A little over a week ago, a former high school classmate of mine, who happens to be a white male, posted a blurb entitled “Why the World Hates Muslims.” He then threatened if anyone posted anything in opposition to this post he would defriend them. This title greatly offended me and I didn’t get far into reading all the reasons the world hates Muslims. When I think about the sentiment behind the title I still can easily access tears. And I have wondered why this title injures me. I have wondered why I am so bothered by it. I have wondered why it’s become personal especially since I don’t even have one Muslim friend.
For a long time, I have struggled with my white male classmate. I’m sure I’m not the only one but I thought defriending him was too easy. Rather than move away, I thought it was important to try and understand someone different from me, but I also wanted to give him an occasional challenge since those who were responding sounded similar in beliefs. It’s too easy to live life singing with the choir of our choosing. He and I both agreed it was crazy for folks to defriend someone because they disagreed with your beliefs. So I was rather shocked, hurt and relieved that this friend would defriend me for speaking up. I guess he really felt strongly about his post.
The title, “Why the World Hates Muslims,” reminds me of the part in the movie, “Selma” where the policemen are beating unarmed black people with a bat. These police officers are coming down on black people with such a physical force it becomes hard to watch. Put the popcorn aside, this is no longer entertainment but history. At some point in time a group of people (police officers) in a racist system (pre civil rights) beat other humans (black). I realize in both instances, Selma and our present global world, we have lost the ability to see others (blacks and Muslims) as human and that seems like sin to me.
I think when we lose the ability to see other people’s humanity, we are in trouble. But when those in power cannot see another person’s humanity systems become heavy and treacherous. And while I think we have definitely improved at seeing other’s humanity, I think we have a long way to go. We still have to work hard at seeing black people as humans. We have to work hard at seeing young black males as humans. We have a ways to go at seeing Muslims as humans. We have a ways to go at seeing a few marginalized groups as human. And when we don’t see those marginalized groups as human atrocious things can happen. #selma