M is from Pakistan. And apparently that automatically makes you a terrorist. And if you marry one you are now un-american. Really? REALLY?
Do you know what I've recently learned how to say?
"Mein ap say muhabat karti hoon."
It means "I love you" in Urdu.
But to me it also means:
I love you no matter your skin color
I love you no matter your religion
I love you no matter your culture
I love you enough to look past stereotypes
I love you enough to not get snared into ignorance
I love you enough to think and feel for myself
I love you so much that I will not let other's ignorance and fear change how I feel ONE bit.
M comes from a religion and a culture that is greatly misunderstood and "Salem-ized" by mass media post 9/11. With a heavy heart I think about the ten years that have passed and the lives that were lost that day and the days to come. While others mourn and the country reflects, I brace myself for the onslaught of ignorance in the days and years to come. My heart aches and yet my brain is angry. I am aching for the innocent souls who were lost in this unforgivable attack and I am angry for those who now suffer from the racism. Something that became so virulent and rampant in a country that is supposedly deeply rooted in human rights and equality.
The responses have been about 50/50. Either he isn't a terrorist or he is by association. Which astounds me. I wonder how far we really have progressed or are we yet still chained down by inhumanity and clouded by a lack of compassion and knowledge?
I will never hide the fact that M is Pakistani. Nor will I encourage our children to be ashamed because the rotten apples that stained the face of a beautiful county and a beautiful culture. A culture so deeply rooted in tradition and a high regard of family and mankind. Something our country deeply needs right now.
A little knowledge goes a long way.
On Sunday we pause, we reflect and we remember. But we must not forget our fellow humans. The ones who have a heart that beats just like yours and a life just as treasured as yours. We must look past skin color and see that every human is worthy no matter what.
We are all worthy and we must not forget this.
Must not forget.