March 17, 2017

It's sad when you read about it in the newspapers. It's appalling when you see it reported on someone's facebook feeds. It's unnerving when you hear about it from someone you know. It's devastating when it happens to you.

When an old, fat white-lady in a big-black-car smoking a cigarette a'la Cruella-de-vil looks at you as you load groceries and sneers. When she overhears a private conversation and yells out loud "This is America, speak English". When she looks on over to your mother and yells some more "Teach your children English". When - before you have the wherewithal say anything at all - your mother, terrified that redneck-Cruella is toting a gun, tells you to hush-up and get-the-hell-out-of-there. When the two of you race on home, one fuming in pent-up-anger and the other terrified.

When you realize that in the course-of-an-election, you are suddenly, publicly, openly unwelcome because of your skin color, or your religion, or the languages you speak, or the country your ancestors (if not you) were born in. In this nation of immigrants, founded on genocide, bathed in the blood of slaves - you may be new witches in Salem, just ahead of the trials.

When you look into the eyes of your child-who-was-born-here, and you wish for the millionth time that things were different. You wish you could, like in his current favorite cartoon, Zootopia, turn to him and say "Dream away Baby Toot-Toot, this is Zootopia where 'anyone', can be 'anything'. As he grows up, you want to teach him to be proud of who he is, and who his mother and father (and their mothers and fathers) are and were. You want him to stand tall and have the power to decide who he wants to be. The choice and the ability to do anything he wants with the life ahead of him.

To wonder, given the state of the world today, if you actually 'can' make that promise to him.

And 'that', my friends, is utterly, and completely, devastating.




2 comments:

How do we know said...

Not a good place to be at. For anyone.

Arunima said...

now, people are openly hating what they perceive as 'the others'.