Sunday, April 29, 2012

Can't we all just get along?

I know that it's been a long time since my last post. In the last nine months, I've started a new job, began the process of obtaining my APR, and concentrated on myself for awhile. Last Friday night, I watched "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and it was a fantastic movie. The actors involved, especially Spencer Tracey and Sidney Poitier, had a riveting performance. The movie challenges people's perception when Spencer Tracey's daughter, Joey, brings home a black fiance. Family friends, the maid, the priest, and both of their parents all have different reactions. As the movie unfolds, you see how the characters change and make bold choices.

I started thinking about the perceptions people have about race, and what's been happening in Florida and across the country. What's not being talked about in the major news outlets are crimes and racism acts against people who are Muslims, Jews, and people from other religions. For example, a California Muslim woman was beaten to death with a note that said "you need to go back to your country." Was this a result of people's perceptions or lack of knowledge of what Islam truly teachers? Yes. Are there Muslims who do horrific acts in the name of the religion--yes. However, just because a few Muslims across the globe are doing harmful acts, does that mean we all under the same umbrella? No.

As an American Muslim, I'm truly saddened that people have a perception that when one person who does something horrible means the entire population are all the same. Do you remember when the white male flew a plane into the IRS building in Texas? Was he called a terrorist? No. Did we say that he had mental issues--yes. So, does that mean that all white men are apt to destroy buildings across the country?

When I meet other people from Pakistan and India, their first perception when they see me is a white female. They don't know that I'm a Pakistani-Irish-Scottish American. When I tell them that I'm half, they are like "I would never have known because of your complexion." Do we judge people by the color of their skin or the religion they follow? Yes, which is very sad.

After watching this film, I was cheering Joey's mom on how she handled one of her co-workers. She realized that her daughter was truly happy and looked beyond his race. Perhaps, we all should all do that in how we treat others. If we disagree with people about their beliefs, stance on issues, or how government is run, does that mean we have to perform a violent act or bully people? Can't we agree to disagree?

Your actions are not just how it impacts the other person, but it will affect how people look at you, your race/religion, and your local community. Before throwing your next stone at someone because of their beliefs, race, or religion, think about how your actions will have unintended consequences and the bigger picture. We need to think before we act or speak because we aren't just hurting the other person, but ourselves in the long run.