassed I have ever been of being an American (and that includes current times with an administration that causes me GREAT embarrassment) is when, in college, some stupid boys called El 3atal’s phone and left a message calling him a “sand nigger”. Now, do you know the most ironic thing about this? The guy doing it was an Arab-American. How sad is it when you listen to people who cause you to truly degrade yourself? Perhaps as people we can learn to set aside our fear, hatred, and misunderstanding. Once we have done so, we will realize that everyone in this world is concerned with the same things. In every country around the world mothers worry over the safety and happiness of their children. Parents worry about how to provide the best possible life for their families. Underneath the trappings of difference, colors of skin, hair, and eyes, we’re just people.
Happy shades of grey!