Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blocking Backlash

By now the homicidal events at Virginia Tech arewell known, but what is equally as telling is the image that we as Americans have here and globally. Once the identity of the killer was identified, the South Korean government issued three formal condolences within a little more than 24 hour period. This wasn't by coincidence. There is a fear that Korean-Americans and Korean nationals in this country will face discrimination and possible violence from the hands of the local populace. In all honesty, I must admit that I was relieved that the culprit was neither Muslim, African-American, Hispanic, or Arab. We have caught enough heat lately. We can do with more pretexts to be used to justify fear and xenophobia. I believe that this is an opportunity for Muslims to be Muslims. We should be among the first to lend support to Koreans or other Asians that are being mistreated (for some reason ignorance has a problem distinguishing between the various Asian nationalities), which goes to prove that such vile actions are only thinly veiled excuses to act on vitriol elements that exist with the perpetrators heart and personality. We as Muslims and minorities know all to well the feeling of having to bear the weight of the actions individuals that don't represent us as a whole.
On a national level, what does this ay about us a culture. Do we as Americans want to be known as a nation that exacts revenge on an entire ethnic group because of the actions of one or a few. I know that Americans have done this in the past and continue to do this, but we are only accountable for ourselves and those in our charge. Many Muslims do and have done the same thing against other Muslims and non-Muslims. It is gut check time. If this applies to you, then maybe you should reevaluate your interactions and relations with others and seek to be fair to all people regardless of past incidents. As always, I tell myself this before telling you.

No comments: