Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Arabs

Am I the only one, or does anyone else out there find this exchange from a recent McCain rally as disturbing as I do?


["I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."

McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said:

"No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."]


I think if I were an Arab, I'd be rather offended. As a European-American, I just feel very sad.

I know some Arabs and Muslims. My friend Noor identifies with Mohammed Atta about as much as I identify with Tim McVeigh or Bull Connor. The Arabs and Iranians I know are peaceful, honest, hardworking, "decent, family" people.

I give credit to McCain here for trying to correct the impression about Obama, and I don't think he was intentionally speaking out against anyone. Yet by choosing not to confront the comment about Arabs, he reinforced a stereotype that Arabs can't be trusted, and implied that they aren't decent, family people, as well.

But the saddest of all is that this attitude is common in my country. I am glad I'm not an Arab-American right now, but I want all Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans to know that I support you. I believe in you. I will speak in your defense. I will judge you by the "content of your character," and not by your religion, your ethnicity, or the color of your skin.

And right now, I grieve for my nation. I feel so sad to see this violent rhetoric split us apart.

Blessings upon you all, and on us. May there be peace.


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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz