talking about 9/11 with white people is literally one of the most frustrating things ever because they won’t stop talking about their experiences (even if nothing happened to them personally), and when i, a middle eastern person, try to contribute to the conversation, i can’t get a fucking word in.
like what the fuck, nothing happened to you on that day – which, you know, thank goodness – so why the fuck do you insist on dominating the conversation? my daily life is still being effected by this even now, over ten years later.
but you’re not interested in hearing about how my fifth grade health teacher never again called on me or the arab girl in my class. you’re not interested in how whenever my family travels, all fourteen of us (a number that used to include young children) get “randomly” searched. you’re not interested in the fact that when i was asked to buy a propane tank for a barbecue, i spent the rest of the day stressed out and worried that the attendants at all the stores visited to inquire were all going to think i was making explosives (all stores in the neighborhood mysteriously were out of propane tanks in the middle of summer). you’re not interested in the fact that whenever my cousin prepares to fly on his own, his mother calls him to make sure he’s clean shaven so he doesn’t look “like a terrorist.” you’re not interested in the fact that when i was you’re not interested in the fact that i once witnessed a whole family of white people bypass the x-ray scanner for the old fashioned metal detector, but when i asked for the same treatment, i was denied; when i pointed out the (many) signs claiming that i had the right to refuse going through that machine, the tsa agent who mere seconds earlier berated me for my request went conveniently deaf. you’re not interested in hearing about how my sister was told “sorry about your leader” when osama bin laden was killed.
i could reference personal anecdotes until i went blue in the face.
there are countless people who have stories like this, stories that are grotesque and demeaning and terrifying. these are everyday occurrences.
but you’re not interested in any of that. frankly, you’re not even that interested when middle eastern and muslim (and sometimes non-muslim desi) people are subjected to extreme violence or killed. you guys got over chapel hill pretty damn fast. if you noticed it at all.
you don’t give a fuck about us, or our ongoing 9/11 stories. you just want to tell me about how horrible it was, sitting in class and listening to other kids get their names called on the pa system.
but i totally get it. it was really hard for you.