Sunday, March 20, 2011

Land of the Free?

I've been pondering a question for some time now.

Do we ever think of how we treat some people?

We pride ourselves on being a nation of the free, a big melting pot where people are always welcome.

But for years, we had slavery of African Americans.

For years, the Irish were mistreated.

Puerto Ricans were abused and thrown into slums.

The Japanese were put into internment camps.

For a nation of such freedom, we surely have a lot of vices against others. But this thinking hasn't come from absolutely nowhere. It came from, once more, my Bollywood addiction.

This time the movie was called My Name is Khan. Surprisingly, it's not a musical. Rather, it's about a Muslim man from India. He has Asperger's Syndrome. But when his mother dies, he moves to the U.S. There he meets a beautiful Hindu woman who's been married once before, then divorced. The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love. All is happy, right?

9/11 hit. A country devastated, furious at whoever did this. Muslim extremists. However, every woman who wears a head scarf, every man who spoke with an accent, and every child with dark skin was targeted...even if they were non-extremists or Hindi. Khan's new son is constantly abused in school. And as parent's are sent overseas, their children find more and more fury towards this Hindi boy. Long, sad story short...he is killed. An innocent life taken because of people's inability to see the difference between good people and bad people. (The story continues, but isn't quite pertinent.)

But theirs wasn't the only story like this. All across the country, the same thing was happening to perfectly innocent people. And I'm sure in the stories from above, of the Irish, P.R.'s, and Japanese...the same sort of sad tale can be had.

We, a supposedly accepting country, find ourselves unable to understand people who aren't exactly like us in every way, shape, and form.

It can happen on a much smaller scale as well.

High school.

I know, this is a long post.

Remember a few weeks ago I told you of my literary contraction: My new, dark and edgy novel? Well, it too deals with the way that we treat people.

If you go around an average high school, gossip will be all around you. People will be talking about other people. It could be good. But most generally, it isn't.

You'll laugh at one girl because she weighs too much.

You'll sneer at another because of the way she dresses.

You'll make fun of one who, it seems, dreams up all these impossible things.

The same can be said for guys too.

But the thing is, we hardly ever think about the person before we do whatever terrible deed. We don't know how she's been raised, what type of world she grew up in, how many people who were so close died, or how she struggles so much because she's being pulled too many ways. And this girl, or boy, could be dying on the inside, dreadfully heartbroken. Perhaps wishing she would never live another day.

This is the main subject for my new piece.

Stop to think before you make a judgement.

You might be accusing someone of being something that they're not--a bad person rather than a good.

You might be the last straw before someone decides to pull the trigger.

We need to learn to be openminded about everyone and accept them for whatever, whoever they are.


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