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View Diary: After the towers fell (188 comments)

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  •  Getting here hella late, but . . . (8+ / 0-)

    I wanted to say thanks for a superbly written piece, Denise.

    I lived in DC on 9/11, and in the days that followed we saw some of the same stuff you write about.  Suddenly it seemed as if almost every cab I got into had a little American flag flying on the antenna or displayed on the bumper.  I'd take a look at the driver and see a Sikh, an Iranian, or (as is so common in DC) an Ethiopian.  I listened in appalled disbelief as one Sikh cab driver told me what he'd been through in the days immediately following the attacks.  The Islamophobia was horrific, and it was affecting people like him and Christian Ethiopians, even though they weren't Muslims.  

    I felt dirty and ashamed of all the ignorance.  I started to make an extra effort to patronize the Arab and Muslim-owned businesses in the neighborhood.  When I did, I made a point of looking the shopowners in the eye, greeting them warmly, and thanking them appropriately.  It was precious little, but I felt the need somehow to communicate that "we" weren't all bent on some kind of revenge.  I couldn't usually bring myself to ask what I wanted to ask, which was whether they were okay, whether they'd been harrassed or attacked, and whether they felt safe.  Mostly they seemed warily silent, as if they were afraid to speak up about how they were being treated.

    It may go against the grain of how most Americans commemorate this day, but September 11th doesn't rouse in me any feelings of patriotism.  All I can feel is a mixture of sorrow, disgust, and regret.  Sorrow for those who died and for their families; disgust at the shameless exploitation and wave of anti-Muslim bigotry that followed; and regret that even ten years later, far too few Americans understand the importance of what you've written about here today.

    Tipped and recc'd.  You've written some really good ones before, but you outdid yourself today.  Kudos.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 03:31:57 PM PDT

    •  Glad you made that effort - it is so important (1+ / 0-)
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      in combating stigma.  But I know you understand that.

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:08:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is. (2+ / 0-)
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        Denise Oliver Velez, Mayfly

        And I know it's a topic very much in the air right now for all sorts of reasons.

        You really did a masterful job on this one.  Absolutely beautifully written and argued.  

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 04:12:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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