six privileges of being muslim in america By Bianco

six privileges of being muslim in america

1) THE TERRORISTS IN MOVIES AND TV SHOWS ARE ALWAYS MUSLIMS. WE ARE DEPICTED AS DIRTY AND BARBARIC, MOUTHS WATERING FOR BLOOD AND THE DEATH OF AMERICANS.

2) HAVING TO EXPLAIN ISLAM TO PEOPLE WHO LOOK AT YOU LIKE AN OUTSIDER BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT WHITE ENOUGH, YOU’RE NOT CHRISTIAN ENOUGH, YOU DON’T FIT THEIR STEREOTYPES. BITING YOUR TONGUE WHEN SOME WHITE KID WHO THINKS HE’S ALL THAT ASKS YOU IN SEMI-SERIOUSNESS IF YOU WERE ALSO BEHIND 9/11

3) I GAVE UP MY BIRTH NAME: JALA. ARABIC AND PRONOUNCED HA-LA, BUT EVERYONE SAYS JAY-LA BECAUSE WHY WOULD THEY BOTHER LEARNING HOW TO PRONOUNCE MY NAME RIGHT WITHOUT MAKING A JOKE ABOUT JALAPENOS OR SOME OBSCURE SONG? I GAVE UP MY BIRTH NAME BECAUSE PEOPLE WOULD WRINKLE THEIR NOSES AND I’D SIGH, EXPLAIN THAT IN ARABIC IT MEANS CLARITY AND THEY NOD THEIR HEADS BEFORE BUTCHERING THE WAY IT SOUNDS.

4) IN THE FOURTH GRADE, A KID TRIED TO RIP OFF MY HIJAB BECAUSE HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUNNY AND DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY I WORE IT ALL THE TIME. I CRIED. LATER, BEFORE I TRANSFERRED TO MY NEW SCHOOL FOR FIFTH GRADE, I STOPPED WEARING MY HIJAB BECAUSE I WANTED TO FIT IN.

5) I ASSIMILATED SO WELL INTO MY WHITE, CHRISTIAN CLASS THAT A) MY CLASSMATE THINKS IT’S OKAY FOR HIM TO SAY NIGGER/NIGGA BECAUSE HE’S JEWISH AND “OUR PEOPLE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE SAME THING, AMIRIGHT?” HIS SKIN IS LIGHT ENOUGH NOT TO GET STOPPED AT AIRPORTS, LIGHT ENOUGH NOT TO GET PULLED OVER BY POLICE FOR NO REASON. B) MY TEACHER OFTEN FORGOT MY RELIGION AND SEEMED SURPRISED WHEN I CORRECTED HIS PRONUNCIATION OF ISLAM, MUSLIM, ARABIC, QURAN, AND MASJID. C) MY OLD TEACHER USED TO BRING MY RELIGION TO SAY WE HAD A VERY DIVERSE CLASS.

6) IF THERE IS A TERRORIST IN A MOVIE, THEY’RE PROBABLY MUSLIM BECAUSE AMERICA THINKS EVERYONE WHO’S MUSLIM, MUST BE A TERRORIST OR A BARBARIAN SINCE 9/11. WELL, I’VE NEVER TRUSTED A WHITE PERSON BECAUSE MY HISTORY BOOKS ARE WHITE WASHED, SLAVERY IS BRIEFLY MENTIONED, WHITE PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS THE SAVIORS, NOT THE ONES WHO SLAUGHTER. IN AMERICA, TELLING SOMEONE YOU’RE MUSLIM IS A SURE-FIRE AWAY FOR THEM TO JUDGE YOU AND BE PREPARED TO BE ASKED ABOUT 9/11

By Bianco

Biography:

My names are Bianco and Saafir, I go by both of them quite often. I’m trans, a PoC, and queer. I love to write. Writing’s 99% of the person I am; when I feel dysphoric, I write. When the racism I and others go through, I write it out. It’s more than an outlet, it’s a voice for people who don’t know where to find the words, a comfort, something that says ‘I’ve been there too.’ It’s been said before, but, I mean it when I say, I write to live.

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